September 25, 2008 05:00 PM by Paulene Hinds
Fans are reacting to the news that past American Idol runner up Clay Aiken is gay and he has taken the time to show his gratitude for the support he has received so far from his fans. He posted a message on his website on Tuesday night after a performance of Broadway’s Monty Python’s Spamalot, where he has resumed the role of Sir Robin. Fans flocked to the stage door after the show to see the star, but Aiken ducked out a different exit.
“We’ll ‘talk’ more later,” Aiken, 29, writes on his Web site’s message board. “but, suffice it to say, for the first time in recent memory, I am speechless. I’m so proud to know and love all of you.”
He also said, “My family is so much larger than Parker, Jaymes, mom, Brett, etc. It extends to each of you. And I couldn’t be more blessed.”
While his fan reaction has been both of surprise and support, Gay groups are applauding him for coming out and as of Wednesday afternoon, the thread on clayonline.com had more than 2,200 messages, with many saying, “I will always love and support him no matter what. His sexual orientation makes no difference to me.”
While many fans are supportive of Clay, there are a few that are taking the news hard as one fans writes on Claymaniacs.com, “I’m really struggling with this one.”
Some of his fans are concerned that because he wasn’t upfront with his sexuality from the beginning that it may cause him more heartache. One poster on clayaiken.com wrote, “I’m only concerned that for those like me who will still support him no matter what may have some difficulty reconciling that he wasn’t straight forward to begin with.”
Aiken told PEOPLE he understands some fans may not react well. “I want to let people know that I’ve never intended to lie to anybody at all,” he said. “But if they leave, I don’t want them to leave hating me.”
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