Adam Lambert says accusing Harry Styles of queerbaiting insults ‘gay people’s intelligence’

On the left, Adam Lamber in dark eye make-up and a purple jacket. On the left, Harry Styles in a glittery, multi-coloured jumpsuit.

Queen frontman Adam Lambert has spoken out about the endless “queerbaiting” accusations being levied against Harry Styles.

“As It Was” singer Styles has attracted attention in recent years for repeatedly refusing to label his sexuality, while championing androgyny through his fashion choices and waving the Pride flag at his concerts. 

While many Styles detractors have suggested he is queerbaiting – a term originally reserved for fictional characters in popular media – others have made the point that no celebrity should be forced to come out.

Speaking to iNews, Lambert, who rose to fame in the eighth season of American Idol in 2009, has explained why he sees both sides of the conversation.

“I get the concern,” he said. “But OK, so if you’re a gay man and you like Harry Styles, do you like him because he has a rainbow flag on stage or because you like his songs? Is the rainbow flag not just icing on the cake?

“It’s almost underestimating the intelligence of gay people to claim queerbaiting. We’re not that gullible, are we?”

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“I think people just like to find things to bitch about,” he added.

Throwing accusations of queerbaiting at celebrities who don’t reveal their sexuality can have upsetting consequences: last year, Heartstopper actor Kit Connor was forced to reveal on Twitter that he is bisexual after so-called fans hounded him for not disclosing his sexuality immediately.

Regardless of what Lambert thinks about queerbaiting, his own sexuality has been a talking point since the early days of his career.

Adam Lambert kisses a member of his band at the American Music Awards in 2009.
A kiss landed Adam Lambert in hot water. (Getty/Kevork Djansezian)

Lambert performed at the American Music Awards in 2009 – the same year he came out as gay – where he kissed a male band member, which, he says, brought threats of a lawsuit from TV network ABC.

He has since explained that, while he had a rough ride, he’s glad artists such as queer rapper Lil Nas X and non-binary artist Sam Smith can now thrive.

Lambert also discussed the anti-trans discourse that is plaguing both the US and the UK, revealing that he thinks that conversation is more toxic in Britain.

“I’ve seen some bad stuff. I mean, even the JK Rowling stuff, it’s like, ‘Stop! Shut the f*** up’,” he said.

“People’s egos are so out of control that the minute you tell someone, ‘I disagree with you,’ or, ‘You’re wrong,’ they dig in. And it’s just like, you know, read the room.”

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