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Posted at 10:11 AM ET, 09/26/2008

Comment Box: Clay's Gay. But Is He Dating?

By Liz Kelly
Comment Box

While I considered taking the rest of the day off from my Celebritological pursuits to fix the economy or, like, get a pedicure I ultimately decided that my place is here, behind the keyboard. And so I present a special Friday edition of the Comment Box.


(AP/People)

So -- does Clay Aiken have a boyfriend? A date? Any one other than his "best friend" with whom he's having children? -- Amelia

Although Aiken chose to publicly address his sexuality in this week's People magazine, he stopped short of getting into details about his love life and relationships, saying only that he didn't want to raise his son while living a lie. And that's about par for the course for Aiken, who has made a habit of dodging questions about his romantic life:

He [once] told New York magazine that he'd never had a relationship, prompting ABC News to run a story called: "Could Clay Aiken Be Asexual?" (Newsweek.com)

But, as evinced by scads of commenters, both in Celebritology and around the Web, Aiken's admission wasn't much of a revelation anyway. Reader Jake E. Poo summed it up nicely:

"Clay Aiken is gay. I am shocked, just shocked... that it took him so long to come out."

Which may explain why People didn't have much competition for this "scoop." According to some reports, Aiken received only $500,000 for the exclusive story, pix of him with son Parker and access to Parker's mom, Aiken's 50-year-old best friend Jaymes Foster. Hardly a celeb-sized payday. (Note to People Eds: I'd be more than willing to talk about my sexuality for the bargain basement price of $400,000.)

Still, there were some Clay-mates caught off-guard by the news. DListed has several verklempt pulls from a fan board where women mourned the news about their heartthrob. And over at HuffingtonPost.com, contributor Michelle Renee muses about one fan's despair:

"This is really shocking news as I had no idea he was gay and now I have to deal with this. I am not sure what to say to people who know I was a fan. I didn't go to work today and am not answering the telephone."

And, no, the commenter wasn't John McCain.

---

Comment of the Week
We need a new word for cougars who are also AARP-eligible (see as Exhibit A - Cloris Leachman). I propose: Saber-toothed Tigers. -- M Street comments on Thursday's Morning Mix

---

Creative Captioning Winners


It seems like only yesterday that I asked you to make with some witticisms about cheeky MTV reality star Dominico. Here's the best of the best:

Well, there's always "Does this make my [butt] look big?" -- byoolin

Domenico displays the latest addition to the Olive Garden's Never Ending menu. Remember, when you're here, you're family. -- Sasquatch

"You mean this isn't the auditions for the Pussy-Cat Dolls?" -- Dorkus

Mike Reno wants his headband back. -- td

Yo fatty, put the parm(esan) down. -- td

By Liz Kelly  | September 26, 2008; 10:11 AM ET
Categories:  Comment Box  
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Next: Remembering Paul Newman

Comments

I'm not sure which is sadder, that there are people so shocked by Aiken's revelation or that there are people that are rethinking if they like him because of it.

Posted by: 23112 | September 26, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

In other news, water is wet.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"(Note to People Eds: I'd be more than willing to talk about my sexuality for the bargain basement price of $400,000.)" - Liz Kelly

****

This is the beginning of a bidding war can only end one way: with someone paying $1.99 a minute to play with himself while someone else talks dirty to him on the phone.

Posted by: byoolin accepts all major credit cards. | September 26, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I also don't get what the big deal is about his sexuality. It doesn't impair the quality of his work. I still like listening to 'Thriller' even though I know about Michael Jackson's predilections.

Is it just me or is Clay channeling Annette Benning in the cover of People?

There seems to be a Y-chromosome theme going on with the Creative Captioning winners. Congrats to the other guys here, ladies it may be time to start picking up the slack.

Posted by: Dorkus | September 26, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

My god, I thought that was a picture of Emma Thompson.

Posted by: possum | September 26, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"While I considered taking the rest of the day off from my Celebritological pursuits to fix the economy or, like, get a pedicure I ultimately decided that my place is here..."

Once again Queen Liz proves her worth by sacrificing any long term goals to give us all our very short term fix of "smack"

We applaud you, Queen Liz and await "Celebritology, the Special Weekend Edition."

