By Jason Tanamor

Just recently, what everyone in America thought to be true, actually "came out," literally, to be true. That's right, Clay Aiken announced that he was gay. He did this on the cover of "People" magazine, a magazine that's infamous for outing people. Another victim of being outed on "People" magazine was N'Sync's dancer/back-up singer, Lance Bass. A soundbite from Bass, on the set of "Dancing with the stars," said, and I am paraphrasing here, "Clay is in for a long ride. It's a good ride though."

OK, my question is, why is it such a big deal for someone to come out of the closet?

It seems that when Rosie did, to which it really wasn't a surprise that she did, she became nuts. I mean, crazy nuts. Her hairstyle went from normal to crazy side-hawk lesbian style. And she appeared to become mean to anyone who wasn't gay, such as Kelly Ripa for supposedly being a homophobe.

When Ellen came out, she did so on her hit sitcom. And once she did, her sitcom ended. Is it that much of a stigma for celebrities to come out of the closet when most of America already believe they were gay anyway? I'm sorry, I love Ellen. I think she is one of the most talented comedians working today and you'll never catch her drunk or doped up or in a compromising position with her long time lover Portia de Rossi.

Her talk show isn't about sexuality, just like Clay Aiken's music isn't about being gay. Although I had an idea, a huge idea, (I mean, Richard Simmons has a better cover up) that Clay Aiken was gay, his sexual preference never made me think differently about him. I was never a big fan of his music, but it's not like I'm going to dislike him or his music any more.

So, for Bass to say that Aiken is in for a long ride, that's a shame. Because Aiken shouldn't be treated any differently for coming out, and the reason he did, according to the story in "People" was because he "cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things." Aiken went onto say he wasn't raised that way, and he was not going to raise a child to do that.

However, maybe Bass hit it on the head. Fans have been reacting in disbelief and shock about this news, according to an AP story. "Meanwhile, the Aiken fan site ClayManiacs was open for viewing. Response in a thread on the site's "ShoutBox" was generally supportive, though at least one fan was shaken by Aiken's public confession.

"This is really shocking news as I had no idea he was gay," read a comment posted by "Sheridansq." "And now I have to deal with this. I am not sure what to say to people who know I was a fan. … I didn't go to work today and am not answering the telephone.""

If the fan who posted this couldn't read between the lines with Aiken, how would he react if say, Brett Favre or Shaquille O'Neal came out to say they were gay? Would he put his hands over his ears, close his eyes and go, "LA LA LA LA LA LA, I'M NOT LISTENING, LA LA LA LA LA?"

In my opinion, I think people should take things for what they are. Why care so much about a celebrity's sexuality, when you, the consumer, are buying into this person as an entertainer? I mean, if Shaq ever came out and said he liked men, it would explain a lot about why basketball players are always slapping each other on the ass.

So, in response to Bass's comment, in which Clay is in for a long ride, I would say, "When does the ride stop? I think I'm getting sick."


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online magazine. Visit it at: //