Letters to the editor
Fans Fight Back: SFGN Publisher Blasts Adam Lambert in Editorial, Enraging Fans
After SFGN Publisher Norm Kent wrote an editorial piece “Adam Lambert’s GLAAD Award a Joke” where he blasted GLAAD for giving the pop singer an award LGBT advocacy, social media blew up with Lambert fans, known affectionately as Glamberts, attacked SFGN and Kent.
They were especially outraged at these passages from Kent:
“Therefore, seeing him on the cover of our newspaper a few weeks ago made my partner and me puke.”
“Both of us went ballistic that Lambert was on our cover. Other than feature new makeup every day, what has this kid done to warrant a cover story?”
“…and the story that takes down our website is Adam Lambert’s breakup with his boyfriend? This is unreal. How shallow have we become?”
“Give me a break. This award is presented to whoever can fill the seats and make money for GLAAD at its annual fundraising dinner.”
The editorial spawned a rebuttal defending Adam Lambert from Associate Publisher Jason Parsley, and a statement from Editor in Chief Gideon Grudo. Below are snippets from several emails we received in the days following Kent’s piece.
I was very saddened to read the article regarding Adam Lambert and the GLADD awards. I live in a very conservative part of Texas were the radio stations would never “play music by that fag” even without radio play here, when I asked my 15 year old and his friends who are the “gay” celebrities, Adam and Ellen were at the top of the list. Like it or not he is the most mainstream recognized gay person in the public eye.
I have heard him on TV & radio all over the world talking about his coming out and being proud of who you are. He is building bridges between the gay and straight community. Without support from the straight community there is no hope for equality. Every time Adam shows up in a county where homosexuality is illegal, or a radio station in a southern state, he’s making a statement and changing people’s perception of the gay community.
If you had issues regarding how GLADD made selections that’s one thing but to personally attack Adam was just wrong and reflects badly on your news organization especially when the writer obviously had issues with Adam as a person even though he never met him and your prior promotion of him.
Since when does media complain that too many people read our article or visited our website?
So go back to your offices and complain about all the traffic this article brought to your news organization while Adam is in China out and proud performing in front of millions of people.
Quote from Adam:
“As a community, we’re a little bit resistant to a gay male pop star ourselves,” Lambert says. “It’s very easy for people to look at my origin, which is American Idol, and automatically assume that I’m a commercial sellout or a puppet or a flash in the pan.
“I don’t think I’m any of those things. There’s something weird there. We’re very eager to celebrate a strong female. But to celebrate a fellow gay man – it gets catty sometimes.”
Point made Adam
– Michele San Miguel
Another example of the gay community eating its own, the stereotypical “bitter queen” syndrome. When are you guys going to realize that the support from the straight community that you so ridicule is the avenue that is going to bring EQUALITY to fruition? The gay community is not going to accomplish this alone, especially when we see bullshit like this: celebrate the gay community at Gay Pride, and then tear it all down with a log-winded, vitriolic, un-researched article to defame one of your own. And while you’re at it, take a swipe at GLAAD as well.
Finally, mainstream America, in no small movement, is finally paying attention. Thank you, amazing Adam Lambert, and so many like you who are living OUT and PROUD. That is where the real progress is being made. Too bad Dumb and Dumber at your newspaper(?) don’t get that.
Enjoy all the hits your gonna get from this sham but seriously, there is a higher cause here. As a straight female, who fervently supports marriage equality, and the joining of the gay/straight communities in a common cause (Adam preaches this every time he is interviewed) it makes me sad that shit like this will only hold it back. Thanks for reading this.
– Elizabeth McGuire
I was shocked to read comments by the owners of South Florida Gay News concerning their distain for Adam Lambert. Ironically, only two weeks ago I was talking with friends about how proud I am about the LGBT community acknowledging the many things Adam has done in support of the Gay community.
Then to read this tasteless article unfairly slamming Adam Lambert made me realize that just maybe the LGBT community is still non-accepting of celebrities who are successful in the music industry. It’s extremely difficult for Gay men to make it in the music industry but to have two business man who should be accepting of other Gay men blast Adam openly in the media is seriously disappointing. They should have done their homework before writing such a disgraceful article for the world to read.
I will be totally honest in my opinion these two men are just jealous of Adam’s appeal to millions of straight & members of LGBT community. If their site crashed, so be it. It’s surely not Adam’s fault so why put the blame on him. Adam has done so many things in support of LGBT community.
I’ll list them here.
1) Raised thousands of $’s at a Maryland Concert by performing for FREE on behalf of STATE to get Marriage Equality Bill passed. It was passed partly due to money raised for awareness & media attention of what Gay/Straight celebrities were doing in support of Marriage Equality.