Posted by: Elias Howe | September 26, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Liz,
I'm in for twenty. We just need 19,999 more people to toss a Jackson in the hat.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

>>

Now you're just being silly!

Posted by: Liz Kelly | September 26, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

BTW, what's the deal on the art contest? Are we voting or something? Is there a motion on the floor to award a second place prize? As I will humbly admit the Pizza is the entry to beat!

Posted by: Elias Howe | September 26, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I asked Mrs. Howe if she had heard Clay had come out. Mrs. Howe replied, "I don't really know who he is!"

(Mrs. Howe obviously does not frequent TMZ.)

Posted by: Elias Howe | September 26, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Well, there's always "Does this make my [butt] look big?" -- byoolin

Domenico displays the latest addition to the Olive Garden's Never Ending menu. Remember, when you're here, you're family. -- Sasquatch

"You mean this isn't the auditions for the Pussy-Cat Dolls?" -- Dorkus

Mike Reno wants his headband back. -- td

Yo fatty, put the parm(esan) down. -- td

Posted by: None of these are funny. | September 26, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I thought he looked like Jane Hathaway from the Beverly Hillbillies.

Posted by: hodie | September 26, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

So People paid 'only' $500,000 for a story that clearly came from the land of DUH, what would they pay for a real stunner?

Posted by: jes | September 26, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I can't see why anyone would want to date Clay. He's always irritated me for reasons I can't explain.

Posted by: petal | September 26, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

None of these are funny,

I have to agree with you that those lines about Dominico are not that funny. There were several that were much funnier then the ones Liz picked.

Posted by: ANON | September 26, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I still can't believe people are surprised that Clay is gay. I don't listen to him, barely know who he is apart from the runner up on American Idol (which I never watch, thank you Lisa De Moraes for all the info on that show I will ever want to ahve)and I knew he was gay.

Which as noted, means nothing about his music. If you only like someone's music based on his sexual preference, you are the one with the problem.

But, now that is out there, so it can stop being the 500 pound elephant in the room, Clay should be applauded for keeping his private life private, instead of flashing it everywhere like SOME celebrities I could name. You know the ones that put out press releases like twitter and then complain they have no privacy.

Posted by: ep | September 26, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be a Y-chromosome theme going on with the Creative Captioning winners. Congrats to the other guys here, ladies it may be time to start picking up the slack.

Posted by: Dorkus | September 26, 2008 11:15 AM

How do you know the winners are men?

Posted by: It's the Net | September 26, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I think that Clay also has a dui? http://www.duistar.com

Posted by: Josh | September 26, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

On the internet nobody knows you're a dog. Or a Lizard.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Is Hax divorced?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Is Hax divorced?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 1:23 PM

Yes, and remarried. The guy who draws her cartoons is her ex. She seems to have softened up on her only-perfect-people-can-get-married-and-have-babies stance.

Why do you ask? Is she officially a celeb now?

Posted by: o.l. | September 26, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

WOW! An entire column devoted to my question! What an honor - one that I thought only the in members of this cliche receive! (I'm talking to you, Byoolin).

Back to my question - I'm still confused. Why did Clay make this announcement? If anything, he seems asexual - doesn't like sex; has no interest, etc. He's living with the mother of his child, focusing on being a father, so what's with the "I'm gay" revelation? Is it so all his fans will stop mailing him their underwear?

Posted by: Amelia | September 26, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

My god, I thought that was a picture of Emma Thompson.

Posted by: possum | September 26, 2008 11:17 AM

****************
I now need a new keyboard....

Posted by: jaybbub | September 26, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Two? Really? Wow. Thanks, Liz! And congratulations to my co-honorees.

Posted by: td | September 26, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

read the pulls from the fan board. I think those women lived in Never-never land. (but actually Clay does) Or possibly they are our "friends" from the OP site or relatives of (I will not invoke the crying one's name lest I bring her back from wherever she is hiding)

Posted by: hodie wonders whatever happened to you know who? | September 26, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

What's the point of having a creative captioning contest if none of the funny ones ever win? No offense to td, byoolin, or Sasquatch, but it seems like they're winning based on name recognition alone.

