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Clay Aiken Shows Off Son Parker

09/25/2008 at 11:30 AM ET
Michael Lavine for PEOPLE

Update: We’ve added more from the interview, as well as a photo of Clay, Jaymes and Parker in the extended post.

Originally posted September 24th: Six weeks after welcoming his first child, son Parker Foster Aiken, singer Clay Aiken shows off his baby boy — and comes out of the closet — in this week’s PEOPLE.

Once the American Idol alum, 29, and best friend Jaymes Foster learned they were expecting, Clay made the choice to come out as a gay man, telling PEOPLE, "It was the first decision I made as a father. I cannot raise a childto lie or to hide things. I wasn’t raised that way, and I’m not goingto raise a child to do that."

Out to his mother for four years, Clay understands that althoughmany had an idea, some fans will be shocked — either by his becoming afather or by his coming out. "Whether it be having a child out ofwedlock, or whether it be simplybeing a homosexual, it’s going to be a lot," Clay explains. ‘[I hopethey] know that I’ve never intendedto lie to anybody at all. The truth is I didn’t answer questions. If Ifelt that I was lied to, I would probably be upset … [But] it’s notlike I just became gay. I was when I was 18 — I just wasn’t tellingthem. The fans, if they leave, they leave. But if they leave, I don’twant them toleave hating me."

As for his son, conceived via in vitro fertilization with Jaymes, 50, Clay — who’s currently appearing in Spamalot on Broadway — hopes to raise his little boy in an accepting environment.

"I have no idea if he’ll be gay or straight. It’s not something I’llhave anything to do with, or that he’ll have anything to do with. It’salready probably up inside the code there … No matter what thesituation you’re in, if you’re raised in a loving environment, that’sthe most important thing."

Click ‘More’ for an additional family photo, plus extra highlights from Clay and Jaymes’ interview.

Clay_aikenMichael Lavine for PEOPLE

On deciding that they would have a child together:

C: Well, she’s always known that she wanted children, but her ex-husband did not want children. I grew up working with kids. I taught special ed. Babies? I’m learning. I always wanted kids, and as a gay man, it’s just not an option. I mean, obviously there were other options, but let me put it this way: I had always dreamed of it, but never really saw it as a possibility until this happened. I don’t really remember whose idea it was. It was one of those things where we were both thinking of it at the back of our heads.

J: I really think I was not ready to have children – well, I know I wasnot ready to have children, be a mother – in my 20s or 30s. I had thefreedom then to travel the world and have a wonderful career. I believeat this point in my life it’s the right time, and I think because it’sthe right time, I’ll hopefully do a good job. If I don’t, Clay will beall over me!

On the pregnancy:

J: Ithought I’d be one of the lucky ones that didn’t get the nausea, thatI’d sail right through the pregnancy. But unfortunately I had it thewhole time! I dealt with it on my own until I found out that there is agreat new medication that helps eliminate the nausea, which I took theentire pregnancy. But other than that, it was really a breeze.

On parenting together:

J:He’s an incredible caregiver. As far as changing the diapers and seeingwhat’s wrong with [Parker] and getting him to go sleep, Clay’s anatural and he’s really, really good with that. On a larger scale, he’sthe perfect person. He’s been a school teacher, we have the samemorals, family is very important to him and Parker means everything tous.

C: I’m better at changing diapers. I don’t think Jaymes gets it all — although I may take some skin off!

J: It’s funny because we were both very relaxed from the minute he wasborn. But the one thing I’m a little nervous about is clipping his handnails because I think I might cut him, so Clay definitely has a handleon that and takes care of that. [Parker] doesn’t like baths so much, soI tend to do the bathing because he kind of cries through that so I’vetaken that on as a job. Clay would be happy to do that, but I justfigure, okay, if he does the nails, I’ll do the bath.

We love each other dearly and deeply as friends, but I think as parentsnow, there’s an even greater bond, certainly for me. Our job is toremain best friends for the rest of our lives and that’s the mostimportant thing for Parker.