2) Several songs written by Adam on two albums were written about LGBT community social struggles.
3) Adam’s dialog with talk show hosts in support of struggles by his own community.
4) Most importantly, Adam has been “out and proud” since age of 18 & never denied he was gay at anytime on American Idol. He was never asked by producers or any one involved with the show. I didn’t even know he was gay until he was interviewed by RS magazine. So your bosses comments saying it was obvious he was gay from watching the show is not true. Once I learned he was gay it made no difference at all to me. In fact just being exposed to this wonderful man through his music, interviews, & live concerts has opened my mind and heart to the struggles of LGBT community & everyone I know who has met Adam adores him.
Please let the owners know that I feel Adam is more than deserving of the GLAAD award & hopefully he’ll receive many more. Thanks for all you have written about Adam and the respect you have shown him.
– Sharon R. Sullivan
Las Vegas, NV
It was SO good to speak to you in person. You were very gracious. Which is MORE than I can say about “Norm.”
Wow, talk about VICIOUS! Hey, who needs the “Moral Right” when you have one of your own communities to BASH??? What gives??? I suggest Norm do a little homework before he shoots his nasty mouth off. Adam has raised a LOT of money for charity. He has also received NUMEROUS awards for what he has done to raise awareness. – Dinah Menard
Just where does all this NASTINESS come from? Especially when Adam just received the key to the city???? HELLO?????
This article stunk to high heaven, really trying to understand, but just can’t. I believe Adam is owed an apology. Actually this has offended Adam’s fans very deeply also.
By the way, we will all be standing PROUDLY beside Adam when he accepts his award from GLAAD. Maybe Norm has heard of it? Little organization that is fighting for the LGBT, not fighting against it.
We all look forward to your rebuttal Jason as you were a total gentleman in your interview. As Adam is all the time! So sorry Miami has to now be associated with such a GARBAGE article. Adam really was honored to represent in your city.
– Dinah Menard
Shame on you, Mr. Kent.
Adam Lambert has done more to bring LBGT to the mainstream than many.
Never mind that you seem not to have his charitable history correct regarding LGBT organizations.
Never mind that you wanted to puke when seeing a picture of someone who received the key to the City of Miami on your cover and was the first out pop artist to make #1 on the Billboard charts…and who does nothing but promote love, tolerance and equality.
Never mind that your facts are wrong about his being out during Idol.
How silly of you to write an editorial that disrespects someone who has lived their life in the mainstream, out and proud, and has become an example of “living your truth” to so many people across the world. Had you done your homework, I would like to believe that you would not only have not puked at the sight of Adam Lambert on your cover, but would have been proud of the decision that was made in your absence. – Andrea Davison
It is counterproductive…and stupid in a way…to denounce Adam Lambert and GLAAD…both who work hard in their legitimate ways to forward the cause with integrity that you so proudly support through your newspaper. Every positive contributor to a cause has a place…have you not learned that?
Shame on you, Mr. Kent. I have no idea how old you are…I’m 65….but you sound old, bitter, jealous, and for a journalist…totally uninformed.
– Andrea Davison
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the recent Adam Lambert piece written by your publisher, Norm Kent, as well as your gracious response. I have started to write to you several times, but always stopped, wondering whether as a white, middle-aged, heterosexual, Republican woman with a Christian upbringing I have any “standing” to say anything to or about the LGBT community, or whether I could even get my thoughts across without sounding offensive, or even whether I had anything of any real value to say about the issue. (And of course, there’s also the fact that this is the closest I’ve ever come to writing a “fan letter,” which I didn’t even do when I was 13 and had a Michael Jackson poster on my wall, so it does feel a little weird.) But in the end, I decided I had to express why I felt Mr. Kent’s article was so far off, and that I think Adam Lambert has had a much more profound impact than Mr. Kent could imagine.
I fell in love with Adam on American Idol. His vocals, and artistry and performances were nothing less than captivating. It was the highlight of my week. And yes, I’m one of those married moms who think Adam is sex personified, and whose husband is just a bit uncomfortable with the giddiness he sees when I’m watching Adam (but not so uncomfortable to have stopped him from getting me the BEST birthday present ever this year, which is front row seats to his show in San Diego in July and a valiant, but unsuccessful, attempt to even get a meet/greet ticket).
