Adam Lambert Finds His Voice… for Marriage Equality
“Marriage equality…is a human-rights issue—it’s nonpartisan, and I think it should bring people together, which is what I’m all about.”
– Adam Lambert in Washingtonian interview
Tonight’s benefit concert in support of Maryland’s Civil Marriage Protection Act feels like another milestone in the personal journey of Adam Lambert. He has come a long way since American Idol, from the life of a West Hollywood club kid who was laser-focused on his music career and paying little attention to politics or the burden that was about to be thrust upon him, to be a role model or lightning rod whether he had asked for it or not. Tonight, we had the privilege of witnessing an Adam who was incandescent, burning bright with a new confidence to speak about matters of real consequence for people’s lives, all while cavorting with his band and the audience.
When I first met Adam, at the barricades after the American Idols concert in Providence, I gave him a gift – an Equality pendant from the Human Rights Campaign. I wondered if he would even recognize it. For me, it felt like planting a seed – it was my way of expressing the hope that some day he would be ready to own the civil rights issue of his generation.
In the several years since then, I found myself puzzled that a man as evidently intelligent as Adam seemed almost deliberately clueless about political and social issues. It was as though he felt he didn’t have permission to venture into this territory — territory that had clearly been staked out by his pugnacious brother (sorry Neil).
We’ve seen Adam take gradual steps towards speaking out on marriage equality, urged forward by awards and recognitions, but with tonight’s event he has fully seized the issue as his own. He flew his band across the country on short notice, impelled by the urgency of a fast-approaching Election Day, and tonight there were no award show hosts to frame the topic. He was there by himself, speaking from his heart in his own, authentic voice. And it was one of my favorite performances yet. Bravo. Maestro.