"If people didn't think there was a small chance I was gay, then I wouldn't be doing my job very well," the Maroon 5 rocker, 32, says in the September issue of Out magazine. "I wouldn't be the front man of a band if that question hadn't come up at some point."
Although he says there's "no way to hide my straightness," Levine – who mentions David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury – notes that "the best" lead singers of all time are "guys whose sexuality was always questioned."
"I'm extremely comfortable in my sexuality," says The Voice judge, who is currently dating model Anne Vyalitsyna. "So I can think, 'Oh, that's a good-looking dude.' Acknowledging that someone's attractive and wanting to [sleep with them] are two different things."
A big part of Levine's comfort with the gay community stems from personal ties.
"My brother is gay, and we all knew when he was 2," he says. "We really wanted to provide some cushion for him and constantly let him know that it's okay. A lot of people don’t want their kid to be gay and will fight it all costs.
"You've got to embrace it from the beginning," Levine continues. "That’s the only way to deal with it as a family. Otherwise, you're just screwing yourself over and you're gonna make your kid miserable."
Issues with IdolThis concept is what makes Levine sensitive when it comes to seeing the way gay contestants are branded while competing on American Idol.
"What's always pissed me off about Idol is wanting to mask [a person's sexuality]," he says. "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 peoples' lives."
Comparing Fox's long-running hit program to NBC's The Voice, Levine says "it's a great thing" his show "didn't have any qualms about being completely open about [sexuality]."
"We just care about a different list of things," he says of the new singing competition that featured four openly gay contestants during its first season, including two who made it to the finale. "It's for a different type of person, I guess."