"Clay fans are brave and loyal and loving, and sometimes they are truly tested. Hugs to everyone who has weathered the storm."Honestly, I'm surprised. I was expecting all kinds of crying and carrying on, but apparently the subject of Aiken's appearance on the cover of People magazine -- he is shown cradling his newborn son alongside the headline "Yes, I'm Gay" and the words "The Idol star opens up about his emotional decision to come out: 'I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things'" -- is verboten until the authenticity of the story has been established.
For the record, a USA Today entertainment blogger has already posted that while People doesn't have the cover on their website yet, "they confirm it's real." And there is currently a red breaking news style banner running across the top of the magazine's website that advises readers to "Come back Wednesday for the full scoop on Clay Aiken at 7 A.M. EDT."
What I'm wondering is whether we'll see any open despair and gnashing of teeth from the sad kooks who've claimed Clay as their heterosexual son or imaginary boyfriend if, at 7 A.M., that cover is on the People homepage. Or will they try to be cool and casual about it, pretending they've had their suspicions for years but didn't think it was polite to gossip? (A move that is, by my estimation, the virtual equivalent of your elbow slipping when you go to lean against the wall, so you end up slamming your shoulder or performing a spastic gymnastics routine to keep from falling, and then you look up and everyone is staring at you and all you can offer is an unconvincing "I meant to do that..." Happens to me all the time, but then I have the coordination of a drunken kindergartner.)
I also wonder if maybe, just maybe, this means that middle-aged, Bible-clutching heterosexual women from the heartland will stop trying to tell gay people who's gay and who isn't. Because, if I can address you directly, middle-aged, Bible-clutching heterosexual women from the heartland: I've been surrounded by you my entire life, and your gaydar fucking sucks. You know how I know that, beyond the William Lee Adams study thing? You still ask my mom if I have a boyfriend. Even those of you who know I came out to my parents years and years ago still ask if I have a boyfriend. You're hopeless.
Also hopeless? The hipper-than-thou commentators on every frickin' blog that has covered this latest Lindsay Lohan/Samantha Ronson business, who continue to dismiss their relationship as a PR stunt. Because, if I can address you directly, smug commentators: You think you're better than the "Claymates" who request virtual hugs to deal with the prospect of their heartthrob coming out of the closet. You feel confident that you're superior to them because you have gay friends (or you're a bitchy, jaded queer yourself), and you mistakenly believe that trivial crap like seeing Gregg Araki movies or listening to Antony and the Johnsons means you're in touch with gay culture. But when it comes down to it, you harbor many of the same misconceptions about sexuality and public image as the people you mock. And it's even more annoying when you make stupid comments about someone's homosexuality or bisexuality, because you should know better.
Are you really that immersed in tabloid culture that you think Lindsay Lohan's life revolves around you paying attention to her? Do you honestly believe she has spent months (or possibly years, as she was first linked to Samantha Ronson long before the mainstream media outed them) of her life concocting elaborate ploys with no discernible purpose other than to keep a bunch of fuckwits on IMDB talking about her personal life? Maybe I'm the crazy one here, but that strikes me as ridiculous. As ridiculous as insisting that Clay Aiken is straight, when anyone with working eyes or ears knew from the second he auditioned for American Idol that he wasn't.
An odd thing has come from all this mass devouring of glossy magazines and the constantly-updated gossip blogs they compete with: the narcissism of the public, convinced they're always in the thoughts of the celebrities they read about, has eclipsed the narcissism of celebrities, who presumably place some value on their privacy. Said the girl who is eager to see if the Internet melts like Robbie Grey when the People website is updated tomorrow, but never mind that.