Clay Aiken fans – AKA Claymates –
are lighting up Internet forums on the subject of Aiken's gay
admission like a giant Christmas tree.
In a People interview available
at its website, Aiken admits he's gay and discusses how he came out
to his family.
Shocked Claymates sounded off at
Aiken's official fan website.
“I had no idea he was gay. ... I
didn't go to work today and am not answering the telephone,” wrote
“I've cried a river of tears and
truthfully do not know where I stand right now. I am envious of
those who can take this news [of Aiken being gay] and continue to
state their unconditional love and support for Clay. Right now all I
can think of is he is a fantastic entertainer, but I took him at his
word and it appears that his word isn't what I thought it was,”
another post read.
“This is a gut wrenching day for the
ClayNation. Somebody wake me up, I hope it's a dream,” wrote
The People issue available at
newstands Friday includes Aiken on the cover holding his infant son
Parker Foster Aiken and a headline that reads, “Yes, I'm Gay.”
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 has caused controversy
among the crooner's fans, who have brushed off gay allegations for
years. Aiken, 29, has long denied he's gay.
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.”
American Idol judge Simon Cowell
bristled at the news, telling Extra: “Wow. That's a shock.
It's like being told Santa Claus isn't real. Unbelievable.”
Then added: “Good for him. If he
said it, it's the right thing for him. ... I don't think anyone
cares. Let's face it. It's 2008. You know. Who cares?”
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.”
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against
Defamation (GLAAD), a pro-gay media watchdog group, supported Aiken's
decision to come forward.
“We congratulate Clay for making his
decision and for setting an example for others and his family,”
said GLAAD President Neil Giuliano. “As we're seeing, more and
more gay people, including celebrities, are living openly and
honestly, and this has tremendous impact in terms of creating
awareness, understanding and acceptance.”