Sunday, September 28, 2008

How Could He NOT Be Gay?

Back to the breaking news from the "Water is Wet and the Sun is Hot" file, Clay Aiken has announced that he is, in fact, gay. Yes, shocking. Which is to say, not shocking in the least. Not even close. Didn't even blink when I heard it (and neither did you!). But now that his fans (known as, don't gag, The Claymates) have known for a few days and now that non-Claymates (aka normal people) have known for a few days, more details about this non-news event have surfaced. And I'm here to play them up just as much as the rest of 'em.

First things first, People Magazine. They're the guys who got the scoop and had the photo of Daddy Clay and his child, Parker Foster Not-Gay-Yet Aiken, on the cover which read "Yes, I'm Gay". They apparently forgot to include the rest of that title which should have read "Yes, We Know". Naturally, no one would go on the cover of People Magazine these days without a fistful of cash being thrust at them and Clay was no exception. Though compared to some of the previous payouts for cover stories, I don't know if I'd call it a fistful that he got. It's more like a tip if you compare it to the Spawn of Brangelina photos which raked in millions. Clay received $500,000 for all of his gayness. And I, personally, am not thinking that $500,000 is chump change at all. Quite the contrary. If someone wants to give me half a million bucks for me to tell people something they already know (a la "The sun is hot", "Water is wet"), I'm not going to turn down that gig.

Then we have the awesome reaction of the most awesome of all of the American Idol judges, Simon Cowell. (Because you know that when anything happens to anyone that was ever on Idol, even if it was for 5 minutes, the media goes scurrying off to find Paula, Randy or Simon and see what they think about it. I guess it's because they're the "judges". Even though they don't "judge" much on the show, they're apparently qualified to "judge" the ex-contestants in real life, if you're asking the media as they scurry by you.) Simon's reaction was merely the verbal equivalent of what everyone else was thinking when he said, "Wow. That's a shock. It's like being told Santa Claus isn't real. Unbelievable." That is why I love that man. He tells it like it is. (If only more people would listen to him before they make asses out of themselves and try out for Idol anyway.) He went on with, "Good for him. If he said it, it's the right thing for him. Good for him. I don't think anyone cares. Let's face it: It's 2008. You know. Who cares?" Exactly. Who cares?

I'll tell you who cares.The Claymates care. Wait. The who? The what? The Claymates? The Claymates are fans of Clay Aiken (no word on whether or not they're going to be called The Gaymates from now on, but I do kind of doubt it.) I use the term "fan" loosely, as it would appear that a lot of them are just about a restraining order or two away from being permanently labeled "stalker".Over at something called there is a huge discussion amongst several individuals who, I would assume, think of themselves as Claymates (or stalkers). Why they want to think of themselves as Claymates is beyond me.

Seriously, reading this forum gave me a glimpse into the souls of people who a) really like Clay Aiken, b) have made several thousand posts in online forums, c) have made several thousand posts in THE online forums about Clay Aiken, d) take celebrity idol worship to a different level. Some of those people would seem more normal to me if they simply stalked Clay by camping out behind a potted palm in the foyer area of his home and talked into their shoe on occasion. It was disturbing and not, repeat, NOT normal. (Of course examples will follow! You don't think I'd just tease like that, do you?)

For starters, before the "news" was officially official, there was actually speculation in that particular forum as to whether or not the picture on the front of People Magazine was a Photoshop or not. That's right. They were so wanting the "rumor" to be not true that they unofficially came to a consensus on the "Photoshop conspiracy theory" (the PCT) to try to calm themselves down before they "knew for sure". The PCT starts with a post by a one playbiller (who has posted 1,411 times) who writes the following:

  • "Disclaimer - not a homophobe or fearful, but it seems like this as a nasty prank against the fandom...Reeks of photoshop to me. We can probably even find the picture of Clay's head from a recent fan photo if we look hard enough....Believe if you want, I just know that nothing is true unless it is printed in the fan club. I am really shocked that this source would be considered reliable on anything when almost everything he prints has been printed some where else before, unless he makes it up. I just figure he spent a little money on a good photoshopper. No, I am not delusional, this just does not add to me."

