Clay Aiken Speech at the HRC Carolinas Dinner – VIDEO

Speaking at the Human Rights Campaign’s Carolinas dinner last night, Clay Aiken gave a pretty damn moving speech, speaking out for LBGT equality.

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Supposedly, he ditched the speech given to him by the HRC, opting to pen his own that ditched bashing TPTB in favor of a more positive message.

Check it out after the jump. 

It’s about damn time…You go with your bad self, Clay! Towleroad has more speeches, including from Meredith Baxter, who recently came out as a lesbian, HERE.

Video after the JUMP…

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33 Comments

  1. Wow, that was a great speech. I’m proud of Clay. He is such a great public speaker. Like he says, It’s about damn time!

  2. Clay gave a very moving speech as did Meredith. I’m proud of them both.

  3. A wonderful speech by a very articulate young man. I enjoyed Meridith Baxter’s speech also.Thank you so much for posting this!

  4. Clay Aiken will be an excellent spokesman for the gay rights movement and proved that with his heartfelt, funny speech

  5. I just watched Meredith’s speech. It was great, too. I loved both of their honesty & just the right amount of humor.

    I read on the original blogger’s site that posted the video that Clay started his speech with talking about his own coming out on a magazine cover & how everyone there was probably thinking it’s about damn time. So tying that phrase through the whole speech was very effective and very moving.

  6. I’m glad he didn’t bash anyone – his speech was to the point, clever, and poignant. He came across as someone who has seen prejudice up close and personal and has found his voice to “fight the fight”. You go Clay!!! By the way he looks sooo handsome!

  7. Now that was an excellent speech. I hope he keeps taking a stand for civil rights, since he is so articulate.

  8. So Clay will be now a spokesperson for LGBT community. How ironic. But he has an album coming out so it makes sence:).

  9. Clay Aiken has always spoken out for things that matter to him and I admire that. Nice speech – well crafted and well delivered.

  10. Kudos to Clay for speaking out for equality. I’ve always liked Clay. I watched his season as a casual fan, who liked him, Ruben, and Kim Locke equally, and just enjoyed listening to them all sing.

    Clay has always struck me as a smart guy with a great sense of humor. Although I don’t like the music he has put out, I like him very much and wish him all the best.

  11. Singing or speaking, Clay certainly knows how to use his voice. Excellent speech.

  12. Great speech Clay. Keep talking the talk and walking the walk Mr Aiken.

  13. Good for Clay. One of my best friends in the entire world came out recently. He still worries about if all of his old friends will accept him – how sad. I’m pretty mad at him for being gay because we made a deal in college that we would get married if neither of us found that lifelong love. Since I’m divorced and he’s divocred it had me thinking but … damn.

  14. Love Clay but my thought remains stop talking and start singing (and please sing good music this time…)

  15. @Lu:
    02/28/2010 at 6:57 pm
    “Good for Clay. One of my best friends in the entire world came out recently. He still worries about if all of his old friends will accept him – how sad. I’m pretty mad at him for being gay because we made a deal in college that we would get married if neither of us found that lifelong love. Since I’m divorced and he’s divocred it had me thinking but … damn.”

    He might have found his lifelong love faster if he didn’t waste a woman’s time in the first place marrying her when he could have been seeking out men. No offense to your friend, I’m not judging his sexuality, just merely asking why one would waste their time doing this. Obviously, there are a lot of gay men out there who do not marry women at any point in their lives.

  16. Clay is a jerk. He used his fans for years, allowing them to rally around him to perpetuate a lie he started all to further and maintain his career. When he was under fire from people telling the truth about him he let, even encouraged, his fans do the dirty work of defending him.

    It should be scandalous that HRC invited him to speak considering he spent so much effort denying being gay and worse. Now, rather than being someone to admire he’s just another unmarried, egotistical celebrity schemer with a dead career and a trophy child. Can’t forget his illegally voting in a place he didn’t live, either.

    He’s an embarrassment to the gay community.

  17. Now, rather than being someone to admire he’s just another unmarried, egotistical celebrity schemer with a dead career and a trophy child.

    Just curious, is there something wrong with being unmarried? Also, what makes his child a “tropy child?”

  18. Clay spoke from his heart. No whingeing about the past, thankful for the achievements in the last years and looking forward to a better and more equal future for the LGBT community. A positive speech from a gifted speaker. Thank you Clay.

  19. He might have found his lifelong love faster if he didn’t waste a woman’s time in the first place marrying her when he could have been seeking out men. No offense to your friend, I’m not judging his sexuality, just merely asking why one would waste their time doing this. Obviously, there are a lot of gay men out there who do not marry women at any point in their lives.

    Wow… wasn’t expecting that! Honestly when my friend married I think he was trying to do what was expected… Similar I guess to why it took Clay so long to come out. I don’t think it’s unusual. My friend is a really good guy and never intentionally hurt anyone.

  20. Honestly when my friend married I think he was trying to do what was expected… Similar I guess to why it took Clay so long to come out. I don’t think it’s unusual. My friend is a really good guy and never intentionally hurt anyone.

    I agree with you, Lu.

