What are the responsibilities of an openly gay celebrity to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning community? There are no easy answers, but “American Idol” runner-up and newly minted gay proto-icon Adam Lambert has to grapple with them by virtue of his visibility, and opinions vary widely about how to be out and proud as a public figure.

Lambert has hit some publicity snags since coming out after the “AI” finale — although, by then, only the most naive or Internet-illiterate fans were still in the dark. Both of the most contentious recent incidents concerned his sexuality — but not as you might think. Rather, Lambert and his handlers have sparked criticism by purportedly attempting to make him seem a little less gay — or at least that’s the story according to Out magazine Editor-in-Chief Aaron Hicklin in his open letter to Lambert, who appears with four other honorees on this month’s cover as one of the mag’s “Out 100.” –KA

Aaron Hicklin in Out.com:

We’re curious whether you know that we made cover offers for you before American Idol was even halfway through its run. Apparently, Out was too gay, even for you. There was the issue of what it would do to your record sales, we were told. Imagine! A gay musician on the cover of a gay magazine. What might the parents think! It’s only because this cover is a group shot that includes a straight woman that your team would allow you to be photographed at all — albeit with the caveat that we must avoid making you look “too gay.” (Is that a medical term? Just curious). Luckily, you seemed unaware that a similar caution was issued to our interviewer.

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