By Adam Markovitz
May 28, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT

American Idol is over and done for the year, but there’s still plenty of chatter about Adam Lambert’s envelope-pushing image — much of it from the man himself. I rooted for Lambert on the show and devoured Mark Harris’ spot-on cover story about him. But a recent comment that the singer made to People just isn’t sitting right with me: “It’s a really, really cool thing…to be able to show people that you can be yourself,” he said. “It feels really amazing to be able to try and pass that on to kids and young adults who don’t have a role model like that.”

But how exactly is he doing that? By hiding his own identity? Byletting an open secret define him? By fanning the flames with the kindof ambiguous double-speak that’s usually reserved for politicians incrisis-management mode?

If he is gay, Lambert’s reluctance to come out is just reinforcing the idea that homosexuality ought to be hidden from the world. And if he’s not, his coy comments are an insult to people everywhere who don’t think sexual orientation should be reduced to a publicity stunt. He has every right to his privacy. But once you turn your secrecy into a marketing tool and encourage fans to “keep speculating,” you lose the right to refer to yourself as a role model — at least in my book.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Is Lambert off base, or am I?

More on ‘American Idol’:
‘Idolatry’: Adam Lambert dishes song choices, naughty lyrics, and Bill O’Reilly!
Get info on all top 13 contestants at our season 8 cheat sheet
Photo gallery: Adam Lambert’s ‘American Idol’ Journey
Kris Allen: How can you not love the new American Idol?
‘American Idol’ recap: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Horse
Not buyin’ it, Bikini Girl’s American Idol HQ
‘Idol’: Gay-baiting banter? Again?!
‘Idol’: Season 8’s best and worst fashion

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