Posted by: Question | September 26, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Liz plays favorites. How does it feel to be teacher's pets byoo', 'squatch, and td?

Posted by: jelo | September 26, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

No offense to td, byoolin, or Sasquatch, but it seems like they're winning based on name recognition alone.

Posted by: Question | September 26, 2008 3:00 PM

*******************************************

Hey, don't forget me! I waste too much of my work time to not be recognized for it.

Posted by: Dorkus | September 26, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

These contests are subjective, so I can perfectly understand that some readers might miss my transcendent supergenius captioning ability - I really can.

But if you're going to argue that someone else's caption is funnier, you've gotta point it out.

For instance, I was greatly amused by epony's "On second thought, let's not order Italian for lunch," Dorkus' "Dominico: Why yes I am wearing McGraw," and bflogirl's "JLo apparently hasn't waxed in months!"

I'd have given the win to td's crack about Mike Reno's headband.

Posted by: Not that byoolin's opinions count for anything, y'unnerstand. | September 26, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Or possibly they are our "friends" from the OP site or relatives of (I will not invoke the crying one's name lest I bring her back from wherever she is hiding)

Posted by: You are an idiot | September 26, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, I don't look at commenters' names when picking the Creative Captioning winners, so no favorites. But maybe we can figure out a more Democratic way of choosing the winners in the future.

And I still stand by my picks. They're funny! So were many others, but I had to narrow it down to just a few.

Posted by: Liz Kelly | September 26, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Elias -- we'll be voting on the best fan art submissions on Monday when voting kicks off for the 2008 Celebritology Honors.

Posted by: Liz Kelly | September 26, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I find it really sad that this story is getting so much attention. I was involved in homosexuality for nearly seven years, and I have to tell you that it was the worst period of my life. My conscience kept telling me that what I was doing was wrong, but I bought into the lie that our society perpetuates, that this is "the way I was," that I was "born that way" and I needed to "just accept it." I tried for years to "just accept it" because "that's who I was," but I never could. Thank God I couldn't because I saw in time that there were a lot of issues in my life that caused me to be attracted to men. And this is not unique to me... I know so many people who deal with same-sex attraction who have stories just like mine. But are other people in this situation going to hear this in the story on Mr. Aiken? No, they're just going to get more of the same... that homosexuality is wonderful, that it's inborn, and they need to just accept it. This lie needs to stop, because it ruins people's lives. It ruined mine.

Posted by: G | September 26, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I love that people automatically assume there's a clique (or cliche!) around here.... Yeah, we're a clique of invisible, anonymous people who are completely unknown to one another, but we get together once a day to snark on celebs and...here it comes...leave you out! There! I've said it! You found us out - this is just a conspiracy against you.

And in no way am I speaking about any poster or post in particular, just my general observation, so please don't take it personally and get all huffy about that. Why do people feel left out of this lovely bit of fluff? Why doesn't anyone ever just admit to a warped sense of paranoia?

Alright, I'm totally troll bait now.

Posted by: rachelt puts on her tin foil hat now | September 26, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

rachelt - but where else can I use both bad spelling while simultaneously displaying my jr. high school whining?

Ok - you got me. I both complained about the clique AND misspelled it!

Now, back to snarking on the celebrities. Is there an answer? Does Clay date? Have sex? Or is his gayness all unrequited?

Posted by: Amelia | September 26, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

whoever Clay is dating or has dated deserves a medal for his discretion! Good luck to both of them.

Posted by: other liz | September 26, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

It is with great sadness that I withdraw my entry's nomination from contention for a Fan Art award. Rest assured that if I had actually finished something and sent it in, y'all would have been blown away.

Or not. But anyway, putting a fluffy blonde wig on one of the epony ponies would have been easy enough, but getting them to stand in Jimmy Choos was just too much work.

Posted by: epony | September 26, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Commenter G,
Can you deliberate?

Posted by: Homosexulaity is a lie | September 26, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Um, so, did Clay Aiken have sex with that 50 year old BFF or did they use artificial insemination or what? This is, by far, the more interesting issue.

