Speaking with Billboard as part of a group of trailblazing LGBTQ+ artists changing the industry, Adam Lambert spoke about the impact he's had on the industry and how he never set out to be an "educator."
Lambert was a pop cultural phenomenon when he competed on American Idol in 2009, something he found overwhelming. It "was so fast. All of a sudden I was on magazine covers."
Dealing with that kind of fame was already a huge adjustment "and then on top of it, there was all this energy behind being the gay guy doing it. I knew I was comfortable saying, 'Yes, I'm gay.'" Not everyone in that position -- especially at that time -- was, so good for her. "But educating the masses? I didn't get into this business to be an educator. I just wanted to wear glitter and sing." Relatable.
Lambert added that when he entered the industry, there weren't a lot of mainstream queer artists. "So that was the thing the media wanted to talk about. I loved talking about it, but at the same time I was like, 'Can it not precede me?'"
When it comes down to it, Lambert knows he doesn't have to educate in such an obvious way just because he's a queer public figure. "Leading by example is a form of activism."
The new Queen frontman also had a message for his younger queer self: "'Relax, it's all going to be fine. You're beautiful, you're not ugly, you're not going to be alone.' There was so much shame and self-hatred. I would just try to calm myself down."