Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adam Lambert: Not Too Gay To Oppress Women

Adam Lambert was last years runner up in American Idol.  When he sang Queen, he damn near channelled the great Freddie Mercury and I, along with many lost my mind.  There can be no doubt that he is a talented man and certainly the most talented performer to grace the American Idol stage.  During the competition, when it was revealed that there were pictures floating around with him and another man, he remained non committal. That stance has changed and he announced that he is gay for the world.

In his interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, he stated why it was important to him to come out early in his career:

"looking over my shoulder all the time, thinking I have to hide, being scared of being found out, putting on a front, having a beard, going down the red carpet with some chick who is posing as my girlfriend. That's not cool, that's not being a rock star. I can't do that."

No matter how far we have come, being gay is still very much a stigmatized identity, and therefore being out and unashamed is really positive if one can handle the most certain homophobic backlash.  This is what makes the following images decidedly upsetting.

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Really, this is an out and proud gay man?  This is the man that didn’t want to have to hide who he was from the world? Anyone else saying WTF?   The above images are from Details and the accompanying text is:

"Adam Lambert Gets Lucky: Why does every woman in America want to sleep with the American Idol?"

Certainly there are some women that hope that he is Bi because they believe the homophobic trope that a good looking gay man is a waste but let’s be clear; in the above images, it is the woman that is being used as a sexual prop.  Adam chose just like any other guy out there, to play upon his male privilege. He may be gay but  he certainly still has enough privilege to exploit a woman, just like any other man.

Women should not be used as props to sell anything.  It is reductive and highly sexist.   It is further problematic that a gay man would pose for these pictures because it supports the heterosexist society in which we live.  If gay male sexuality is ever to be acceptable, images like this need to stop.  There is nothing wrong with him taking a picture embracing another male if he needs a sexual image, or even one of him alone, but taking one with a woman is all kinds of fail. 

H/T Shakesville