Posted by: Bryan | September 26, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

epony,

Try one of the my little ponies, krazy glue and photoshop the photos is all else fails.

Posted by: petal | September 26, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Good for Clay!!!!

Posted by: B2 | September 26, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Was Kid In The Hall Bruce McCulloch thinking of Clay when he wrote the song "Lil' Gay Waiter"?

"You came out of the closet/
But no-one was there for you."

Posted by: byoolin | September 26, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Amelia, I'm posting way late in the game here, but I got a big laugh out of the misspelling! Are we a clique or just a cliche? Heaven forbid! :)

Posted by: rachelt | September 26, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's see - "favorites," "name recognition," and "teacher's pet." And all this time I thought maybe what I'd said mighta been funny. Y'all are just jelus.

Really, other than a desperate Rihanna caption a while back ("give to me your pleather, take from me my taste") I have never scored an award here.

(Besides if I can make byoolin laugh even once, that's enough for me.)

Posted by: td hopes you have a great weekend | September 26, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I think that if Liz had asked a dozen people to list the top 5 captions, there would have been perhaps 25 % overlap of the list picks.

If a certain caption or comment is not funny to you, then it's not funny to you. I disagree with Gene Weingarten's view that humor is objective. I don't think so. I think there is a great range of preferences within the humor genre.

If you think Liz is a tough judge of humor, try getting ink in the Style Invitational. I can tell you from experience that the Empress thinks some of my toss-away submissions are good, while she is unimpressed with what I think are my best entries.

I like reading all the comments to the blog for the breadth and depth of the snark. In reading the posts, I get a sense of different posters' sensibilities. Are all the comments funny? No. If you expect every single remark to make you howl with laughter, don't ever attend a comedy show. You'll be disappointed.

If you think that I'm one of Liz's pets, fine, that's your issue. I can tell you that Liz also has trashed some of my comments that I thought were desk-pounding funny. Do what I do: deal with it.

For those of you who think that I'm one of the favored group, I'll do you a favor and leave the floor to you. I'm on vacation the next 10 days or so. My absence is your chance to impress Liz.

Good luck trying to outdo the other regulars. Especially if you're Anonymous.

Have fun, you jokers.

Posted by: Sasquatch has left the building | September 27, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Damn, Sas, carm down!

Even I don't think that all my jokes are funny!

Remember, those who are saying that none of the selected comments are funny are also the people who think calling someone a "pretentious bore" is a hilarious witticism.

Posted by: Elias Howe | September 27, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Paul Newman's gone.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/27/AR2008092701222.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: byoolin | September 27, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

RIP Paul Newman.

Posted by: Nosy Parker is choking back tears | September 27, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Special post re: Newman coming right up.

Posted by: Liz Kelly | September 27, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Liz. I came here to post as soon as I hear the news. I believe we put Mr. Newman on our unsnarkable list.

RIP Paul Newman, fine actor and even finer humanitarian.

Posted by: ep | September 27, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Who cares if Clay is gay, dating, etc. Is he hurting anyone because he is gay? NO. I hope his darling little boy gets his dad's voice. I'm certain that he'll be a great parent, based on his former career. My husband and I suspected he was gay from the start of his musical career on Idol. We are definitely sure he can take care of a child better than some people in this world. Sometimes, little girls tend to take after their daddy, so maybe he should try in the future for a baby girl! Look out Barbra, Celine and congrats to Clay. As the old saying goes, "We are straight, but not narrow." We still love your music even if you're gay. Please keep creating, whether it be music or children. Love, Tamyra and Matt

Posted by: Tamyra Hall | September 27, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

heckk......!!!!!! who cares if he is gay or not he doesn't have to apologize to the public that he even if he is so WAT!?!?!?? really i don't see what is the big deal. AS long as is songs are good thing it should be just that. and for those ppl who dislike him because of that you really need to get a life seriously.!

Posted by: raven | September 29, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I thought he was gay! He's parents must be mad at him!! I wish that I was his parents. I would slap him in the face to the point his face is bleeding! *lol*

Posted by: Serria | September 29, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

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