Sunday, September 24, 2006

Is Clay gay or straight? It's none of your business!

Clay's double-page feature in People magazine - thanx to ClayIzzaQT for the fold fixin'. The release of Clay Aiken's sophomore album, A Thousand Different Ways this week has been accompanied by a resurgence of the endless speculation about his sexual orientation.

It appears that the media, the tabloids and those who enjoy celebrity gossip cannot stop asking the question: "So, Clay, are you gay?". Even though he has answered the question a number of times in the past, it appears that some people will not take "no" for an answer, and continue to insist that he "must" be gay, and that he's either confused or lying about his sexual preference.

And Clay, in his typical stubborn, ballsy way, has decided that he's not going to answer the question yet again - partly because he believes it's rude, intrusive, and none of your business, and partly because he's realised that people will believe what they want to believe - whatever he says.

From Rolling Stone magazine - 07/10/03:

"Some people, for example, seem to think that because he is slender, has long, fluttering eyelashes, and currently doesn't have a girlfriend, he must be gay. ...This kind of stuff seems to amuse Aiken more than it upsets him.

One thing I've found of people in the public eye," Aiken says, "either you're a womanizer or you've got to be gay. Since I'm neither one of those, people are completely concerned about me. They're like, 'What are you then?'

From Prime Time Live with Diane Sawyer: 10/09/03:
Clay: "I have some very effeminate qualities... I'm not completely blind to it. I have gotten used to people asking the question. They think, ok, he doesn't drink; he doesn't go out and have sex with every woman that he sees. I think it's high time there's somebody who represents people who aren't gay, but doesn't sleep around with everybody, you know. If I'm supposed to carry the banner for all the nerds in the world I'm fine with that, too."

To those people who either insist on asking him again and again (presumably because, thus far, he hasn't given them the answer they want to hear), and to those who are so sure he's gay because he pings their gaydar I would ask: "How the f*ck is this any of your business?"

How would you feel if complete strangers insisted on speculating publicly about your love life, asked you intrusive questions about whether you preferred men or women, and then completely ignored your answer and carried on believing what they believed in the first place, regardless of the answer you'd given?

Listen: I'm a fully paid-up member of the ClayNation (in case you hadn't noticed!) and I don't give two hoots about what Clay does or doesn't do behind closed doors. It's absolutely NONE of my business - just as what I get up to in my bedroom is none of his. Or yours.

Firstly - what gives someone the right to pry into another person's private life? OK, if you're planning to enter into a relationship with them - or even just hoping for a quick f*ck, I can see why it might be a fair question to ask - although in both cases I would think by that point you might have a good idea of whether they preferred men or women... But otherwise? How is it any of your business?

Clay Aiken - People Online pic by Matthew Ralston. Oh. Wait. It's because he's famous, isn't it? Famous people are fair game, right? It comes with the territory, right? They deserve it, right?

Really? Why? No, really, why??

Are you jealous of their success and fame? Do you think you have a better voice than they do/can act better than they can/have more talent than they do? Is that it?

Or is it because you envy the money and recognition that comes with fame, and wish you had a piece of it - and because you don't you find it fun to tear them down instead?

Or is it because you secretly find that you're attracted to them, and you can't acknowledge that, even to yourself, and so you attack them instead?

Or is it simply that you enjoy gossip, and you just can't stop yourself from speculating - regardless of the fact that this is a real person, with real feelings, real hopes and dreams, and real insecurities and hang-ups - just like you - and that they can feel real pain, sorrow and frustration as a result of your actions - just like you would if the tables were turned?

Oh - and in case you're wondering how Clay's religious beliefs fit into all of this - because you know he's a committed Christian - a Southern Baptist to be exact - and you have some half-arsed notion that Clay's gay but can't admit it because you think his church and/or family are homophobic and wouldn't approve, here's what he said on Good Morning America this week:
Despite the trauma that the reports have caused, Aiken said his Baptist faith had gotten stronger.