I always thought that not only was Adam one of the most talented musicians of our time, but he was a smart, funny, articulate, thoughtful, generous and deep person–kind of rare in the entertainment industry these days. I also felt like I watched him struggle as outside forces continually needed to put him in a box: Is he the gay amazing singer, the amazing singer who happens to be gay, or just the amazing singer? The world was certainly not going to allow him to be the latter. For a heterosexual artist, none of that ever gets in the way. I felt like sometimes Adam was criticized as not being “gay” enough for the LGBT community–or perhaps not vocal enough about the gay cause. But Adam has never been one to be anyone other than himself, and for some in the heterosexual crowd, he was “too gay” and they couldn’t get past it to become a fan of his music. Someone once said to me that if Adam had been straight, he would be dominating the world right now with his good looks and incredible talent. What a sad statement. And what a difficult place for Adam to be–seems like everyone from every corner has their own “issue” that gets in the way of just appreciating the great gift that he has to give.
In any event, in Adam’s unassuming and thoughtful way, he has expressed quite clearly who he is and what he stands for: equality, love and acceptance. These are words that get thrown around a lot, but for Adam Lambert fans, they are true qualities they try to live by. His fans love him, and when you love someone who is gay, it changes your perspective on an issue that you might otherwise have thought had little to do with your life. That is why we see parents who have gay children become advocates (the recent change of heart–and I use those words very deliberately–from Senator Portman is a great example). I feel like I have gotten to know the person Adam is, I’ve seen the love and pride his mother and father have in exactly who he is, and I’ve been so disillusioned with what he has endured in the entertainment industry and media that it has changed me from a bystander into an advocate.
I have two experiences I want to share to show some of the ways in which Adam Lambert has influenced me, and how I’ve tried to use that to positively impact those in my own sphere of influence, however small it may be.
The first is a conversation I had with my two kids in the car–the place I’ve discussed with them all of life’s big questions in the most nonchalant way possible. My five-year-old son asked me whether boys ever marry boys. My eight-year-old daughter immediately said, “No! Boys have to marry girls.” I said to them, “well that’s not true. Boys can marry boys if they want, and girls can marry girls if they want.” She said, “they can?” I said, “Yes. Do you know what it means to be gay?” They both responded in the negative. I explained that gay means you want to marry a person of the same gender and that we are born the way that we are, explaining what homosexual and heterosexual means.
I was then able to tell them that some states won’t let a gay person marry who they want, and asked them whether that seemed fair. They both immediately decided that was not fair. I also explained how the law used to be that a white person and black person could not marry, “can you believe that?” They were both astonished, particularly my older one. So we talked about the “whys” of it all, and they could see that there wasn’t an explanation that made any sense at all. We talked about equality under the laws, and we also talked about how gays are treated by those who are not gay. Since that day, we’ve had several conversations about how important it is to stand up and speak out to those that would bully or tease or treat differently those were are gay.
They have also heard the song “Outlaws of Love” over and over (it is beautiful and deserved a Grammy in my opinion, but that’s neither here nor there), and I have initiated conversations with them about what Adam means when he sings, “they say we’ll rot in hell, but I don’t think we will.” If there is a hell, my kids know darn well that whatever anyone else says, being gay doesn’t qualify you for it (but being anti-gay might get you a little closer). We live in a conservative area, and I know what kinds of things they will be subject too, and I have armed them early in life to not only reject it (because they have thought through the issue themselves), but also to speak up.
The second experience I wanted to share was at Adam’s concert last year. As I took my seat, I was surrounded by quite the diverse crowd. On my right was an older, white, retired couple from Texas that had travelled there for the show. On my left, were some goth teenagers in full Trespassing gear. In front of me, a conservatively dressed Hispanic gay couple. In front of them, a more flamboyant gay group of friends. Behind me, some loud, yuppie twenty-something’s. Next to the Texas couple, a group of women who had gone to college together, one bringing her lesbian daughter.
I’m not the most outgoing person in the world, but it was as if I was immediate and fast friends with all of them. Instant conversations as everyone reached out to each other, talking, laughing, wanting to get to know each other, and excitement to see Adam perform. None of the “differences” that I just described got in the way, like they usually can, with truly enjoying and appreciating one another’s company and getting to know a fellow human being. There was a true sense of love, unification, and acceptance. Those words can be preached up and down, but that was a unique opportunity of actually experiencing it.
I currently teach an adult Sunday School class, and I used that example as a life-changing experience about what it truly means to “love one another” and to get over any prejudices we have, because it is antithetical to what Christians say they believe. Afterward, I received a call from a woman who had an adult son who was gay, and who had just started disclosing it to family and friends, hoping that the news would be received with open minds and hearts. She thanked me for bringing up the topic and invited me to a group that gets together to support gays and their family members.
