Is America ready for its first openly gay “American Idol”? It is hard to believe, but 20-year-old M.K. Nobilette became the singing competition’s first openly gay contestant according to a report by Entertainment Weekly on Feb. 12.
There have obviously been gay hopefuls who have tried out and of those who made it to the live shows, Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken stand out, but they never spoke openly about their sexuality on camera until they were eliminated. So basically it’s just a technicality that the long running show hasn’t had a socially visible gay contestant until 2014.
Before hearing her fate during Hollywood Week, Nobilette expressed her expectations about being discriminated against for being gay and open about it.
“I’m very obviously gay, and there are always gonna be people in America and everywhere else who will definitely hate me. But I think that in the last two years there have been a lot of things that have really changed that, and have made it a positive thing.”
Progress through exposure has happened during that time as several public figures have come out as gay in that time and with the success of former gay contestants like Aiken and Lambert, Nobilette will and can be just as successful if she has the talent.
According to the judges, she does have the talent as she was chosen to be among season 13’s Top 30. Harry Connick Jr. summed it up best as he responded to Nobilette’s selection. He said, “Thank goodness.”