"It was the first decision I made as a father," Clay AikenClay Aiken told People magazine of his decision to stop dodging questions about his sexuality. The article's headline said it all: "Yes, I'm Gay." "I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things," the singer said. "I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going to raise a child to do that."
Appearing on the cover of this week's magazine cradling the newborn baby, Parker, who was conceived through in vitro fertilization with the singer's best friend, record producer Jaymes Foster, Aiken told the magazine that his son will be raised in an environment that he described as "accepting and allowing him to be happy."
(Go to the MTV Newsroom blog to see Clay Aiken dodge the question about his sexuality back in 2006.)
Aiken, 29, said he has "no idea" if his son will be gay or straight, but he knows it's not something he can predict or affect. "It's not something I'll have anything to do with, or that he'll have anything to do with," Aiken told the magazine. "It's already probably up inside the code there. ... No matter what the situation you're in, if you're raised in a loving environment, that's the most important thing."
Nearly stealing Aiken's thunder after more than a year of similarly open speculation, Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan also came out this week and admitted what most of the world already knew — that she is in a relationship with DJ Samantha RonsonDJ Samantha Ronson.
The news on Aiken, which came after his return to Broadway last week in the role of Sir Robin in "Monty Python's Spamalot," might surprise some of his hard-core fans, the so-called "Claymates," but he said he was prepared for that. "Whether it be having a child out of wedlock, or whether it be simply being a homosexual, it's going to be a lot," he said, adding that fans would have to deal with the news in their own way. He realizes that some may be shocked, but he hopes they stick around and "know that I've never intended to lie to anybody at all. ... But if they leave, I don't want them to leave hating me."
The People story's headline is reminiscent of the 1997 Time magazine cover story in which Ellen DeGeneresEllen DeGeneres ended years of speculation with the phrase "Yep, I'm Gay." The born-again Christian singer says he told his mother, Faye, that he was gay four years ago after dropping off his younger brother Brett, who was being deployed to Iraq, at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. "I started crying in the car," Aiken said. "It was dark. I was sitting there, thinking to myself. I don't know why I started thinking about it. ... I just started bawling. She made me pull over the car and it just came out." Aiken said his mother started crying and was "obviously somewhat stunned. But she was very supportive and very comforting." She continues to struggle with it, but he said she's "come a long way."
Aiken had dodged questions about his sexuality almost from the moment he emerged on the international stage in 2003 as the runner-up on "Idol." He has often said his personal life was nobody else's business, and in 2005, when ABC's Diane Sawyer asked him about it, he called the question "really rude." OK! magazine asked openly gay former 'NSYNC member and current "Dancing With the Stars" hoofer Lance BassLance Bass — who came out in 2006 — what he thought of Aiken's news, and he told the magazine, "It's great! I'm so happy he's finally going to be happy with himself and share that with the world."
The news also elicited support from the Family Equality Council, a national nonprofit that fights for equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families. "Much like Rosie O'Donnell, the announcement that Clay Aiken is gay reinforces a simple reality: The American public can no longer say it does not know a gay or lesbian parent," executive director Jennifer Chrisler wrote in a statement. "Clay Aiken's desire to raise a child in an open and honest manner will make his life, and his son's, all the better. We hope he and his son find all the happiness they deserve, and the Family Equality Council will work toward the day that Clay and Parker Foster Aiken can enjoy the same rights as other American families."
The news comes just a day after blogs exploded with the news that the not-so-secret friendship between Lohan, 22, and Ronson, 31 — who have been seen together constantly over the past year — is in fact a romantic one. Lohan and Ronson appeared on the "Loveline" radio show on Monday night, and at the end of their segment, Lohan casually confirmed that she's been involved with Ronson for a while.
DJ Ted Stryker asked Lohan, "You guys — you and Samantha — have been going out for how long now?" She laughed and replied, "A long ... for a very long time." Lohan's publicist, however, told The Associated Press on Monday that despite other rumors, Lohan and Ronson are not engaged to be married.