All of this is not just a cerebral decision to “tolerate” or “forced acceptance.” I really had my own evolution. I will admit that I really, really wanted Adam to not be gay when I became a fan of his. I didn’t want him to use the male pronoun in songs about love and sex. I didn’t want to see him kiss another guy. I was still in the “eww, no” frame of mind. Slowly I began to realize that I wasn’t feeling that way anymore. Because that was who he was, and I loved who he was, and I LOVED his music. I don’t care at all anymore whether he or any other singer uses the same gender pronoun. It doesn’t create a visceral reaction in me. I not only would not get “grossed out” by pictures and video of him being affectionate with his boyfriend, but thought they were an adorable couple and loved to see them together and were cheering them on to make the distance (I mean if I can’t have him, somebody who deserves him should!) And perhaps that is why, when Adam Lambert announced that he and Sauli broke up, your web site crashed. Adam fans, his many heterosexual fans, really liked them as a couple and this was big news to them. I hope it is not lost on Mr. Kent what it means that probably a majority of those fans that crashed his site, were heterosexuals who had been rooting this gay couple on and were actually sad to read about the breakup.
I don’t know what Mr. Kent thinks qualifies one for an award for forwarding a cause. But I would venture to guess that through the millions of fans Adam has around the world (some in countries that are even further behind the issue than America is) there are conversations happening just like the one I had with my kids in the car. Prejudice is taught. I didn’t think it was being taught in my house, but I realized if I remained silent, it was the same thing. Adam Lambert is the reason I’m no longer silent.
I apologize for the length of this perhaps rambling letter, but I just couldn’t let what I thought was unjust and ignorant criticism of this great artist and man go unanswered.
For some reason you didn’t approve my comment on your blog post “Was Adam Lambert In Danger in Russia” I do not know why, as I have seen some very negative responses and accusations from others in the comment section – where you do readers “TELL US WHAT YOU THINK”
my comment included a few links that clearly prove that Adam Lambert was in danger and has been in danger of being harmed in other countries where his sexual orientation is outlawed. It was reported well in advance of Adam’s show in St Petersburg that Adam was facing a lot of discrimination and there could be trouble. Adam did know he was in danger – he even adjusted his show in St Petersburg and removed a fan favorite – the song “Fever” in which the pronoun “he” is used in the lyric, “There he goes, my baby walks so slow”
Adam is a gay man and he will not change the pronoun to “she” – Adam is true to himself and who he is,.
We have seen and been with this before with Adam, and personally most of us wish that he wouldn’t go to these countries, but Adam does and will he does so that he may see, meet and perform for his loving fans. Adam is very brave, very dedicated to his fans and he is a HERO.
every time Adam has been in one of these countries – we worry and we PRAY – we pray A LOT.
we even have a “Protection Prayer” – Light of God surround Him, Love of God enfold Him, Power of God PROTECT HIM.
we thank God when Adam returns home SAFE. But knowing how this discrimination that Adam faces must affect Adam’s feelings – and his heart – no amount of prayer can pray away the hurt I feel for him.
So, I am sorry, but the way that SFGN and Norm Kent have treated our Adam – that not only makes us angry – it HURTS. I hope and pray that Adam didn’t see Mr Kent’s article – it was very mean and catty and he did not do his research, he knows NOTHING about our wonderful Adam.
I know that Mr Kent will never admit he was wrong or apologize – I just hope he leaves Adam alone. TBH Mr Kent has about the same amount of integrity as Perez Hilton – a bully and a liar.
I have not taken off my Adam Lambert “Peace Pendant” since the day I put it on in 2011 (proceeds went to the Trevor Project and over $40K was raised) Adam’s signature is on the back along with the inscription. “Believe In You”
It is my favorite piece of jewelry because Adam Lambert encouraged me – a past victim of domestic violence, a stalking and a rape victim to believe in myself again
and Adam did something wonderful and beyond kind for my best friend before she passed away at age 29 – something I couldn’t even get her own mother to do.
It hurts to see Adam treated unfairly – and it hurts to think that Adam may have read these things – Adam has the kindest, sweetest and most sensitive and giving heart – he’s not made of steel – things hurt him too.
Thank you for reading my letter, I hope that SFGN leaves Adam alone – or at least educates themselves on who Adam Lambert really is.
– lh carter
Thank you for your prompt response to the degrading article written by publisher Norm Kent! I no longer find the link to his article so that I can reply. I would greatly appreciate if you will please share the following with him. I applaud, respect and thank you! I am a 58-year-old married mom/grandmother who traveled from Ohio to attend Miami Gay Pride. I made our family vacation plans last winter before it was announced that Adam Lambert would headline this event. When I realized that he would be closing the Festival I changed my flight and sent my family home so that I would not miss his performance! I’m thrilled that I got to experience a full day at Miami Gay Pride in South Beach Florida! I will never ever forget the fun I had that day!