"Are there tolerant Baptists? Absolutely. Are there intolerant Baptists? Oh yes, I'm sure there are," he said.

But the Jesus that he believes in loves all faiths, races and sexual orientations: "Muslim, Jewish, Christian, gay, straight, black, white, everybody."

What does it say about you as a person if you get your jollies from speculating about someone else's sex life? Especially if that speculation includes refusing to believe that what they say is true? What's missing in your life to make you feel the need to pry into the private life of someone else?

The fact that some betting organisations were offering odds on whether or not Clay was going to come out this week says a lot about the state that people are in right now. Have you got nothing better to think about? Nothing more important to focus on? Puh-lease!

Clay performing on GMA this week. Secondly - why would a person's sexual orientation affect the way I feel about them? I have straight friends and I have gay friends - and their private lives have nothing to do with our friendship. I love them all, regardless of whom they choose to make love with. It's the same with the artists, musicians, actors and performers whom I admire - why would the gender of the people they love have any effect on the fact that I love the way they paint/sing/dance/act? I just don't understand why some people might think that it would make a difference to the way I respond to their art.

One of my friends, when she found out that I'm a fan of Clay's, shrieked "Why??? He's so GAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!" My response was threefold: "1. How do you know? He's already said he's not - do you think you know him better than he does? 2. What business is it of yours anyway? 3. And finally - why on earth do you think that would that make a difference to the way I feel about him?"

If Clay came out next week and told the world that he's gay, I would shrug my shoulders and say "Oh well, good for him, I'm glad he feels that the time is right for him to come out, and I hope he's found a good man who will love and cherish him forever"... and then I'd go back to enjoying his music and admiring his character and integrity.

And if he announced next week that he's fallen in love with a beautiful woman and they're planning to get married and have dozens of babies, I would say "Oh well, good for him, I'm glad he's found the girl of his dreams who will love and cherish him forever - so when's that CD of lullabies going to be released?"... and then I'd go back to enjoying his music and admiring his character and integrity.

Clay during the soundcheck at GMA - photo by ClayIsAdorkable. It seems as though Clay has finally arrived at the end of his patience with regards to the questions and the speculation. He's drawn his line in the sand, and he's now refusing to dignify the question with any kind of answer at all. I've gotta say: the man has balls.

In an interview on Good Morning America the other day, he told Diane Sawyer:
"I've gotten to a point now where I a) am tired of trying, and b) I feel it's kind of invasive, you know? What I do in my private life is nobody's business anymore..." "It's one thing to try to be open and talk to people and try to share as much as I can and, and of course I want to," he said. "But at some point it becomes just really rude, you know?"

Aiken said he didn't understand the curiosity, Sawyer's included, about his sexual orientation... "I'm not spending my time with this anymore, this is a waste of my time."

During the interview he also stated quite clearly that the recent tabloid stories about him are not true - although he's not going to dignify those by discussing them either. And of course - as he predicted - the media and the gossip-mongers are continuing to read their own agenda into his refusal any longer to answer the question. "Oh well" they say, "he didn't say he wasn't this time, did he? So that must mean he's gay, but he won't come out and say it!" Which is exactly what he's tired of fighting.

As he told MTV this week:
"Most celebrities, after a while, get used to the fact that no matter what you say, people are gonna believe one thing or believe another one, so it kinda becomes a waste of your time to even attempt to deal with it anymore," he said, shrugging his shoulders.
And as he said to People magazine:
"I learned this year that you can't make people like you or care about you or love you."


Clay - official fanclub photo. Yum! It's OK, Clay, you didn't need to "make" me like you or care about you or love you - you did it just by being yourself.

My dear friend Pink Armchair at the CH and The ConCLAYve wrote this great skit which, for me, really says it all - with humour. I think it demonstrates one of the reasons why Clay's decided that answering "that" question, over and over again, is simply a waste of his time. Enjoy.

2006:
Kimmel: So, Clay... whatcha been up to?
Clay: Well, Jimmy, Ah'm here to promote mah new CD, A Thousand Different Ways, and announce that, AGAIN, Ah'm not gay.

