Annie Barrett
August 16, 2011 AT 11:00 AM EDT

It’s like he’s daring that dolphin tattoo to swim a little lower…

Adam Levine is Out magazine’s new cover boy. He’s straight, but thanks you for asking. (“If people didn’t think there was a small chance I was gay, then I wouldn’t be doing my job very well.”) Having grown up with a gay brother, the Maroon 5 singer and judge of NBC’s The Voice — who signed on early for the It Gets Better Project — spoke out against homophobia, particularly as he perceives it within American Idol.

Here’s the thrust: Whereas The Voice boasted four openly gay contestants in its debut season, as pointed out by EW three months ago, Idol has always followed an unspoken don’t-ask-don’t-tell code. “What’s always pissed me off about Idol is wanting to mask that, for that to go unspoken,” Levine said. “C’mon. You can’t be publicly gay? At this point? On a singing competition? Give me a break. You can’t hide basic components of these people’s lives. The fact that The Voice didn’t have any qualms about being completely open about it is a great thing.”

You’ll find plenty more thrustworthy photos where this one came from, by the way. Though I can’t decide which is sexier: the photo spread, Levine’s assertion that he just loves being “as naked as possible all the time,” or this mood-setting sentence: “Levine folds himself into the corner of a long purple couch and eats a bowl of Cracklin’ Oat Bran.” Everything about that just seems right.

Also, Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” (ft. Christina Aguilera) has been in my head for the past five hours and I’m not entirely sick of it just yet. This is huge.

Read more on EW.com:

‘The Voice’ has openly gay singers, where are they on ‘Idol’?

Adam Levine sues ‘Band Hero’ for exploiting his likeness, making him sing like a lady

Review: Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera, “Moves Like Jagger”

The Voice: EW’s Official Episode Guide

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