Speaking at Sunday’s GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco, singer Adam Lambert embraced being a gay role model, saying that he aims to proudly represent the LGBT community.
The 31-year-old chart-topping star was among a host of recipients honoured at the 24th annual awards, hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
Melanie Brown, a judge on America’s Got Talent and former Spice Girl, presented GLAAD’s Davidson/Valentini Award to Lambert, who came out as gay soon after making a splash in American Idol in 2009.
Speaking of the challenges associated with being an out entertainer, Lambert said: “We are right in the middle of two generations with two different perspectives but one common thread – love. With all the differences of opinion both within the LGBT community and elsewhere, the best we can do is to keep it real and to spread a message of acceptance.
“If we can inspire even one person to open their mind, or another to be who they want to be, whether they’re gay or straight, old or young, man or woman, black or white ﾖ then it’s worth being objectified by the sometimes frustrating world of media sensationalism.”
Lambert continued: “Thank you to GLAAD for recognising my efforts, because I put a lot of effort into this. I think about it a lot (it makes me crazy), but my goal is to try to represent both myself and my community proudly.”
The Davidson/Valentini award is presented to an LGBT individual who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community.
The decision to honour Lambert with the award was not without some controversy. In April, Norm Kent, the publisher of the South Florida Gay News, slammed GLAAD for honouring the performer and said that the organisation was using Lambert’s “publicity and fame to line their own pockets, instead of choosing someone worthy of that award.”
He added: “Adam Lambert may be a Grammy nominee, a Billboard 200 artist, and he may sleep with other men, but he has not made a career promoting gay rights. He has made a career promoting himself, his music, and his albums.”
Lambert also received the Outstanding Music Artist award for his album Trespassing, along with Frank Ocean, for his album Channel Orange.
Sunday’s event also saw California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom being honoured for his support of the LGBT community while The San Francisco Giants baseball team received the Corporate Leader Award for its HIV/AIDS fundraising work and for recording a video for the It Gets Better anti-gay bullying project.