After reading Aaron Hicklin's open letter, I felt compelled to summarize and add a few more of my own suggestions on how you might further prove your "gayness" to the "gay community" (the gay community, of course, being defined as a monolithic entity of one heart and one mind). It is my hope that said suggestions will allow you to eventually break the chains of a record company that has controlled so many of your decisions over the past several months.
I like you, Adam, I really do. That is why I freely offer these pearls of wisdom on how to celebrate, not dilute, the purity of your sexual identity.
- As an openly gay man, you must be "unapologetically flamboyant" at all times. No going "hetero," or "stripped down," even if it's for a Motown song.
- For the love of man, no photo shoots with naked women, especially smokin' hot "six-foot barbies"; not only does this compromise the box God put you in, it might cause or give the illusion of temporary bi-curiosity, thereby inflaming the fantasies of millions more "barbies."
- Please refrain from saying women are "pretty" (or kittens). That's not gay at all. Well, maybe the latter, but definitely not the former.
- In the future, please make an LGBT magazine your first choice of appearance. Scrap that. In the future, please make Out--the highest circulated gay magazine in the United States, available at stores everywhere--your first magazine of choice. We hear you sell a lot of magazines and we want in--for gay rights, of course!
- Please re-consider your gay-hating handlers, particularly 19 Records. They clearly have too much control over your creative choices. Could that album cover have been any more straight and predictable?
- Not to mention all those censored moments on American Idol. Did you really think we wouldn't notice who was pulling the strings on the vapid song choices and dull presentations of "Ring of Fire," "Black or White," "Mad World," and "Change is Gonna Come"
- Which brings me to my next item: The gay community is troubled that while you have "come out" twice you keep going back "in." To resolve this dilemma, and make absolutely clear to fans that you are indeed a gay man, we propose an "I'm gay" disclaimer on all album covers of For Your Entertainment
- In addition, while the glam vibe of your album might make your "gayness" implicit, we suggest a few adjustments to song titles that will make clearer whose side you're really on: "Strut (Like a Gay Man)", "(Gays are) Sure Fire Winners," and "Whataya Want From Me (Okay, I'll be the Gay Messiah)."
- If you forget everything else, remember that as a gay man you must convey your gayness unequivocally, at all times, and on the "gay community's" terms. In the future, we will be watching to ensure your compliance (and maintain a blog for your discretions)
- And finally, as a "gay pioneer," remember that we are "all counting on you not to mess this up." No pressure. Gay salvation depends on your career path. As the gay pop culture prophet Perez Hilton warns, you can either be a cog for the mainstream music machine or the gay community. There are no other options. You cannot be complex, you cannot be both masculine and feminine, you cannot resist labels or boxes, you cannot experiment, you cannot form your own identity, you cannot just be. You must always match stereotypes, meet expectations. Of course, if you do slip up and need to come out again as a gay man, Out Magazine would be happy to provide the platform.
The Gay Thought, Fashion, and Culture Police