    I would imagine that many gay people are in denial about their sexuality, to some extent. They’ve never been “not gay” so they don’t really have that to compare it to. So they probably wonder if everyone has had the same feelings that they do, at least sometimes. I would imagine that it’s a tough situation for anyone, and some people come from circumstance that would make it easier for them to admit their sexuality. For example, Adam is from a very liberal family in California. Clay is from a very conservative family in NC….very different circumstances to say the least.

    Certainly coming from Clay’s very religous upbringing, I would assume it was hard to admit to himself, let alone the world, his sexuality. I don’t think that he was trying to hurt or use his fans, as one commenter said above.

  21. I’m very proud of Clay, for not only coming out, but also for joining in The Struggle.
    I know firsthand how difficult it is growing up as a evangelical
    christian, and wondering why, after several years dating, why I was still havingdreams about my same sex friends.Everything you are taught is how you can overcome those feelings with Gods help.
    One day after a particularly miserable experience on a Date who had lied to me, I stood up within a circle of staff members and before
    I could filter myself, I said, “Thats it, I’ve had it, I’m going gay!
    LOL…all of a sudden I was
    Out without actually being In yet.
    Well, that was one foot wet. I soon called the LGBT line and the rest is history!

  22. It is not easy to come out. Even to yourself. People like Harvey Milk and Ellen DeGeneres didn’t always live their lives out of the closet.

    Clay and Meredith are great examples, the cause needs people like them, it doesn’t matter if there was a wait involved.

  23. Certainly coming from Clay’s very religous upbringing, I would assume it was hard to admit to himself, let alone the world, his sexuality. I don’t think that he was trying to hurt or use his fans, as one commenter said above.

    I think that too. I think Clay just wasn’t sure about his true identity until pretty late in life.

    He’s an embarrassment to the gay community.

    I don’t get that at all. I see a passionate speaker with a good heart. Darn handsome there, too.

  24. Clay shouldn’t have let his most conservative fans defend his heterosexuality for so long, and I understood why they felt betrayed. On the other hand, the signs were so obvious that he was gay, it was their own homophobia that prevented them from seeing the truth. Some of them badly wanted and needed him to be straight.

    I always sympathized with Clay for his inner conflicts between his conservative religious upbringing and his being gay which he found it so difficult to admit. Coming out is never easy, especially in the south in the baptist church. But he did it, no matter how it happened, and I’m glad to see him speaking out for gay rights. He must feel good inside to be more in stride with his real self. Good for him.

    A lot of Clay’s fans never cared about his sexuality and stood by him after he came out. And he probably gained new fans.

  25. What a great speech! He has great comedic timing. It is not easy to be openly gay in a society that seems to be becoming more and more religiously conservative every day.

    Thanks for posting this.

  26. Wow. It never ceases to amaze me how people who know nothing about Clay other than what they read in the Tabloids, feel qualified to comment on his career and personal life. I speak for all his fans when I say,”Shut up already!” Clay is a wonderful man, father, friend, son, and performer. His career is ANYTHING but over! He did what many fathers should have done,spent the first couple years with his son! Those are the years that matter most in a persons life. Perhaps Clay is trying to insure the Parker grows up knowing that his father loved him and put his well being before his career. My older brother came out 35 yrs ago when it wasn’t as accepted. He ended up being a self made millionaire whit more straight friends they gay. Judges, Doctors, Celebrities, etc.. His partner was in an agonizing 22 yr marriage before meeting my brother and finding the courage to come out. His wife was actually “relieved” since she knew the problem in the marriage was not her fault. They are all friends and his 22 yr old straight son lives in my brother’s house with his dad. My brother is helping him finacially through college. Muy point I guess is, what difference does “sexulaity” make? Isn’t it the person you become and how you treat people in life what really “Measures A Man? I say absolutely!

    Clay will be back soon, singing, entertaining and remaining as successful as he has been all along. I think Jaymes and David Foster will see to that by helping him to be successful to his true fans while remaining true to himself and the music “he” prefers to sing. I don’t care if he sings “Old McDonald”, his voice is so beautiful it matters not. Can’t wait, Clay! I am so proud of you. Be true to yourself always because we, you loyal fans, are right behind you…always!

    All you ignorant people who hate Clay…..why are you wasting energy blogging about him then? Hmmmmmm….makes you wonder, huh?

    Lastly, to the blogger who called Parker Clay’s “trophy” son. I’m sorry you daddy wasn’t nice to you either when you were little. Get therapy!

  27. I liked positive tone of the speech. But I hope the audience all knew what went on with this life already, because he didn’t say a lot about himself in the speech. Maybe there was no need to say it to this crowd…

    I don’t get it when people accuse gay person as embarrassment for not coming out as soon as they realize he is gay (at age 11? 12?) and start fighting for civil rights movement. Who knows, Clay might have done more good for coming out later, to shows some of his fans that they could truly love him despite of their objection to his sexuality.

    Everybody has a different role. While I applaud Clay for the great speech, I also love Adam fighting the same cause by not fighting. He is a poster child of how wonderful things can be if somebody had parents like his. And he is showing that to the world instead of preaching. I believe that would make as big a difference as best speeches.

    14 years later, 10 miles away from Carmel Mountain High, my daughter goes to a high school where at least some gay students feel comfortable being out and dating. I feel the progress among younger generation, so I keep my hope for the future.

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