September 29, 2008 03:00 PM by Paulene Hinds
Clay Aiken was worried last week that his decision to come out as a gay man, may lose him a few fans, but three of his former Idol competitors are showing their support. Carmen Rasmusen, Ricky Smith and Vanessa Olivarez all hadpostive thingssay to PEOPLEabout his announcement.
“This news does not change my opinion of him or my friendship with him,” says Carmen Rasmusen, who competed with Aiken during the show’s second season. But she admits she was somewhat shocked by the news. “I’m surprised, I guess because he kept it quiet for so long!”
She is expecting her first child, a son, with her husband this Christmas and added, “As I’m also going to be a mom, I know how parenthood completely changes your perspective. I think it’s great that he’s raising his son with a mother involved, and that he understands the importance of being up front and honest with his child.”
Ricky Smith, said, “He has to do what makes him happy. I’m just glad he’s doing what makes him feel comfortable and confident.”
Vanessa Olivarez replied that Clay “never ever” dicussed his personal life with his fellow contestants. Yet she says she had a feeling about Aiken’s sexual orientation: “I have good gaydar, Claydar! It definitely wasn’t the shocker of the year!”
She adds, “Clay is religious, and I think it’s great that he’s showing you can be religious and be gay. People will see that you’re not going to burn in hell if you’re gay.”
Aiken told PEOPLE magazine in his exclusive interview, “I still consider myself a born-again Christian, and I am absolutely comfotable with my salvation.”
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Photo Credit: People.com