Clay Aiken says he didn't come out of the closet as a 24-year-old American Idol finalist in 2003 because he "probably didn't know" he was gay yet.

"I probably didn't quite realize then, at the time, what was going on," explained Aiken during a Wednesday appearance on The View.

"There's a lot of stuff in the industry, in the media industry, there's pressure from different sides. I think you have to learn to love yourself first and then when you do that you're ready."

The American Idol second-season runner-up subsequently confirmed he was gay in a September 2008 People magazine cover story interview.

Aiken made the announcement several weeks after he had a baby boy via artificial insemination with Jaymes Foster, a record producer and close friend of his.

"He's doing well. He's a normal 2-year-old," said Aiken about his son, Parker Foster Aiken. "He's walking, well he's running. He didn't walk maybe a day and then he started running right away."

Aiken was noticeably absent from a farewell tribute to Simon Cowell during American Idol's ninth-season finale last week, and he said he has a hard time even watching the Fox reality competition.

"I haven't watched it in the longest time. When I watched the season after I was on, I got so nervous. My hands started sweating and I get really nervous about the whole thing. So I haven't watched it," said Aiken on The View.

"My life was okay without it. I appreciate it, but it makes me too anxious to watch that show and I get too invested. Then it depresses me that I don't get to do it anymore."

Aiken and American Idol second-season winner Ruben Studdard are currently slated to embark on a 17-city concert tour beginning July 23 in Asheville, NC.