Out singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright
said in a recent interview that he's “very angry” that Adam
Lambert is credited with being the first out gay mainstream artist.
Wainwright, who is promoting his tenth
studio album, Unfollow the Rules, told the LGBTQ&A podcast
that he insisted on being out from the start of his career.
“When I started, the first meeting I
took with my record company, with Dreamworks Records, I emphatically
stated to them that I was gay and that I wasn't going to hide that,”
“I don't claim to be the first out
gay artist, but I am one of the first who started my career being out
on a major label, and succeeded in the sense that I've remained,”
continued. “There was some talk about how Adam Lambert was this
incredible pioneer for being the first out gay mainstream artist or
something. And, with all due respect to Adam Lambert, who is very
talented and a great guy, I got very angry about that. I was like,
'No, I kind of did it about 15 years or 10 years earlier than him.'”
Wainwright added that he was pressured
to “pretend” that he was bisexual.
“There was always this line that
would come up where they're like, 'Can you just pretend to be
bisexual at least?' Or they didn't necessarily want to take the risk
of alienating a certain sector of the mainstream audience with me.
But I was always shocked at how, if you do just not bring it up, even
if it's plainly obvious, you do go that much further in the pop
world. It's interesting. I don't know if I would have ever been a
huge pop star regardless. But I think it's a bigger sort of element
than it's given credit for,” he said.
Wainwright married Jörn
Weisbrodt in 2012.