Since publicly coming out following his appearance on American Idol, singer Adam Lambert has been one of pop music's most visible LGBT figures, and earned himself a loyal and passionate fanbase in the process. Lambert has certainly used his fame for good, working with organizations like the Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign, and GLAAD on behalf of the LGBT community, and youth in particular.
Now he's once again partnered with AT&T on their "Live Proud" campaign and sweepstakes, which asks users to share memes expressing why they're proud for a chance to meet Lambert himself. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to do so through the campaign's Facebook page or over twitter using the hashtag #ATTLiveProud while tagging @ATT or @adamlambert. The campaign contest closes this Sunday, August 10th. Check out the campaign video below.
Having just wrapped the North American leg of his tour with the rock band Queen, Lambert took a few minutes to speak with GLAAD about what he likes about the AT&T campaign, how he sees culture and the music industry changing, and his upcoming third album:
GLAAD: First off, this is the second year you have taken part in the AT&T Live Proud Campaign, correct?
Adam Lambert: Yeah, it's such a great campaign because it is encouraging people to be who they are. There are plenty of types of empowerment campaigns out there but I like this one because I think it's creative. It's a lot of fun people that come up with social media memes, and it's a competition that were putting out there and anyone can enter. [Participants] put in some kind of slogan with an image with some kind of clever lettering or wordplay, and I like that it's empowerment but it's fun.
GLAAD: So I take it you have had a good experience working with the campaign?
AL: They're great. They're really, really great. It's definitely a collaboration where we put our heads together and make it work.
GLAAD: And this isn't the first time you have done some advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community. You've worked closely with organizations like The Trevor Project and you were a participant in one of GLAAD's Spirit Day campaigns. Where do you see the LGBT movement now?
AL: I think it's really interesting that were in a place where there is kind of a generational gap in the LGBT community where there are activists from days before like the Stonewall generation that fought so hard to get us to where we have gotten and we owe them such a debt of gratitude and it's been an uphill battle. And now, I feel like we're getting to a point where it is starting to tip and it's really exciting. There is still a lot of work to do but you can see how we are becoming more mainstream. Now what is happening is that the new generation coming up has a much different perception of who they are and what they are, and anyone who is not an LGBT person also has a different perception of who we are and what we are. So it is interesting because it's almost getting into this post-gay type of generation where it might not end up being as loud and proud as generations before. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing but it's definitely changing.
GLAAD: In a lot of ways, you're kind of a perfect spokesperson for a campaign for the AT&T campaign since living out and proud has been very much a part of your public persona following your time on American Idol. In fact, I think a lot of people would accredit you with helping to bring about a major cultural shift in the music industry. From your own position inside the industry, have you noticed those types of changes as well?
AL: Definitely. I think people are getting to the point now where it doesn't really matter—it's kind of an afterthought. Which is what I always wanted and I think that's one reason why I was so outrageous in some of my choices years ago when I first started. I felt like on a mainstream level, you didn't see a lot of that. I don't think I consciously did it, I just think I was rebelling against some of the conventions within my industry. Some of it worked to my advantage and some of it might have been questionable but I did it because I felt like I needed to and it was instinct. And now, I feel like we have found a tipping point and maybe it doesn’t have to be as outrageous. Maybe now it's in pride. What is beautiful is that now we're getting to a point where its backstory and not part of the forefront of what we're all doing. If you grew up parallel to the civil rights movement in the 60s, one of the things that has happened over so many decades is that we have become sort of [color]blind and we were encouraged with political correctness to not recognize the differences but to recognize the similarities. I think that's how we progress and move past racism in America and many similar issues. I think we could be on a similar path.
GLAAD: You've been touring as the front man for the rock group Queen which is of course the group previously fronted by singer Freddy Mercury. What was it about Queen's music and Mercury's own musical legacy that made you want to take part?
AL: The music is so genius. They borrowed from every genre imaginable, which I love because I love all music, so I felt some parallels there. It's really fun to sing and some of it is incredibly emotional and dramatic and some of it is completely ridiculous and campy and I like goofing off on stage and being over-the top. You know, wearing some leather fringe. They're rock royalty. So to be asked to be a part of their outing this summer was a huge honor. It's a dream collaboration and I have been having a great time hearing so many stories from the past, from the golden era of rock and roll. And the audience has been amazing. They have ranged from dads to moms to teenagers to boys to girls. It's a very diverse crowd which always makes me really, really happy.
GLAAD: And has that tour wrapped yet?
AL: The North American leg is up. We're about to go South Korea and then were doing two shows in Japan and they heading down to Australia and New Zealand.
GLAAD: After the tour, what do you have planned next?
AL: I'm working on my third album. I've already put in a good amount of time in the studio and I'm going to continue and finish it. I'm very excited. I think it's going to be really great, with stuff on there that is a slightly different direction [from what I have done] before, which I'm really looking forward to because I don't like repeating myself. I am working with some amazing producers and I think people are going to be in for a treat.