Vancouver
2 min

Clay’s immaculate Christianity

When did chastity and wholesome become synonymous?

For someone who looks like he’s been preserved in formaldehyde, Clay Aiken has managed to make quite a career for himself.

Did you know he has his own Christmas ornament? Seriously. It’s gold with a cameo-sized photo of Clay, and plays 16 seconds of music from his Christmas CD. Availability is limited to his Joyful Noise Tour and eBay.

Clay Aiken is Rick Astley, Jim Nabors, and Liberace rolled into one. And despite the persistent rumours he’s gay, teenage girls love him.

“Claymates,” as they are called in polite society. “Future Fag Hags,” in the not-so-polite.

According to Clay’s handlers, he’s not gay; he’s Christian and a virgin. Just like Jesus’ mother. Thus the jaundiced looks.

One of my favourite things about Christmas is Christmas specials, and when I found out Clay had one, I couldn’t resist.

To sex things up, he does a duet with a very special guest, Barry Manilow. Not exactly Bing and Bowie, but I’ll take what I can get in these variety-show deprived times.

My boyfriend pretended not to know me when I asked a bored Goth sales-teen if he carried Clay’s Christmas DVD.

“It’s for my daughter,” I lied. “My very homely, teenage daughter.” Which, when you think about it, is not so far from the truth. It reminded me of when I used to buy Tiger Beat magazines from the corner store and say they were for my sister.

Turns out the lights on St Paul’s Hospital have more joie de vivre than “A Clay Aiken Christmas.”

I kept expecting the June Taylor dancers, a Calderesque mobile, or a Mackie-inspired gown, but there wasn’t so much as a jazz hand. Even the witty showbiz banter with Barry Manilow was limited to Christmas presents.

If it were me, I would have asked Barry Manilow what it was like to accompany Bette Midler on piano at the baths.

Gay or not, Clay Aiken is the Pope’s ideal homo; the embodiment of denial-self, or otherwise. It says so in the Bible. At least it will after Benedict re-writes it: “And on the eighth day, God created gay men to sing Christmas carols and live with their mothers.”

When did “chastity” and “wholesome” become synonymous with each other?

Pat Boone and Donny Osmond have both sired children, which would imply they have had sex, and yet they still maintain their immaculate images. So why is the bar so high for people like Clay Aiken and Catholic priests?

Perhaps that explains why Clay’s career is so dependant on Christmas. Christmas carols aren’t sexual; their sentiments are simple, pure, and universal. But what both he and the Pope seem to forget is that, gay or straight, so is love.