March 28, 2018 09:05 AM

After a booted contestant on The Voice called out Kelly Clarkson as “small minded” for likening her to fellow gay artists, the coach had something to say.

Hopeful Molly Stevens, who is openly gay, revealed in a now-deleted Instagram post that she was upset by a comparison that Clarkson made during the battle rounds. The original American Idol winner said Stevens reminded her of the Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge, which Stevens found a “labeling trap” and “small minded.”

“While I’m extremely honored to be in that category of talent I do believe that comment did us all a disservice and only threw us into a labeling trap,” she wrote. “It felt small minded to me and exactly what I feel we need to bring attention to the world.”

Stevens added, “I am a singer songwriter who happens to be gay. And so is @melissa_etheridge and @indigogirlsmusic. Glad I can work through this one today on a carousel in Central Park with my mom and niece. But it’s a common stereotype that happens too often. People put us in boxes.”

Clarkson, 35, took to Twitter to point out that Steven neglected to include a comparison to straight singer Patty Griffin and assert that the connections had nothing to do with sexuality.

Kelly Clarkson and Molly Stevens
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock; Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“Wow. This really bums me out,” The Voice coach said in response to her former team member’s post on Tuesday. “I need everyone 2 hear me & hear ALL OF THE WORDS I SAY. I compared Molly to Melissa Etheridge, Patty Griffin (a name that was left out conveniently), & the Indigo Girls purely because of the rasp in her voice & that she’s an amazing storyteller.”

Stevens later apologized for the misunderstanding.

“I sincerely apologize for any hurt I may have caused with my words. This was not my intention at all,” she tweeted. “For the people who know me well, you know my heart well too. I strive to live in truth and light. @kelly_clarkson I truly apologize for thinking differently. I look up to you.”

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Clarkson has been a longtime ally to the LGBTQ community, from including a same-sex couple in her music video for “Tie It Up” to reaching out to a gay contestant on The Voice who sang her song.

She also told Pride Source that she’s perfectly fine if her kids out to be gay.

“Oh, I don’t care,” she said when asked how she would feel if her 3-year-old daughter River came out to her. “I just hope she finds love. As long as she’s happy, I don’t care either way, and neither does my husband. And we have two other kids as well, and we don’t care either way for all of them.”

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