Wow. It doesn't add up to this person that Clay Aiken has said he was gay, but it does add up to this person that there would be a big ol' Photoshop job of Clay on the cover of People? I'm confused as to what part of the cover you would have to Photoshop for a cover that says "Yes, I'm gay" and has him sitting there. It's not like they had a picture of Clay going all Brokeback or anything. Now THAT would be a Photoshop! (And one hell of a good seller as well, I would imagine.) But, I don't consider adding text to a picture "Photoshopping" it, as I'm pretty sure that most people can guess that the text wasn't actually hovering there in front of him when the picture was taken. And he wants to look for the photo of Clay's head that was used? Shouldn't he be looking to see if it's Times New Roman or Courier?

But it was just playbiller who was in disbelief. While others didn't come out and suggest a PCT, they did express their disbelief that Clay Aiken, that wispy little man with the high pitched voice, was as gay as the day is long. Granted, their disbelief wasn't as great as mine was upon learning that some people were in disbelief that he was gay, but nevertheless, some did have a hard time with it. A sampling of a few of the comments from The Crushed and the Clueless:
  • From aikenobsessed01: hate me all you want, but this really sucks. I truely had faith in clay that he was NOT gay (222 posts)

  • From InuGirl009: I'll admit, I was hoping for at least bi, but I'm really happy he came out with the truth anyway. Good for him! (127 posts)
  • From Clays A NaturlaAphrodisiac: Can't say I'm entirely surprised. I thought the whole baby thing was so Will & Grace (you'll get this is you're a fan, like me). I'm happy for and proud of Clay, though. (12,780 posts)
Well, that's quite the variety of responses. The first person was relying on "faith" that Clay was NOT gay. Not sure why that's so important to that person because, in situations like this, "faith" is just a fancy-but-not-so-fancy word for "hope". Honey, you "hoped" he wasn't gay; you didn't have "faith" he wasn't gay. Then the second person was really hoping for at least a 50% shot at....absolutely nothing with Clay Aiken because he doesn't even know that she exists. That's a little pathetic (though her tone was sort of light, so now I'm going to have faith, ie hope, that she was kidding). "It's OK if you like others guys, but only as long as once in a while you like women. THEN it's fine. Well, it's OK." And finally, the person who wasn't "entirely" surprised, thus implying a wee bit o' surprise that Clay Aiken was gay. Then again, that person has made over twelve thousand posts in a forum devoted to Clay Aiken. After twelve thousand of anything, I'd like to think you have a better grip on it than to have any surprise at all when all of the gayness comes out in the press. But apparently not, so perhaps consider therapy. Maybe find a sort of gay mentor program where you can work on honing your gaydar with a seasoned veteran of the Gay Forces. (Their motto: Don't ask, don't have to!)

But isn't the only Clay Aiken forum. Oh, no, there are more. Lots more. Too many to want to think about. The responses from the Clay lovin' folk over there at The Clayboard, were a bit more broken up about it than the folk. Here's a sample of a select few posts from the ninety five pages of posts about this topic.

