Adam Lambert Struggled With Coming Out: 'I Didn't Want The Clay Aiken Thing'

'American Idol' runner-up tells Rolling Stone that castmates knew he was gay.

Everyone on "American Idol" knew Adam Lambert was gay.

The "Idol" runner-up tells Rolling Stone in the magazine's upcoming cover story that despite his openness behind the scenes, he struggled with coming out to the show's audience.

"Right after the finale, I almost started talking about it to the reporters, but I thought, 'I'm going to wait for Rolling Stone, that will be cooler,' " he told the magazine. "I didn't want the Clay Aiken thing and celebrity-magazine bullsh--. I need to be able to explain myself in context ... I find it very important to be in control of this situation. I feel like everyone has an opinion of me, and I want a chance to say, 'Well, do you want to hear how I really feel about this?' "

(A rep for Aiken, who had slammed Lambert on his blog before removing the post and apologizing, told MTV News the singer was not available for comment.)

In addition to talking about how he initially had a bit of a crush on "Idol" winner and show roommate Kris Allen, and his years of struggle on the Hollywood scene, Lambert reveals that while he was open about his sexuality with the "Idol" cast and crew, he also unintentionally spilled the beans to America before he was ready for the big reveal.

According to the story, in March, pictures of Lambert dressed in drag and kissing an ex-boyfriend hit the Internet, a slip Lambert blames himself for. Before appearing on the show, he took down his MySpace and Facebook pages, but forgot to remove the photo from his profile on the Burning Man social-networking site; Lambert said he'd experimented with "certain funguses" while attending the hedonistic annual festival. "I thought, 'F---, I'm screwed, possibly,' " Lambert told the magazine about his fears concerning the potential reaction from his new fans.

"Going into 'Idol,' I assumed, 'OK, people are going to talk.' I mean, I've been living in Los Angeles for eight years as a gay man, I've been at clubs, drunk, making out with somebody in the corner. But photographic evidence? ... Didn't count on that. Wasn't ready for that."

The drag shots in particular worried him, because, he said, he's only ever dressed in women's clothing three or four times and while he professes that he looked "amazing," he didn't want that to be the lasting image of him. "I don't tuck and wear breasts," he says. "That's not me. Sucking my boy's face? Yes, that I will own."

He said the decision was made to just stay quiet about the controversy, which was easy since the top 13 are in a press blackout until they're ejected. "The head of 'Idol' public relations asked me what I wanted to do about it," he said. "They were completely supportive of any decision I made." He says he considered coming out in the press at that point, but worried that audiences would focus on his sexuality more than his singing.

"I was worried that [coming out] would be so sensationalized that it would overshadow what I was there to do, which was sing," he says. "I'm an entertainer, and who I am and what I do in my personal life is a separate thing. It shouldn't matter."

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