Adam Lambert: The Out Interview
By Shana Naomi Krochmal
And also, if you're one of these, then you must be attracted to the other. Are you attracted to guys like you?
I don't even know anymore. I think when I was younger, I could box in what my sexuality was about, what's my type and all that. But as I've gotten older, and just learned more about myself and the world, it's not really about type anymore. I mean, if someone's hot, they're hot. If someone's interesting, they're interesting. If you have an energy and a chemistry with someone, then you have chemistry. Done. You can't really define that or explain it. It just is. You just meet people and you click, or you don't. You know? [Pauses.] Although -- I like pretty boys.
[Laughs.] What kind of pretty?
Pretty. Pretty is pretty. And I'm generally drawn to [guys who are] younger than me. Generally'but there are exceptions.
You told Rolling Stone that you had a crush on Kris Allen, and everyone went crazy about it.
Believe me, right after I said it, I was like' It turned into this thing, and I was like, "Oh God, I shouldn't said that and now it's blown way out of proportion."
Are you usually attracted to straight boys?
Kris seems like a real straight guy.
He is a real straight guy. He's very straight. He's just'cute.
He's pretty. He's a pretty boy. You know? And he's nice. He's a really nice guy. One of the things that I think is so refreshing and cool about him is that he's from Arkansas -- and this is me being small-minded -- I just kinda figured that the acceptance of people like me in Arkansas is probably a lot lower than here. And he's very open-minded to people's lifestyles and he doesn't judge. He's a good guy.
To have someone who is very religious and who feels like that --
That's the funny thing, is that he's not very religious, I don't know where he got that label. Danny [Gokey] is very religious.
Did they put all the boys on the same bus?
Uh-huh. Eleven of us.
Let's talk about Michael Sarver, who seemed at first to be a religious guy who wasn't very comfortable with you being gay. But when the tour encountered 'God Hates Fags' protesters, he was all over Twitter condemning them and defending you.
He's got a really good heart, that guy. He does. And I think that he represents a large portion of our country, good people who are just scared of what they don't know. We didn't even have that many conversations about it directly, but it's just another example of acceptance. We just got along with each other. He just wants everybody to like him, and he wants to like everybody. It's very simple, what his needs are. And I have very similar needs. We cut up all the time, backstage and on the bus. We get along great. I think what he realized was that it doesn't fucking matter. And he got past that.
Was Danny very religious in a way that made you uncomfortable?
No, never uncomfortable. Danny's a little bit more fundamental in his views than I think Michael is. And I don't think his views are going to change. But it didn't get in the way. We had a number of conversations on religion and morality. And it wasn't for either one of us to try to convince the other, it was just to kind of learn. He was very cool with that, just having a conversation. We had some really deep conversations about God.
What did you learn?
I just got a better sense of what a very strong, traditional Christian outlook is. I don't really have a lot of friends that are that way, so it was educational for me to learn about what that is and what the beliefs are behind it. I was raised Jewish, first of all, and I'm not even that religious. I would consider myself spiritual, kind of leaning towards more New Age ideas. I'm not like, fully hippie -- but those kind of belief systems make the most sense to me.
Have you already gotten your scandalous past out of the way?
I do feel like a lot of its behind me, and that feels good.
So you're not waiting for another shoe to drop'
What's funny is that in the '70s a lot of the glam artists -- like Bowie, T. Rex, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, KISS -- they were gender bending with their image, but most of them were pretty hetero. Even though they looked really flamboyant. Bowie was the one guy that kind of made you wonder. But he was straight, right?
Yeah, I guess.
Yeah, I know, I didn't like that either. But that's the '80s for you. At the heart of it, the question was, 'Are they gay?' And I think it would be kind of fun to toy with the imagery of, 'Is he gay?' but the other way around.
Are you toying with perception when you talk about how you could be bi-curious? Or are you generally attracted to women?
I will make out with a girl at a bar. I mean, after a couple of drinks.
[Laughing] That doesn't make you any less gay. Get three mai tais in a gay boy and he'll make out with a girl. Sex is something different.
That's why I say I'm curious. There are gay guys that gag and go 'eww' at the thought of having sex with a girl. I'm curious about it, because I've never done it.
Have you ever had any sex with a girl?
You went down on her?
Was it gross, or it was just not what you wanted?
It was a little gross because I don't think she was as clean as she could've been. It wasn't the act of it that really turned me off. I don't really remember. I was 18 and I was drunk. Or maybe I was 17... The point of the matter is that I would not rule it out. The idea is intriguing.
And it's threatening.
Well, it's threatening personally because you start identifying as a certain thing for so long, the idea of kind of going outside of that is scary because you're like, 'But that's who I am!' Being curious and embracing that curiosity is all a part of what I'm about. You don't have to be any one thing. You can kinda just be. Just live your life -- and play.
If you were going to pick one thing to be remembered for, so far, what would it be?
That I can sing my face off. I mean, that's what I do. All this other stuff is part of a personality, persona thing surrounding that. I hope that people are like, 'Oh, I like his voice. I like his music.'
To read the second half of our extended interview transcript, head here.
To read Editor in Chief Aaron Hicklin's open letter to Adam Lambert, head here.
For more details on what happened when journalist Shana Naomi Krochmal met with Lambert and his team, and in part inspired Hicklin's letter, head here.
To see the Out 100 portfolio, head here.