  • From strollynn63: This is a gut wrenching day for The ClayNation. Somebody wake me up, I hope its a dream. (12400 posts. Wow. And ClayNation? Not bad. But you're not dreaming. He's really gay. And you're really in need of some therapy.)
  • From HeidiSeek: I am having a really hard time with this!!! I am trying to be patient and wait to see what Clay says in the interview. (1062 posts. I wonder what she was hoping for? For Clay to say, "I'm gay, but I'm going to continue to date women."? Perhaps HeidiSeek could carpool to therapy with strollynn63 up there.)
  • From Holmes24: please tell me I'm not the only one who is shocked beyond belief! I feel numb I'm so upset. This can't be real!! How can you guys say this won't change anything? This changes EVERYTHING. I don't even know what to think right now. (424 posts. Well, how about if you start by thinking, "Oh, he's gay. He's the exact same person he was the 2 seconds before I knew he was gay." Why don't you start there and then I'm sure that other, more reasonable thoughts that you can think will just start flowing into your brain one after the other.)
  • From RedBay: I am very very sad. (21342 posts. Again, wow, over twenty thousand posts. Twenty thousand. And this person is sad about the "news". Wow. RedBay, perhaps pay a bit more attention to your subject matter. I've only made a handful of posts about Gay Clay and I paid attention enough to know he was Clay gay. You've posted 21,342 times about him. You really should have known.
  • From canear: I feel like I've been kicked in the stomach yet again. This isn't the way I expected to see Parker presented to the world. Some sort of forewarning to the fans would have been nice IMO. Can't think much past that right now. (8550 posts. Now, seriously, what sort of "forewarning" does this person have in mind? A little note slipped under their door in the middle of the night? The words "I'm Gay" engraved on a scented candle delivered via singing telegram via Gay Clay look alike? You don't know him personally, folks. He has NO idea who you are.)
  • From clalvis: OMG, I'm speechless about this announcement. I speculated during American Idol 2, but I defended him to my family and friends, even my husband, because Clay blogged and talked about things that REALLY HAPPENED. I just wished it was already 2009 and all the nayslayers would have gotten it out of their systems saying "I told you so". It's never been easy being a fan, but I'm still here Clay. (35 posts. There's still hope. Then again, she seems to think that Clay reads these posts as she makes the "I'm still here Clay" announcement, as if he'll be calling her to go shopping for window treatments with him.
  • From Missy222: I came home from happily shopping tonight to this hear the news of him being gay. I am so shocked I can't tell you how shocked I am even though he was accused for years, I stood up for him every time cause of the way he represented himself and talked about himself for years. He mislead. I am sad and shocked beyond belief. This will be a fundraising nightmare. The "kids and gays" idea doesn't mix well with society,, no matter what stance you take on the gay issue. . Wow, now how long will it take for all my friends to say "I told you so," after I defended him for years. (Who is she raising funds for? I'm pretty sure Clay has plenty of money. And the "he was accused for years" statement makes it sound as if he was just vindicated and freed from prison after serving decades as a wrongly convicted pedophile. I think the word that you were looking for was "speculation". But seriously lady, are you really THAT concerned that your friends will say "I told you so"? Who the hell cares? They're you're friends! They're supposed to give you S when something like this happens! It's their job! Why is that such an issue for you? That's just sad.)

Honestly, have these people never met an actual real, live gay peson? Holy canoli. But there was one post that stood above the rest. One post that made me concerned for certain sectors of society that these sort of individuals inhabit on a day to day basis. It makes me concerned for those around them and the day that they all get tired of tiptoeing around this person. It makes me wonder how this person was raised as a child to have this attitude about, let's just have a little perspective here, the NON news that Clay Aiken is GAY! For cryin' out loud.

  • The winner: This is really shocking news as I had no idea he was gay 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."

Um, WTF? Honey, the only person who has to "deal with" Clay being gay is Clay. It's none of your business. It's not your life. You have nothing to deal with. Oh, wait, you have your own life that you should get back to immediately if you're posting thoughts like that one. Holy crap. Maybe you should hang out with Missy222 whose friends might say "I told you so". (By the way, Missy222, I told you so!) And you didn't go to work? For reals? I've heard of sick days and personal leave days, but your employer gives you "I just found out Clay Aiken is gay" days? Holy crap, that's progressive. And asinine. I'd suggest taking a mental health day, but only in the sense that you should check yourself into a psychiatric facility and have your melon examined. Actually, you should probably be flown to Vienna, the birthplace of psychiatry, where a whole team of shrinks can try and gain insight into how someone like you functions on a day to day basis without crumbling. Wow. Get back to work. Quickly, before you hear that Ellen married Portia.

I am not kidding you, what is wrong with people? They didn't know that Clay was gay, they are worried their friends might mock them (hey, if my friends didn't mock me for things ::cough:: Guitar Hero :::cough:::: I'd think I'd offended them in some way), they can't go to work, they won't answer their phone because...well, actually, I don't know why they would do any of this. And I'm going to have to delve further into it at some point, but I can't right now. Right now I need to go and do some research on a rumor I heard Ruben Studdard is black. Black, I tell you! And I for one am shocked, just shocked!

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