Adam Lambert: ‘The queer movement over the past ten years has been awesome’

Last night, multi-platinum selling pop superstar Adam Lambert, joined LGBT youth centre Mosaic at an event for members to discuss homophobia, his own experience of coming out and his personal journey. The short talk and Q&A took place at the Mosaic Centre’s London base, who are a group that aims to support, educate and inspire LGBT youth. Mosaic provides weekly youth sessions; a place to make friends and learn more about LGBT identity and community as well as engaging in annual summer camps, cultural events and performing arts programs.

When asked how to broach ‘coming out’:

‘I think the best way is to begin communicating, to talk about how it makes you feel. When you own how you are feeling to another person, it always seems to work better and connect deeper in that moment.’

When asked about the backlash he received early on in his career:

‘There have been moments early on, where I felt I needed to prove something, and make a point that wasn’t necessarily a popular. By principle, I believed in it – but then you have to balance it out, it’s a business and I have to be palatable and commercial. I guess I had a struggle in finding the balance – but I don’t have any regrets.’

When asked about coming out publicly:

‘After American Idol for a year it was all anyone wanted to talk about in the media. Part of me was like this is cool, this is important and I’m comfortable with my sexuality. But it also became weird because I was like I also sing, and I have a record that I’d love you to hear. It was tricky to balance it.’

When asked about where we are in 2018:

‘Now we’re at a point where other artists are out, and the landscape has changed. Watching the queer movement over the past ten years has been awesome – we’ve come so far, you can see the conversation starting and things are really changing. Making it more than just gay or straight. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m very proud of that.’

‘The development of social media and streaming is also why we’re seeing so many more successful queer artists now, because not all decisions are being made by the suits.’

‘There’s still a lot to be done, but I think it’s up to us to talk about it, get it out in the open, accept everybody no matter where you fall on the spectrum and keep pushing forward.’

When told he was a huge influence on the person:

‘I think it’s beautiful that people see me as an influence. When I first started getting that comment from people, I didn’t really know what to do with it. But then I realised it’s bigger than me, because I was able to mean something to someone that maybe I didn’t have myself. I love that I can bring someone confidence, or encouragement.’

When asked about making unpopular decisions:

‘As an artist you have one side of you that is like this is me, this is my vision, this is my art. The minute you get into commercial pop music you’re already compromising, because what you’re trying to do is make something the majority of people will like. For example, my first album. I loved the album cover (made up, beautiful, glam picture), but my label were worried about how it was going to connect, because it had to go on sale in places like Walmart. Like how can you put that on the shelf and expect a regular mum and dad or kids, who watched you on American Idol to connect with that and pick it up and feel comfortable. I understood that, but I loved the artwork, so I kept it as it was. It was a hard journey with that cover but I’m glad I made that decision.’

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