2007:
Kimmel: So, Clay... you don't have any new album to promote, so what's going on?
Clay: Jest here ta announce that Ah'm STILL not gay.

2008:
Kimmel: So, Clay... how're things?
Clay: Well, as ya know, Ah got married this year, to a woman. So Ah guess it's oh-fishul: Ah'm NOT gay.

2010:
Kimmel: So, Clay... I hear you have a new baby.
Clay: Yep, shore do. So Ah guess it's obvious: AH'M.NOT.GAY.

2020:
Kimmel: So, Clay... How many kids do you have now?
Clay: Five. Oh, and Ah s'pose Ah should make mah annual announcement: Ah'm STILL.NOT.GAY.

2050:
Kimmel: So, Clay... I hear you had a hip and two knee replacements.
Clay: Huh? Better crank up mah hearin' aid. What was that? Oh, that's right. And Ah'm STILL.NOT.GAY.

2060:
Kimmel: So, Clay... is there anything you have to tell me?
Clay: Yeah... but Ah'll be danged if Ah kin remember what it is.


Interesting links:

On Clay and his private life:
On Clay and A Thousand Different Ways:
Other blogs about Clay, his private life and his new CD:
Oh - and the photos on this page? As always, if you click on a pic, you'll find a larger version hiding just beneath the surface. Just sayin'.

UPDATE 18/02/07: I see I'm getting a whole lot of new visitors to this post who've searched Google to find out What Clay confessed to Kimmel. The answer is that he confessed to having his teeth done this week.

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26 comments:

kit said...

FABULOUS post, Webweaver. Thank you. I've printed it & will distribute A COPY to ANYone who questions Clay's sexuality. I am no longer going to discuss the issue with ANYone! They'll get a copy of your write-up, and I'm DONE!! THANK YOU AGAIN.

Vox Vixen said...

Excellent blog. I love how you summarized everything. I'm going to link you from my blog. I hope you get lots of hits. I wish the media had done half as much research. When everything is all laid out, it sounds beyond ridiculous. No wonder Clay is fed up. I know I am.

Chardonnay said...

Just came in to look at the pic one more time.

As for the sexual orientation? Upsidedown, backwards or in a tree. It's all good. Whatever keeps him happy and singing.

Back to looking at the picture.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog, everything all in one easy to read place. Loved that skit.

Idle-wandering said...

Beautifully written! Thanks.

Karma said...

Bravo!

marhaven said...

Fabulous blog. Says it all and I think I will put a link to it in my next blog if that is ok.

Calling people "gay" (not always meaning they are homosexual) appears to be a part of the current pop culture. Goes right along with the popularity of music sung my individuals who can't sing. My 30YR old DIL tells me it doesn't matter if a person can sing, that it isn't important.

The older I get the more confused I become!!!!

Anyway, great work. Thanks.

Nixon said...

Thank you for this!

Nixon said...

Thank you for this!

~ YSRN ~ said...

See why I follow you around?

Most excellent blog, my friend.

Pink Armchair said...

So many intelligent and accurate insights here -- it really does baffle me that there are people out there so obsessed with others' sexual orientation. And as you say, why should it affect how I feel about someone's art, or come into play when I evaluate them as a person? It's just not relevant. Clay is smart to refuse to go there any more. It, quite simply, is nobody else's business. And the less attention people give it, the better in my opinion.

Lori said...

This is the best piece I've read on the 'dreadful subject' of Clay's sexuality. It is very well written and very well supported by facts. I know a few 'so-called' journalist who would benifit from reading this. Great job!!! Very impressive.

N'est-ce pas, eh? said...

I've always believed that a person who focuses intently on the fact that so and so may be gay is actually just trying to deflect that same question from being directed at him. I would never doubt the person being asked; rather, the person actually doing the questioning.

IMHO, I think every single male has an inherent fear of being thought gay (with the same intensity as every female fears rape); they are jumping on Clay because of their own insecurities.

