Gray considers herself one of Aiken's biggest fans. "I was a member on more than three message boards all dedicated to Clay," she said. "I made a binder of Clay pictures and articles; I had a Clay pillow case and pj's; and I had Clay's face plastered on every inch of my walls. I would cry when I watched his performances on 'Idol.' It was insane. He seemed like the perfect guy expecially since I too am Christian, when all of a sudden he's not only a father, but he's gay."
Women, a lot of them older, make up the majority of Aiken's rabid fan base. And many of his fans are born-again Christians like him. "A lot of these people may not know somebody who is openly gay," Belonsky said. "It's much different for people to think of gays as an abstract group than to see someone they have followed for so many years."
Said Gray, "I'm starting to get used to the whole idea (that Aiken is gay), but it's definitly hard for me to grasp still."
For some of his Christian fans, Aiken's public admission is a deal- and heart-breaker.
"Diane" on AikenForums.com wrote: "Sorry, the Bible says homosexuality is wrong, and as a Christian I believe that. We can't just follow the parts of the Bible that we want or that are convenient to us, or we are not Christians. And he says he's a Christian. Too bad, I was supporting him since 2003."
Aiken told "GMA"'s Diane Sawyer that he realized not every fan would be okay with his admission.
"I'm sure that there are people who will grapple with it, you know. I'm sure that emotions will run the gamut from people who already knew, to people who really believed that it wasn't true. You know, the best I can do is say that I tried and I know that you know this, as hard as I could over the past five years, never to lie about it."
Meanwhile, Belonsky cautions about jumping to conclusions about Lohan's recent comments on her relationship with Ronson.
"Everyone is taking it as a confirmation," Belonsky said. "I don't think it's a confirmation. She's dating a girl but that doesn't necessarily mean she's lesbian. That's a problem we have in this society. You assume somebody has to be one or the other. We have to categorize people."
New Fans for Aiken
As for Aiken, Belonsky sees a brighter future. "I don't think this will hurt his career. I think it will help. Lance Bass [from NSync] was written about much more [after he came out]. A lot of people who are shocked and feel betrayed will come around. And I think this will create new fans. A lot of people who thought he was gay dismissed him as sort of silly and self-hating. It's undeniable that he's talented. Maybe now people will be, 'What is this Clay Aiken kid all about?'"
At least one person posting a message on AikenForums.com seemed to think so. "Well he gained at least one fan," wrote "Phamousboi." "All I can say is, finally, girl. We've been waiting."