By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com August 15 2011 4:40 PM ET
At least part of what singer Adam Levine says appeals to fans of Maroon 5 is the illusion that he could be gay.
“There’s no way to hide my straightness,” he told Out magazine, “but if people didn’t think there was a small chance I was gay, then I wouldn’t be doing my job very well. Look at the best ones, guys whose sexuality was always questioned. Bowie. Jagger. Freddie Mercury. I wouldn’t be the front man of a band if that question hadn’t come up at some point.”
The country is also getting to know the pop star as a judge on The Voice, a singing contest that's looking for the next big star. Levine helped propel several gay candidates to the final round. But singers shouldn't need to hide being gay to get a recording contract, he argues pointedly while on the subject of American Idol.
“What’s always pissed me off about Idol is wanting to mask that, for that to go unspoken," Levine said in the interview. "C’mon. You can’t be publicly gay? At this point? On a singing competition? Give me a break. You can’t hide basic components of these people’s lives. The fact that The Voice didn’t have any qualms about being completely open about it is a great thing.”
In the interview, Levine is just as open about his own life. He talks about growing up in a liberal Los Angeles home, with parents who went to Berkeley, and how his younger brother, who is gay, helped shape his perspective.
“I can singlehandedly dispel any ideas that sexuality is acquired,” he said, laughing. “Trust me, you’re born with it. My brother is gay, and we knew when he was 2. We all knew.”
Don't miss the Out magazine photo shoot with Levine and read the complete interview, in which he also supports marriage equality.