Homophobia still not an
acceptable reason to hate someone’s music.
by Brian Creech
In an announcement that left thousands of Americans saying,
“Yeah, we pretty much figured that was the case,” former American Idol
contestant Clay Aiken disclosed that he is a homosexual. Various media outlets including Raleigh
News & Observer ran an article
earlier today highlighting Aiken’s announcement and pushing its readers to go
to People magazine on Friday for the full story.
In a very personal family moment, Aiken describes coming out to
his mother four years ago after they dropped off his brother at Camp Lejeune
Marine Base for his deployment to Iraq. Aiken said of the moment,”I just started
bawling. She made me pull over the car and it just came out…[My mom] still
struggles with things quite a bit, but she’s come a long way.”
Granted for some, this is may come as a no-brainer, and several
celebrity watchers are probably patting themselves on the back for having
perfectly calibrated gay-dar. But given
Aiken’s meteoric rise thanks to American
Idol’s celebrity makeover, it is really easy to forget that he was raised
in the small, conservative town of Four Oaks, NC; where people are less than
cosmopolitan about homosexuality (Regardless of your opinion of his music,
there is a clear Horatio Alger tone about his quick rise from high school
chorus singer to the most polite and successful American Idol). It is
important to remember that coming out of the closet, especially in the public
eye, is a ground-shaking thing for the perennial nice-guy, so if you’re going
to hate on him, let it be because his music is way too pat and sentimental, not
because you’re a homophobe.
What prompted Aiken’s decision to publicly come out of the closet
was the birth of his son, Parker, on August 8th. “It was the first decision I made as a
father,” People quoted Aiken as
saying. “I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn’t raised
that way, and I’m not going to raise a child to do that.” According to the Raleigh News
& Observer, Parker was conceived through artificial insemination with
music producer Jaymes Foster, sister to music mogul David Foster. Foster and Aiken have been best friends for a
while, and though rumors about a clandestine romance circulated while Foster
was pregnant, Aiken’s recent announcement surely dispels those rumors.
In an effort to capitalize on the baby-mania, People will have exclusive pictures of
Parker Aiken available when the issue hits newsstands on Friday.