In a recent interview with Variety, out singer-songwriter Adam Lambert said “shades of homophobia” remain in the music industry.

Lambert, who came out in 2009 after competing on American Idol, said that the industry “has gotten better” since he competed on the reality series.

“It's gotten better but I can't make a blanket statement that it doesn't happen anymore,” he said. “There are always going to be shades of homophobia – sometimes internalized homophobia that I've encountered from other gay people in the industry. They might feel that [I'm] 'too gay.'”

Lambert added that he rejected his internalized homophobia “a long time ago.”

“I rejected mine quite a long time ago to be honest with you. Maybe in certain cases with artists in the age of social media, a lot of expression is edited or curated for an audience. When you're making pop music, one has to keep in mind: 'I need to connect with as many people as I can.' You want to make entertainment for the masses. The most important thing is to balance that with some sort of personal integrity. And that's the headspace I've been in of late,” he said.

Lambert's fourth studio album Velvet is expected to arrive later this year.