Adam Lambert Reflects on Homophobia in Hollywood

Adam Lambert Sundance Film Festival
photo: adam lambert instagram

Adam Lambert appeared at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend to promote his new movie, Fairyland, a coming of age drama about teenage girl with gay dads. While receiving an award from the Creative Coalition at their yearly gala from his co-star Cody Fern, the American Idol alum shared about his experience with homophobia in Hollywood during his acceptance speech

“When I went to audition, I was like, ‘Man, I don’t think they’re going to take me. I’m the gay guy. This is a pipe dream,'” the American Idol season 8 runner-up said of his 2009 audition. “And I made it to the final and I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I had no idea that it would go that long. And then once I got off the show, I got signed a record contract.”

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During his speech, Adam looked back on his fateful American Music Awards appearance, which resulted in censorship and ABC pulling him out of a slew of planned appearances.

“They banned me for awhile…they threatened me with a lawsuit”

“There were no gay guys. It was kind of the Wild West in terms of that,” he continued. “And a year later I did a performance on the evening of my first single coming out, on the American Music Awards. And I did the kind of performance I had seen since I was a teenager. I was kind of sexy, and had dancers on stage, and I did a couple of suggestive moves with a couple of dancers, and an impromptu kiss with my bass player. I was feeling it. Well, I got off stage and I got in trouble. The network was like, ‘How dare you?’ They banned me for a while. They threatened me with a lawsuit. It was like, ‘Oh, okay, that’s where we’re at.’ I didn’t know. I’d been in a bubble in LA amongst artists, weirdos, and I didn’t realize that that kind of thing would ruffle feathers the way it did.”

However, instead of retreating, Adam decided that the best way to change the playing field was to “be as gay as I f—ing can be. And be flamboyant and be wild, and if it gets me into trouble, it gets me in trouble, but I’m not going to back down from it.”

As a result of artists, like Adam, who refused to compromise, times have changed.

“You helped me talk to my parents about being gay”

“Over the past few years, I keep meeting more and more young people that saw me when we were a kid on TV and they’re like…’You helped me talk to my parents about being gay.”

Adam believes that now it’s a “viable business move to sign gay talent. And the film industry is moving forward. There’s more and more queer stories being told.”

“Visibility is so powerful,” Adam said at the end of his speech. “The LGBTQ community has been under attack for a long time, are under attack again. There’s a lot of conservative pushback, and making art that represents the queer experience and stars people. That gives the LGBTQ community strength…hope. It gives us inspiration. It makes us shed some of that shame and self-loathing that we grow up with. I’m so thrilled to be an artist in this time. We have a lot of challenges in front of us. It’s not over yet. There’s still work to be done, but I am just so proud of the work that’s been done so far.”

About mj santilli 34988 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!