On the public reaction to their unconventional situation:

C: There are plenty of people who will say this is completely unorthodox and "How dare they." I have people in my family, people I know, who — sexuality aside — did not like the fact that I was not married. My mother knows about me, but that I was having a child out of wedlock was a big issue for her. She had to come to terms with it.

At the end of the day, people are going to dislike it, and I hate that. But I’m not going to be somebody who tells them they’re wrong.

Source: PEOPLE

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Showing 66 comments

JEH on

How adorable!!!!

Tammy's Tupperware on

Oh my gosh, Parker is so adorable!! You can just tell that Clay loves his little boy so much.

amanda on

Parker is such a sweetie pie and with a daddy like that I know he’ll turn out to be a great guy. I respect Clay for coming out on his terms and at the right time and for trying to set an example for his son. He is going to be a great father and he looks so happy and awesome in the pic with him. Yay for Clay! =) And congrats to Jaymes as well and of course to little baby Parker

Laura on

Bless,

I think this is one of my favs pic of Clay now. Beautiful. Im glad he is out to, its so true you just can’t hide your sexuality because in the end your just hiding it from yourself. People are going to like and love you for who YOU are, not who you prefer to be with.

I loved Clay when he started on American Idol, hes got alot of talent, so I still love him all the same now.

Kerri on

What a little cutie Parker is!

Clay is definitely going a non-traditional family route, but I think it’s going to work for him. I very much admire his decision to come out in light of having a child and wanting to teach that child to be open and honest.

Congrats to Clay and Jaymes!

Pencils on

Somehow, I don’t think many people will be shocked. ;) Good luck to him.

Brigid on

Well, I was certainly not surprised at the message, but the fact that he actually delivered the message, since he has been so non-committal about it for the past few years.
His reasoning behind his coming out is phenomenal. We can not expect our children to feel comfortable and secure in themselves unless we lead by example.
Bravo to him on deciding to show his son (who is adorable, by the way) that you need to live with integrity, honesty, and confidence in your own identity.

ellen on

that baby is adorable. wish him and his parents all the best!

P on

I’m proud of him, and that is a supercute baby.

Jane on

I saw this and got so excited…Parker is so adorable!

I’m so happy for Clay that he’s finally come out. He’s one of my favorite singers ever…I’ve seen him twice in concert and met him once, and he is just wonderful.

Clay’s going to be one of the best dads out there:)

And just a little correction…he’s not in Spamalot anymore. He left like three months ago…maybe more:)

Meg on

How sweet. :) It’s a beautiful picture of Parker (I love his name!), and a wonderful message. Congratulations to both.

Ekaterina on

I give him a supreme amount of respect for being open about this. It’s absolutely right–his son deserves openess and honesty and he should be raised to believe that you should never hide who you are. It may not be a surprise to many people but his honesty is really refreshing. I wish him and Jaymes the best of luck with that adorable baby! I only hope that by the time Parker is an adult, the so-called “closet” no longer exists and people don’t have to hide who they really are.

rachael on

Good for him. Beautiful pic of the two of them…little Parker is a doll!

CTBmom on

I have been a fan of Clay’s since American Idol. And while I think most people suspected that he was gay, I totally respected his decision to share or not share his sexual orientation with the world. I love the fact that he is coming out now because he wants to set an example for his son to be comfortable with who he is. I think Clay is and will be an awesome daddy! Congrats!

JM on

Clay being gay?! Not really headline news! But the baby is cute, glad he’s happy, and finally comfortable enough to tell the world what they practically had already knew!!! Best of luck Clay with your new baby boy!!

*Lulu* on

Cute baby… looks like he may become a redhead like his dad.
I respect Clay for coming out publicly, he is probably relieved that he finally did it.
Although I don’t think anyone will be shocked in the least. You didn’t need impecable ‘gaydar’ to figure that one out. I think Helen Keller could tell he was gay.

