The more people try to push [article id="1611898"]Adam Lambert to spill the beans[/article] on his personal life, the more the "American Idol" runner-up seems to relish keeping them guessing. As he did during his entire lauded run on the show, since [article id="1611893"]finishing second to winner Kris Allen[/article], Lambert, 27, has gamely dodged reporters' questions about whether or not he is gay.
"Calm down," he told People magazine about those who continue to prod him about his sexuality. "Keep speculating."
While pictures have surfaced online of the eyeliner- and nail-polish-loving Lambert in flamboyant dress canoodling and kissing other young men, and he has repeatedly said "I know who I am," Lambert told the magazine that the most important thing is to be comfortable in your own skin.
"It's a really, really cool thing to be able to show people that you can be yourself, and you should be proud of yourself, and you should own who you are and what you're about, and never make apologies for it," Lambert said. The musical-theater veteran, who made a name for himself on "Idol" with exciting new arrangements of songs and his rebel-yell rock vocals, said he hopes he can serve as an example to kids struggling with their identities.
"It feels really amazing to be able to try and pass that on to kids and young adults who don't have a role model like that," he said. "It feels great because I never had a role model like that."
And considering how much he stood out among the other 12 finalists in the competition with his combination of gothy/glammy outfits and dramatic performances, Lambert said being different is nothing to be ashamed of.
"Conforming is not cool," he told People. "Embracing who you are and what makes you different is actually what's really cool. ... The kids that are different and out there and expressive and are bold with those choices, those are the people that grow up to be people we all want to hang out with, that become celebrities or become really successful in what they do because they believe in who they are."
That same message is what one of Lambert's former mentors, Kathie Urban, of San Diego's Metropolitan Educational Theatre, said the singer brought to her young students when he visited them earlier this month on his [article id="1611415"]"Idol" home-visit tour[/article]. "He told me one thing he realized as this has gone on and exploded is that he has a great responsibility as a role model to young people," Urban told MTV News. "He told them to not be afraid to be who you are and be one of those creative, artistic kids."
And yet, the focus on whether or not Lambert is gay persists, with People reporting that when asked if he'll address his sexuality directly sometime soon, say, in an upcoming issue of Rolling Stone, the singer responded coyly, "Maybe."
Are you an "American Idol" expert? Take our ultimate "Idol" quiz to find out! Plus, get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' [article id="1486475"]"American Idol" page[/article], where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.