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‘American Idol’: M.K. Nobilette explains life as first openly gay contestant

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M.K. Nobilette has been voted into the top 13 in season 13 of ‘American Idol’. Hopefully 13 is a lucky number for Nobilette who sparked attention in becoming the singing competition’s first openly gay contestant. In coming out on the show she made it known that she was weary about public reaction, but as she explained in an interview with PEOPLE published on Feb. 21, the reaction has been mostly public.

Like celebrities, athletes and other public figures who have come out as gay or bisexual, Nobilette says the support has been mostly positive, although there were a few instances of negativity. Nobilette, who isn’t as well known, told PEOPLE that the support has been there for her.

“There have been a few haters, but I predicted that the minute I said it. But actually, the response has been pretty positive. Mostly, people have been really supportive.”

A lot of that support has come from the judges and her fellow contestants. Harry Connick Jr. saw her advancement as an “indication of where our country is going” and finalist C.J. Harris said, “it is a whole new world” and described M.K. as a sister to him.

But the main reason she is smiling about making it to the top 13 is that she is being viewed as an influential person to those who are in similar situations.

“People have told me how they are going to change the way that they are going to come out to their parents. That makes me really proud,” says Nobilette.

M.K.’s last performance, singling “All of Me” by John Legend inspired tears because by coming out prior to the competition’s live shows, she exposed every part of who she is. Her story is one that many share, but her voice has an opportunity to make a statement. Not for herself, but for the country as a whole.

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