Sam & Baby Sofie on

I am so glad he finally came out! And I am excited for him. It is so wonderful that he is able to raise a child. We should all have that right whether through natural, infetro, adoption, fostering. It should be no different gay or straight. I respect his decision to wait to come out but it is awful that people have to wait to say who they really are and be accepted! I am sure they are both just blessed to have each other!

alyssa on

very cute child. i just don’t get why they would leave jaymes out of the front cover. weird.

NatashaD on

Omg how cute is Parker, seriously he’s gonna be so handsome when he grows up! Holy carp!!
Nice picture of Clay as well!

fay on

that baby looks JUST like his mother… my goodness…

he’s a cutie…

phoebe on

I think this is wonderful because every piece of news like this helps break down the last stereotypes about gay parents. What’s most important to a child is that they are loved and well cared for. But I personally didn’t even realise that Clay wasn’t out, and I don’t think there will be many people that will be even remotely shocked! Congrats to mummy and daddy!

Leene on

I am not shocked by this announcement and think its great he’s being open and honest about his lifestyle. Parker is a cutie and I can’t wait to see the other pictures.

Jane – he left Spamalot a few months ago but I remember reading something around the time Parker was born that he planned to return to Broadway.

amy on

There are *some* political parties that would find his “coming out” atrocious. Remember that when you decide on who to vote for this year!

Amy

dina on

Good for you Clay! I can’t say this announcement was a surprise but I am so glad he is at peace with himself. Parker is a cutie, congrats!

M on

hoooo lordy, if that child is not his mini-me!! XP

M on

oh, and what surprises me about this iiiis..that he finally did say it. but it’s good that he did, for his sons sake..there will never be questions, or having to keep his fathers sexuality secret or anything like that. everyone will just know now, no constant “well, maybe” or “i bet he is..”

Rachel on

What an adorable baby :O) and seriously I think that Clay coming out in this way, because of his son, is awesome. It shows what a wonderful father he is and will be. Congrats to Clay on his beautiful son and congrats to him on never letting the constant comments over the years turn him into a negative person.

The ween on

Little Parker is totally cute.
I don’t think anyone is surprised by this “news”. He should have come out a long time ago. Watching him on American Idol sent my gaydar off like crazy!
Best of luck to him and his son.

ariel on

Jane – He returned to Spamalot on Sept, 19.

and might i say, that little baby is a cutie!

Harley on

Well that’s just the most shocking piece of news ever.

Seriously though, I’m glad he decided to set the proper example for his son. So long as his child is raised in a loving home, who cares who is doing the raising? You can’t decide your kids sexual orientation. Congrats to them :)

Renee on

Something bothers me when people say stuff like ‘Helen Keller could have been able to tell he was gay”, etc. I don’t see how any comments like that are showing support or sending positive messages. You can’t tell someone is gay or lesbian by how they dress, look or who they hang out with. Stereotypes are not a good thing.Congrats to Clay for coming out and Parker is adorable.

Angel on

This is no surprise to me. I’m glad he finally admitted it. He seems like a really sweet and caring person and I am sure he is going to be an amazing father. His little boy is precious!!!

FC on

I think it’s great that he wants to teach his son a few things, including how to be honest and not shy away from the truth. Honestly, his coming out isn’t a big deal…to me. Or a shock…LOL.

But, even still, his fans should love him anyway. I’m sure they fell in love with his character and his music, and any other personal endeavors he’s had. Shouldn’t matter what his sexual orientation is.

Aside from that, Parker is an adorable little boy!

Kanga on

Good for him for finally coming out. It may seem easy to some of us, but in certain communities and families it still takes tremendous courage.

It’s interesting to read about a non-traditional family like Jaymes’s and Clay’s. Best friends raising a baby together probably has a higher chance for stability than a romantic couple would.

