Matthew Rolston for Rolling StoneUs Magazine
“I don’t think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear that I’m gay,” the American Idol runner-up says.
“I’m proud of my sexuality,” continues the rocker, who was photographed holding hands with interior designer Drake LaBry earlier this month. “I embrace it. It’s just another part of me.”
But Lambert, 27, from San Diego — who performed Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” on the Idol finale — says he’s not the poster boy for gay rights.
“I’m trying to be a singer, not a civil rights leader,” he tells RS contributor Vanessa Grigoriadis.
Lambert admits that he was nervous about coming out while Idol was still on the air because contestants are under a media embargo, and he wanted to do it on his “own terms.” (He also says producers were open to him handling it however he wanted to.)
“I was worried that [coming out] would be so sensationalized that it would overshadow what I was there to do, which was sing,” Lambert tells the mag. “I’m an entertainer, and who I am and what I do in my personal life is a separate thing. it shouldn’t matter. Except it does. It’s really confusing.”
Lambert credits the FOX reality show with helping him gain self confidence.
“I finally checked into my self-worth for the first time in my life, and the fact that it coincided with Idol is so sweet,” he says. “I mean, I still have moments where I think, ‘Oh, my skin is terrible, and I’m a little fat — I should really go to the gym more.’ But for the most part, when I look in the mirror now, I finally see somebody who can do something cool.”
For more details on which Idol Lambert is attracted to, how he came out to his family, and what was going through his head when those photos of him in drag hit the web mid-season, pick up the newest issue of Rolling Stone, on stands Wednesday.