They hate it when Clay doesn't say , once and for all, that he is or isn't. It's as if the same doubt they have about him is still hanging over their own head.

Clay's taken the best approach possible. Turn the spotlight on the other person and let them tell the world why they're so obsessed with the issue.

Loved the skit..hillarious!

Anonymous said...

I don't care and I've never cared about who he beds, much as gossip bloggers would like to think many of his fans do. But I have rather cared about the truth. Thanks for laying it out so clearly.

teresa said...

Very well written, passionate blog.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you! You have covered all the bases as has Clay, now and in the past.

You go girl, nice job!

I became his fan because of his vocal abilities. Not what he does in his bedroom.

The man is just too damn sexy and no one can do to a womans ovaries what he does and still giggle like a school boy about it, the way Clay does.

My admiration monitor has raised itself to the roof when it comes to him in this last week. Course, it was pretty much at 99% anyway.

Thanks again for the blog! Well done.

Jennifer

Sticks said...

Perfectly said. I wish you would send a copy of your post to Diane Sawyer. I was so upset with her for the way she treated Clay in the second half of her interview with him that I wrote her quite a lengthy letter. I thought she liked Clay and was really looking forward to the interview. I never expected her to ask that question since she had already been insulting enough to ask it 3 yrs ago, and he told her he wasn't gay. Apparently she wanted the big ratings and publicity - and she got it. I watch the entertainment news shows, and never saw one word about all of those lies in the tabloids and spread by sick people on the internet - not one word mentioned on any of those shows all year - until Diane Sawyer had to grill him and treat him like a criminal she was trying to get to confess to a crime. Suddenly, portions of her interview are all over those shows. For them, apparenly, she now made it a legitimate news story. Some of those shows, of course, only showed conveniently edited portions of the interview to suggest that he's hiding someting. Even tho it was none of my business, and I couldn't care less, when Clay said he wasn't gay three years ago, that was it for me. Sadly there are horrible people out there who just want to hurt Clay, for whatever sick reasons they have, and disgusting lies and keeping those stories active are their ways of doing it. There are so many wonderful things about Clay that Diane Sawyer and others who interview him could have talked about. I don't know about GMA since I don't normally get up that early, but, so far, I haven't heard a word about his newest honor as a Presidential appointee mentioned on any of them. I wrote an e-mail to the Larry King show yesterday since Clay is supposed to be on that show Wednesday. Maybe if enough of us write him and ask him to stay away from that line of questioning, he'll listen. I don't think Jimmy Kimmel will be a problem since he seems to really like Clay. I expect that interview to be fun for Clay. Hope so.

Carolina Clay said...

Webweaver,

Awesome blog! I have been plugging it all afternoon -- in my entry at the OFC and now in the Carolina On My Mind blog.

Like others, I plan to make copies for senseless people who continue to harp on the subject. It isn't anybody's business, and Clay has taken a stand on privacy that is commendable. Perhaps other public figures will join him.

Many thnx for your recent comment. Always great to hear from others! *g*

Caro

Anonymous said...

Very nice blog. I couldn't agree with you more. You've definitely done more research than Diane or anyone else has done. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great blog. I would like to add one thing....if people really listened to what Clay said to Diane, this whole issue would be resolved. When Diane Sawyer asked him if he was ready to come out and say he was gay, Clay laughed and then said, ''that wouldn't make any sense.'' Case closed!!!!! The man is NOT gay, never has been nor will he ever be. He wants to be married and have children but like Clay said, ''Not Now,'' I think because he wants to return to college to get his masters degree in education. I applaud Clay and am very proud of him for standing firm on his beliefs and telling people that his private life is none of their business!!!!

I have believed Clay from day one on everything he has said because he has followed through with everything that he has said. He has never led me to believe otherwise. Clay is an honest and truthful man, a true inspiration to others, and he has an enormous heart of gold and compassion.

I believe with the other's comments that those who are attacking Clay and use him as their target is because of their own insecurities and jealousy. They are extremely jealous of Clay for his success, his fame, his inspiration, and his enormous fanbase. These people should take a lesson from Clay and learn what a REAL MAN is and should be!!!

