I come to praise Adam Lambert, not to bury him. This is an artist I really want to meet.Just two days ago, I did a piece asking us to allow Adam Lambert to be accepted as a performer, and not to worry about his role as a political activist. The gay community has somehow demanded of him to be something he is not.
Sunday, America got a taste of this emerging male Madonna. Sending shockwaves throughout the audiences at the American Music Awards, he performed a number while allowing a male to simulate fellatio upon him, only moments after sharing a deep erotic kiss with his male drummer. For good measure, shades of Elvis Presley, he grabbed his crotch.
His cutting edge and groundbreaking performance should probably be commended by Gay America for its brash and open display of male upon male sexuality. Not at ABC. They promptly canceled Lambert’s scheduled performance on Good Morning America set for Tuesday morning. Too bad for them.
Here is the deal, America. Gay men kiss. Gay men grab crotches. That is what we do, preferably in private, but if it is on stage, during a performance, at nite, under the lights, designed to elicit sensuality and excitement, don’t be shocked, don’t be surprised. It is us. It is real.
Throughout the American Idol series, Adam Lambert demonstrated his ability to remain within the rules and comply with prime time TV guidelines and standards. But here he was at the American Music Awards, a show for stars and theatrics, and he brashly displays his sexuality in a way no gay male performer ever had before. That is gutsy. That is courage. No apologies from me, and good for him.
Complaints poured in to ABC , which aired the AMAs and GMA, about the sexually charged performance. Supposedly, more than 1,500 people complained. Not surprising. Might even lead to a fine with the FCC. Not surprising either. As an entertainer, it may be a small price for the international exposure stars yearn for. Now who did he lose American Idol to? Can't even remember the dude's name. I mean it is not like he declared lives expendable to put an unsafe car on the road. Or if you saw this evening's news, he did not become a crib retailer knowingly marketing unsafe dropside baby cribs. Corporate America did that for decades. All Lambert did was show who Lambert was.
Lambert summed it up best: "You know honestly, if I offended some people... it's apples and oranges. I'm not an artist that does things for every single person," he told Access Hollywood, "I believe in artistic freedom and expression, I believe in honoring the lyrics of a song, and those lyrics aren't really for everybody either."
Without trying to be an exponent for free speech, artistic expression, or gay rights, in one small way Lambert is becoming one anyway. I think it is great that he kissed a male drummer on stage, and was the first performer in America to openly do so. That it took until December of 2009 to get there, to openly do what other artists have routinely done with members of the opposite sex, and their audiences, that's the sad thing.
If he needs a lawyer to defend him, he has got one in this publisher.