Adam Lambert Shines in Vital Documentary Unpicking Challenges Faced by LGBTQ+ Music Stars

With a career spanning over 15 years, Adam Lambert has become a beacon for many queer young people both in the UK and across the pond. From his rise to fame on American Idol in 2009 to his global tours with Queen bandmates Sir Brian May and Roger Taylor, Lambert’s unique, leather-clad star has consistently risen.

In the new star-studded ITV1 documentary Out, Loud & Proud, Lambert steps into the role of interviewer, exemplifying how influential figures can celebrate past trailblazers while uplifting those currently targeted for their sexuality or gender identity.

The documentary features contributions from notable artists like Erasure’s Andy Bell and Lambert’s Queen bandmates, Brian May and Roger Taylor. It delves into the pervasive homophobia that plagued musicians in the 1980s and early 90s. The media’s obsession with entertainers’ sexualities often made headlines, and Lambert sheds light on the lesser-known history of Elton John’s coming out journey, revealing the intense media speculation and harassment he faced.

Understanding queer history is crucial for generations of LGBTQ+ people who have grown up in comparatively freer times than their predecessors. Lambert shines by giving musicians, who rarely get the spotlight, a platform to share their stories of discrimination and struggle. This approach isn’t about exploiting trauma but about offering audiences a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ artists.

Adam Lambert
‘Our community needs more allies like Lambert.’ (Picture: ITV)

One of the documentary’s powerful moments comes from Skin of the 90s band Skunk Anansie, the first Black British artist to headline Glastonbury. Skin candidly discusses the racism, homophobia, and misogyny she endured during her peak. After their historic Glastonbury performance, the press remained silent, highlighting the industry’s bias. Lambert provides Skin with a space to share her experience in a way she hadn’t been able to before, creating a poignant connection for both her and the audience.

British pop icon and songwriter MNEK also shares his experiences with Lambert. Speaking from a recording studio, MNEK discusses the homophobia he has faced within the Black community and the entrenched racism in LGBTQ+ spaces. Despite his commercial success and writing for stars like Beyoncé and Kylie Minogue, MNEK’s dual identity as a Black gay man has sometimes left him feeling alienated from both communities.

Allyship should not be about seeking praise or accolades. In an era where corporate allyship and Pride events often feel like PR stunts, Lambert’s genuine empathy and connection—stemming from his own struggles early in his career—set him apart.

Adam Lambert
Lambert’s struggles during the early years of his career enable him to empathize and connect (Picture: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

In a heartfelt conversation with Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, the first trans woman to win a Golden Globe for her role in Pose, the documentary highlights the discrimination she has faced in the music and TV industries. The prejudices Rodriguez faces echo those Bell, May, and Taylor referenced from the 1980s, showcasing how history repeats itself, this time targeting trans individuals.

As a queer, non-binary viewer, this documentary not only represents me but also educates me on supporting those within my community who navigate multiple identities. Our community needs more allies like Lambert. LGBTQ+ viewers will revel in seeing an out, gay man using his platform to elevate trans voices.

Out, Loud & Proud is a stellar example of showcasing the creativity within queer communities while advocating for a better society for those making the hits and for those of us who feel empowered and seen by their music.