The singer finished second behind Kris Allen on season 8 of American Idol
“I was really overwhelmed in the very beginning. American Idol was so fast,” Lambert, 37, said in a candid interview for Billboard’s Pride roundtable discussion with Big Freedia, Tegan Quin, ILoveMakonnen and Hayley Kiyoko.
“All of a sudden I was on magazine covers,” he recalled. “I was dealing with the personal adjustment I had to make, and then on top of it, there was all this energy behind being the gay guy doing it.”
Lambert added, “I knew I was comfortable saying, ‘Yes, I’m gay.’ But educating the masses? I didn’t get into this business to be an educator. I just wanted to wear glitter and sing.“
Lambert previously opened up about his sexuality in his 2009 Rolling Stone cover story, in which he confirmed he is gay: “I’m trying to be a singer, not a civil rights leader,” he told the outlet.
“I don’t think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear that I’m gay,” Lambert said. “I’ve been living in Los Angeles for eight years as a gay man. I embrace it. It’s just another part of me.“
In March, the Grammy-nominated singer — who is preparing his fourth studio album — confirmed he’s in a relationship with model Javi Costa Polo.
“I love you,” Polo commented on the post.
This marked the first public relationship for Lambert since splitting with ex-boyfriend Sauli Koskinen in 2013. Last summer, he told Gay Star News his busy tour schedule has hindered his love life in the past.
“I haven’t been in a relationship for about five years. I’ve been working and traveling quite a bit so dating is temporary and transient,” he said in June 2018. “I’m a multi-dater for now. My inner romantic always hopes that I could meet someone and it would grow into something significant and monogamous.”