Babiesonline on

Hi luv luv luv the babies name! And I don’t think he will lose one fan. They are pretty faithful and deep down, I bet a few already knew he was gay, “Not that there’s anything wrong with it!!!” (Seinfeld quote).. ~smile~

Serah on

What does the mother look like? I’ve never even heard of her…Adorable baby!!!

nelly on

Seriously good for him! I’m glad he is starting his new life with his son and is free of this burden that has obviously weighed on him. I wish him, Parker and Parker’s mother the best. May they have a very happy life together.

kendrajoi on

What a great picture of Daddy and son! I think Parker looks just like Clay! I am also not surprised at the fact that he came out- regardless, this little boy will be loved, which is the most important thing.

brannon on

I think it’s a shame he needed to make an announcement at all, but his reasoning is perfect. What a beautiful gift for his son. How so many can be against homosexual adoption/parenting is beyond me — love is love and this new family obviously has plenty to go around! Congratulations! (Cute kid!)

Lily on

Although I’m not a fan of his, as a fellow parent, I applaud him for his dedication to his son and his intent to lead by setting a good example. Clay has nothing to be ashamed of and is teaching his son from the start that no matter what, it’s ok to be himself. That acceptance is something that some people search for their entire lives and this little boy has unconditional love and support from the start. It will definitely benefit him in the long run.

Best wishes to Clay, Jaymes and little Parker!

Ms.B on

Am I the only one who doesn’t like the cover? Clay shouldn’t have used his baby to come out to the world, although I bet People mag wouldn’t have gave him the cover if he didn’t pose with his son. Still, I don’t like the “Yes I’m Gay” in bold letters next to the baby. Besides, what’s the big news? It’s clear as day that Clay is gay.

fuzibuni on

Renee, you took the words right out of my mouth. That comment gave me a bad feeling too.
Gay people carry the burden of trying to be themselves in a society that is often hostile. While someone may say “hellen keller could have known he was gay,” statements like that can be rather condescending.
It’s psych 101 that people hide things when they are worried about being ostracized. Many gay people think that their loves ones will abandon them and that society will reject them for coming out. So, yes, while many many of you assumed that Clay was gay, that really isn’t the point here.
Maybe if straight people had to “come out” too they would have a little more respect for why someone would choose to hide their sexuality in plain sight.
That said, it’s refreshing to see that almost all the other comments on this article are supportive of him and his choice to become a father. Bless.

Stephany on

While this announcement didn’t come as a shock to me, I think this was such a great way to come out for him! Announcing his beautiful baby boy and that he’s gay – because he wants his son to know being gay is not a “bad” thing to be ashamed of! Good for him!

Baby Parker is so, so cute!

JK on

Are there really people out there who are shocked by this?
Really?
Good for him for coming out, it give others that are “in the closet” a chance to reconsider being in the closet in the first place. I hope he’s happy with this new little baby in his life. Parker is just adorable!

Anais on

Congrats to Clay on the baby and on feeling secure enough to come out! I can only imagine it’s been tough not being able to be “yourself” because of the media and whatnot, so I know he feels great now that it’s out there. Way to go, Clay!

Ms.B on

Where’s my comment from earlier? Anyways i’ll summarize what I said because it’s important. Most of these comments are praising Clay so I guess i’m in the minority. I feel Clay is WRONGGG to pose with his son while coming out to the world. You don’t do that. He should’ve blogged about it on myspace like he does everything else instead having “YES,I’M GAY” in bold letters near the baby. Money talks…………..smh!

Lilybett on

What’s the line by the bird in Aladdin… “I think I’m going to have a heart attack and die of not surprised”

Jen on

What a teeny tiny little boy!!! I feel just like Clay: right now I have a man in my life who is demanding formula too!

ms. jaQ on

brannon and renee took the words out of my mouth. :)

robin m. on

What a great cover. This makes me happy. I’m not really a fan of Clay’s music or anything, but I think it’s great that he took this major step. His son is adorable.

CelebBabyLover on

alyssa- I could be wrong about this, but I don’t think that Jaymes is famous. Therefore, I think Clay is just respecting her right to not be thrust into the spotlight.

Anyway, I’m shocked he finally came out. I thought he was going to be one of those people who NEVER come out (not that there’s anything wrong with that! No matter what we may think, celebs don’t owe us explanations and details about their private lives!)!

