Kelly Clarkson. Just the sound of her name is enough to make any self-respecting gay start dancing.
The songstress may have her critics, but most people can’t ignore the call of “Since U Been Gone,” or, more recently, “My Life Would Suck Without You.” Pop music may not be the most cerebral genre (see use of “U” in aforementioned song title), but it sure can improve a long car ride or instantly pack a dance floor. Many a fun night at the Wildcat has started with a Kelly song or two, and I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been in WeHo traffic, giggling as the car next to me bounces with the thumpa-thumpa of a dance remix of “Walk Away.”
With her latest album, All I Ever Wanted, Kelly immediately hooks us with “My Life Would Suck Without You,” which sounds strikingly similar to “Since U Been Gone,” sans the breakup heartache. And so it goes-most of the songs are extremely radio-friendly, if not overly innovative. Two of the tracks (“I Do Not Hook Up” and “Long Shot”) were penned by Katy Perry-yes, that Katy Perry-and were castoffs from her One of the Boys album. Thankfully, the Kelly treatment makes the ditties shine, but you better believe I spat out my coffee in disbelief when I learned that little tidbit.
So, since they share music and all, does Kelly also share Perry’s penchant for lady lip-locking? Turns out, that’s an emphatic no.
In a recent interview with AOL’s PopEater column, Kelly explained that she often gets asked if she’s a lesbian. “People are like, ‘Are you secretly a lesbian? Because I’d really love it,'” she said. “Lesbians tell it to me all the time. I’m like, ‘I’m glad it works for you and I wish I liked women like that because oftentimes men are very hard for me, but I happen to like boys.'”
Of course, this is not the least bit surprising. Anyone who has ever met a gay person or at least watched an episode of Will & Grace knows that everyone-no matter how closeted-gives off gaydar. Kelly may claim to be a tomboy, but she sets off absolutely no alarms on my ‘dar; the gayest thing about her very well may be the inside back cover of her CD case, which features a glittery, bright red-lipsticked mouth that would make any drag queen chartreuse with envy.
But as I continued to think of what could possibly inspire people to ask repeatedly about Kelly’s sexuality, I remembered the anguish of “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” the rage of “Never Again,” and the frustration of “Don’t Let Me Stop You.” Come to think of it, Kelly sounds like she’s had her fare share of lady woes.
Don’t get me wrong-breakups are awful, no matter who is involved. But lesbians and straight men will immediately tell you that women can mess you up something terrible. When heterosexual female coworkers come into my office to whimper about their boy troubles, inevitably their eyes will slide to a snapshot of my girlfriend and me smiling happily, and they’ll wistfully sigh, “Oh, I wish I were a lesbian!”
No, you don’t.
Imagine, I posit to my friends, dating someone as crazy and moody and unpredictable as you. Those mind games you play after a breakup? The late-night drunken phone calls and texts that express to your object of desire how much you hate/love/miss terribly/never want to see them again? The stalking via Facebook, MySpace, or your social networking site of choice? You better believe that whatever horrors you are willing to commit post-breakup will without fail be enacted on you. You’d be dating one of your kind, after all-a vindictive, obsessive, controlling (ahem) lady.
When you start to think about those details, it’s understandable why one might think Kelly is a lezzie. She did, after all, tear her ex’s feather pillows to shreds while singing: “Since you been gone/I can breathe for the first time.” But definitely not. In the same PopEater interview, Kelly said, “I could never be a lesbian. I would never want to date [someone like] myself, ever. I’m a crazy person.”
I couldn’t have said it better.