Part 3: Our Hall of Fame
BY Advocate Contributors
March 21 2012 1:00 AM ET
Television has helped define American culture, and television was dominated by singing contest American Idol in 2009 when Adam Lambert broke the preconceived notion of who this country could embrace.
Lambert, the glam-rocker who finished the show's eight season as first runner-up, was the subject of an Entertainment Weekly cover story questioning whether he was gay even before the show ended. When it finally did, Lambert began learning what it is to identify as a gay man in mainstream pop music.
In his first post-Idol TV performance at the American Music Awards, Lambert stole headlines by kissing his male keyboard player. He's become an advocate for The Trevor Project and Equality California. But his example as a reliable voice for being yourself is perhaps most important.
"I think visibility is a great tool," he told The Advocate in a 2011 cover story. "If I’d had people in the public eye who were really up-front about it, it probably would have helped me."