DLR on

Oh isn’t that an adorable picture! Parker is too squishable there with his big “oooh” eyes. I feel bad that all these years Clay didn’t feel safe or welcomed to be open about being gay. It is a sad state of society and prejudices in 2008 where so many people are discriminated against, even harmed, simply because they have sex with someone of the same gender. I hope when Parker is an adult, he will be living in a world where same-gender relationships are seen as the same and as “natural” as opposite-gender relationships. Sometimes I wish heterosexual people and the religious that say homosexuality is evil, abnormal, and the world’s downfall would get a taste of their own words and actions then they’d realize what they are doing and saying is utter foolishness. Things will change, it is inevitable. It wasn’t that long ago women were not considered human and not able to vote. It wasn’t that long ago there were slaves from Africa and they too were not considered human, let alone not able to vote. Oh, yes, how about Native Americans? Oh yes. Things change, just not soon enough in my opinion, but hopefully in time for Parker to live a life open and honest whatever sexual choices he makes.

momof3girls on

This is news? I have known forever.

amy on

I know it may matter to some people, but it shouldnt matter how conventional the situation is. So long as the baby has two loving parents, thats all that matters. I wish them al the luck in the world!! Parkers so cute!!!

mp on

Like the J&J ads say, “Having a baby changes everything.”

I’m so happy for Clay for having the child he wanted, as well as feeling the freedom to be himself. He and Jaymes are obviously on track to be great parents to a sweet little boy.

Jhelum on

This is awesome!!! I admire Clay so much more than I did before. This child will have 2 wonderful parents and a happy life. Good luck to both of them!

Brooke on

How in the heck is that woman 50??? OMG, she looks late 30′s at most.

chloe on

DLR- I couldn’t agree more. it’s mind boggling that we live in a society where people are actually fighting to go backwards and take away the rights and progress we fought so hard for. it’s biology people and it’s been happening since we were monkeys. i wish people who go on and on about “family values” would learn that it is more valuable to our society to accept and celebrate all types of families.

the only thing i’d like to point out in addition to what you said is the fact that it is not only about who you chose to have sex with but about love and a deep connection between two people and far more than just a sexual choice.

Jenni-Girl on

YAY!

I am the product of a family like that. My mom is straight but my dad is gay. They were best friends and I was the product of that love and respect. I grew up fine and loved dearly. My dad is my best friend as is my DadDan and my mother’s husband. I am lucky I have 3 fathers.

A family is nothing but people who love you no matter what. Congrat to Clay and Jaymes!

Parker is a DOLL! OMG, he’s eyes are so adorable!

Lily on

Jaymes does NOT look 50! I can’t get over that. She’s a very beautiful woman and as I said before, I wish them all the best.

Astrid24 on

I agree about Jaymes- I’d give my right arm to look like that at 50! Just stunning! What a happy family, and I’m happy to see the supportive comments here.

cc on

I think Jaymes looks so young because this is her first child…I don’t know about you but I aged dramatically after having kids! Give her three years and she’ll have bags under her eyes etc like the rest of us seasoned moms :-)

Anyway, congrats to them. I was never a fan of Clay, but after watching the GMA interview I admire him now. It broke my heart when he spoke of not wanting to hurt his grandma and mom with the acknowledgement of his lifestyle.

perfectsadie on

I love that he says he won’t tell people who disapprove of his choice that they are wrong. He is showing the same kind of acceptance and tolerance that I’m certain he hopes others will extend to him. How enlightened!

juliana on

it sounds like she had hypremesis. I too took the medication, but it didn’t really help me. I was sick up until 32 weeks. It’s probably even harder to deal with that being in the public eye.

Charity on

What an adorable baby! I think it is wonderful that these two came together to be parents and best friends. I don’t believe that anyone should be denied the right to be a parent because of their sexuality. Every human on the planet has the right to enjoy all the aspects of life, especially parenthood. Congrats to the couple!

Born Fabulous on

Parker is adorable!!! Looks just like Clay!!! Funny, a few years back he was a little kid on Idol and now he’s a dad!

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