Singer Clay Aiken makes it official in this week's People magazine: "Yes, I'm gay." While the People story is not yet available, the cover of the former American Idol runner-up and Broadway star indicates that being a new father to Parker Foster convinced him to come out of the closet: "I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things," the cover blurb reads. “We congratulate Clay for making this decision and for setting an example for others and his family," says GLAAD President Neil G. 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."
This welcome admission brings to an end years of media speculation and public denials on the part of the performer. As you'll recall, he lashed out at ABC's Diane Sawyer just over two years ago when she asked about rumors of his sexuality. "At some point it becomes really rude," he said to Sawyer. "I don't understand why you want to know. I don't know why it's any of your business. "That same week, Aiken was interviewed by People and refused to address the issue with any clarity: "People are going to believe what they want."
E!'s Marc Malkin believes Aiken was laying the groundwork for his coming out back in the spring. On his most recent album, On My Way Here, the lyrics for "The Real Me" may be telling:
Painted on, life is behind a mask/ Self-inflicted circus clown/ I'm tired of the song and dance/ Living a charade, always on parade/ What a mess I've made of my existence.
You're turning the tattered fabric of my life into a perfect tapestry. I just want to be me.And now, it seems, he's doing just that. The toaster is on the way, Clay!