It’s true! Websites often crash when the name Adam Lambert is mentioned! The whole world LOVES Adam Lambert and for good reason! In early 2011 shortly after being a finalist on season 8 American Idol, Charity Water’s website crashed several times when Adam Lambert suggested giving the gift of life to people in need of water rather than giving him gifts for his birthday. Hoping to raise $29,000…one dollar for every year, $300,000 was donated within four hours and this number has only grown ongoing contributions.
Please view Charity Water founder Scott Harrison’s thank you to Adam Lambert and his fans video filmed in Ethiopia! (www.charitywater.org/adamlambert) At age 31 and hardly “a kid” as you refer to him, Adam Lambert has brought light ,excitement and energy to our world through his music, lyrics, performances, interviews, overall persona and tweets. Yes!
Adam Lambert has nearly 2,000,000 followers, which does not include fans who would love to follow him but have no access to Twitter. This alone speaks volumes! I’ve read countless stories of how Adam Lambert has inspired people. Some say he inspired them enough to overcome serious depression and many admit that Adam taught them to judge less and be more LOVING, GIVING and ACCEPTING!
Adam Lambert unites and brings people together! Many beautiful bonds and friendships have formed thanks to Adam Lambert. I’ve been touched and inspired in countless ways because of this amazing, beautiful, mega-talented and very humble man! I’ve personally met many people through shared love of Adam Lambert. I met a young Russian fan who was suffering depression, being bullied in school and lacked self-confidence. I encouraged her using Adam’s lyrics and words “Believe in you.”
Using an online interpreter, I helped her understand Adam Lambert stories and interviews. She attributes learning the English language to reading everything she can related to Adam Lambert and to our frequent correspondence! She can now speak and read English! I send Adam Lambert inspired gifts to her and her family which they are extremely grateful for! She’s overcome depression and now her confidence soars! She and her mom CELEBRATE life and our Adam inspired friendship as they dance in their apartment to the Adam Lambert CDs that I’ve sent!
This fills my heart with so much love and joy! Adam Lambert has received numerous well-deserved honors and awards… too many to mention all of them. Adam received the Equality California Award (EQCA) for his participation in the “It Gets Better” campaign and for donating proceeds from his song AFTERMATH to The Trevor Project- a national suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth. Adam also collaborated with Pennyroyal Studios to create a signature pieces to support various charities. His Peace Pendant has his words “Believe in you” inscribed on the back. Proceeds from his Peace Pendant supported The Trevor Project.
Fans around the world CELEBRATE Adam Lambert by hosting annual birthday parties in his honor! I’ve personally attended these events which include Adam inspired silent auctions and raffles with all profits going to his favorite charities. Adam also received the “Do Something Music Artist Award” for throwing huge support toward The Trevor Project. Adam Lambert fronted Queen when they joined Elton John (6/30/12) in Kiev, Ukraine at Maiden Nezalezhnosti ( Independence Square) in a grand charity concert dedicated to the fight against AIDS. In recognition of the importance of the charitable status of this project Adam Lambert waved his fees. He is about to do yet another AIDS benefit In May when he performs at the Vienna Life Ball 2013 which is one of the biggest AIDS charity events in the world!
Last fall Adam Lambert pledged his support for “Marriage Equality” when he headlined a benefit show in Maryland. He thrilled the crowd with an intimate stripped-down performance of OUTLAWS OF LOVE- a song he wrote and dedicated to the gay community. Last December Adam Lambert joined Cyndi Lauper and other celebrities at New York City’s historical Beacon Theater To help raise awareness about LGBTQ homelessness and to help support True Colors fund – Forty to None Project.
On his recent world tour, Adam Lambert made a strong statement in support of GAY RIGHTS when he performed in Russia wearing a pink triangle on the back of his jacket. This was used as a symbol in Nazi concentration camps…identifying males who were in prison because of their homosexuality. Adam Lambert will be honored at the 2013 GLAAD Awards and will receive the much deserved and earned Davidson/Valentini Award!
Along with the above mentioned please do not forget the many charity donations a result of auctions and bids on jackets, shirts and other items belonging to Adam Lambert. There is good reason that the mayor presented Adam Lambert with the Key to The City of Miami and that he won “Favorite International Artist” in China the other evening!
Far…. We could go so far with our minds wide open” Adam Lambert lyrics-Outlaws of Love