Ellen (Calif)

Anonymous said...

Loved everything you had to say. I will support Clay because I love him for being the man that he is. His personal life is none of anyone's business. If he comes out, I will love him - if he gets married and has children, I will love him. I feel in my heart that he told us what he was in Diane's first interview in 2003. I loved what he said then and I love that he has the courage to stand his ground now and refuse to continually give an answer when(1) he already has and when (2) people will interpret it the way they want to. Clay has "balls" in my opinion for standing his ground. God bless Clay Aiken!!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog WebWeaver!
I'm going to point the CB kiwis in your direction (again)!
Also a few of my USA pals will appreciate your writing.
Thank you for being so good at putting what I'm thinking into actual words!
*hug*
Fran

Anonymous said...

Wow, EXCELLENT!!! Kudos to you, WebWeaver!! And I'm gonna pass it on too!!

I've been an admirer (as well as a fan) of Clay from the get-go and know all those times when he flat-out denied the direct question (also mentioned in Allison's Glock's article in ELLE, btw). Particularly I remember his denying it to Diane's face on the 2003 PrimeTime interview because she belabored the issue.

The shocking thing about her interview this time was the way she blindsided him -- first, she said she wasn't gonna go there and then, on air, she did; second, she posed it not as a question but as a statement that implied he was a liar (cuz he'd already denied it to her); and third, it was worded on the order of "Have you stopped beating your wife yet". I.e., if he'd said he wasn't [coming out of the closet], that would simply have implied "yet" -- and then there's the alternative.

So, being as he's straight, any kind of direct resonse was impossible. His "That wouldn't make any sense" was perfect, cuz her statement made no sense!!

I was immensely glad and proud he showed temper and backbone (balls, lol), but I was not surprised; Clay is no wimp. He is extremely intelligent, a successful counselor, teacher, and mentor of children who are difficult to reach, the co-founder and co-implementer of an impressively successful charity organization, and the headliner of a dozen successful tours and a TV special. Hello, didn't Diane research what he's accomplished in the last 3 years?

I love all the comments I've read here, too. As he said -- bless his heart -- "My fans know who I am." Yes, indeed we do.

Your blogs are always marvelous, WebWeaver, but this one is SO special I hope it's preserved somewhere forever (and I can't get enough of looking at the pix, either!)

Anonymous said...

All I want to say first off is this man is SEXY!!! So I can see why some people are wondering if he is gay because they are probably gay and would love to meet him! To bad, so sad because gentlemen this sexy one is for us women!!. You received Lance Bass not to long ago, so leave this man ALONE!! Second of all great blog!! If anyone reads this blog and still have questions about clay then they are just depressed people lokking for someone to be just as depressed and twisted as they are. Just please leave the man alone!! He can sing and that's all that matters. So if you base your decision of listening to him on his sexuality, then you deserve to be in the dark about him. Because you will be missing out on some GREAT music.

Anonymous said...

Awesome commentary and well researched! Someday, I hope Clay has the opportunity to make the critics, haters and gay-sayers just eat their words.
Beth

Anonymous said...

awesome blog!!I have been wishing he wasnt gay and I know for sure he isnt. I have never quesitoned him being gay but my family has a different point of view. But you know someting..I love Clay ao DEATH and its time for me to come out and say " whatever makes him happy, well good for him." Oh and by the way i will laugh so hard if that whole little skit came true! i loved it! and watch..it will really happen! Maybe some of his features does make people wonder but i think he is georgous inside and out and it really doesnt matter as long as he is happy. It really isnt anyones buisness and they should just go and move on with their lives and get over it!! They obviously have nothing better to do then to go and question clay even when he has given an answer a million times already. But whatever. I support Clay no matter what. He is still the same person. But hey thanx for making this. Maybe it will change some peoples minds. Hopefully it will. I loved it!! And most importantly, I LOVE CLAY!!


Ashley