The headline reads “Yes, I'm Gay”
over a photo of Clay Aiken holding his infant son Parker Foster Aiken
on the cover of People. Aiken admits he's gay in the
interview and discusses how he came out to his family.
In 2003, Aiken wowed fans on Fox's
American Idol singer talent contest, where he won runner up.
Since then, the singer has churned out multiple best-selling albums
and appeared on Broadway.
The admission is sure to cause
controversy among the crooner's fans, who have brushed off gay
allegations for years. Aiken, 29, has long denied he's gay.
“One thing I've found of people in
the public eye, either you're a womanizer or you've got to be gay.
Since I'm neither of those, people are completely concerned about
me,” Aiken told Rolling Stone in 2003.
But early denials did not calm rumors
of his being gay, and Aiken soon took a more hostile tone.
“I don't understand why you want to
know,” Aiken answered Diane Sawyer in a 2006 interview aired on
Good Morning America. “I don't understand why it's any of
your business. At some point, [the question of being gay] becomes
just really rude, you know?”
Parker Foster's birth by artificial
insemination to friend, music producer Jaymes Foster in August soon
gave rise once more to gay speculation. It also motivated Aiken to
admit he's gay.
“It was the first decision I made as
a father,” Aiken told People. “I cannot raise a child to
lie or to hide things. I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going
to raise a child to do that.”
The pop star says he only revealed he's
gay to his family four years ago, first to his mother Faye. As the
pair drove home after dropping off his younger brother Brett at Camp
Lejeune, where he was to be deployed to Iraq: “I started crying in
the car. It was dark I was sitting there, thinking to myself. I
don't know why I started thinking about it ... I just started
bawling. She made me pull over the car and it just came out.”
“She started crying. She was
obviously somewhat stunned. But she was very supportive and very
comforting. She still struggles with things quite a bit, but she's
come a long way.”
People has featured other gay
celebrities on its cover, including former 'NSync band member Lance
Bass and actor Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother).
On the net: People magazine