Friday Forum: Is America Ready for a Gay American Idol?

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It’s that time of the week, when Queerty takes a break from the opinion-making and puts you, the readers, in charge. Each Friday, we invite you to be the pundit on a hot-button question facing the LGBT community and its allies. As always, we expect people to be respectful and considerate of others by refraining from personal attacks. We present the information, you make the decision.

It’s hardly the first time a gay boy has strutted the stage of Fox’s American Idol, but when Adam Lambert crooned the line “I told them about equality/ and it’s true you’re either wrong or right” from Michael Jackson’s “Black or White,” it was the first time America’s biggest popularity contest had a gay boy on stage who looks like he could win. But does America see it that way?

By all accounts, Lambert is this season’s front runner. And even if Idol continues its longstanding practice of keeping its gay contestants in the closet — while going gaga about all the girls some of the male contestants make squeal — it takes two seconds with Google to find photos of him making out with another bloke and diva-tastic renditions of him singing “Crazy” in hotpants.

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But is America ready for Lambert’s metrosexual vamping? Previous semi-open contestants have not fared as well on the show as those that kept their sexuality in the closet. Clay Aiken and R.J. Helton both waited until after the show ended to come out — and both made it to the final five. By contrast, last season Danny Noriega and David Hernandez were both more open (though in Hernandez’s case, it was a revelation that he worked as a go-go dancer that did it), and neither made it past the first couple of rounds.

But Lambert is a unique case. Besides undeniable talent, his style is ripped straight from the gender-bending antics of groups like Fall Out Boy and Cobra Starship, two groups that have mass appeal, despite (or because of) their deliberate, studied swish.

We put it to you: Is Lambert the one to blow the closet doors off of Idol completely– and will Fox, who depends on the show as a mainstream cash cow, let him?