It has really hit the world media in the last few days that singer Lance Bass of NYSNC is in fact gay. This is a surprise to many of his fans, but I am sure many in the gay world have suspected it for some time now. But after months of rumors, mostly on the internet, the truth is coming out.
The news really isn’t about whether the singer is gay or not, it’s more about why did he come out now? Many say he could have come out many years ago, but according to the newly-out singer, “I knew that I was in this popular band and I had four other guys’ careers in my hand, and I knew that if I ever acted on it or even said (that I was gay), it would overpower everything.” He goes on to tell the latest PEOPLE magazine, “I didn’t know: Could that be the end of ’N Sync? So I had that weight on me of like, ‘Wow, if I ever let anyone know, it’s bad.’ So I just never did.”
So why did he go public with everything? Well it’s seems that there may have been a bit of pressure on him. After several months of media speculation and the intense internet rumors, it appears that he was put in a position to be honest or step back into a bigger and deeper closet, which he seems to have done in the past; “dating” many different girls in the public eye up till he was 22. “I’ve definitely, you know, been with women,” the singer proclaims “And I’ve had great relationships with them where I was definitely in love. It’s just I grew to a point where deep inside I knew that I could never truly have a relationship with a woman.”
Lance Bass has known that he was gay, as he puts his “whole life … from childhood on,” but felt it was something that he “would have to hide my whole life.” Lance who is now 27, was raised Southern Baptist in Clinton, Mississippi, where his father is in the real estate business and his mother is a teacher at a middle school. So being Mississippi-bred he states that being gay is “not looked at very highly.”
His real personal struggle hasn’t been with the public finding out but with his family. His father was concerned about his health and wellbeing telling him, “It’s much easier for gay people to get AIDS,” and furthermore telling him that “Statistics show that these relationships don’t last. You know it’s not going to last.” His mother on the other hand “broke down.”, but as he explains, “The worst part about it was my mom found out not from me…”She found out on the Internet, and that’s what just killed me… It destroyed her for a little bit.” The singer’s own sister started crying, but perhaps the most moving and touching experience seems to have been with his grandmother, who was just told last week, and handled it “so well,” according to him. She was like, ‘You know what? I may not agree with it, but I love you just the same and you’re welcome in my house anytime.’
Joey Fatone one of his NYSNC band mates said, “I back him up 100 percent.”… “He took years to really think about how he was going to tell everyone.” Fatone once even walked in on Lance and a male date at his house in Orlando, Florida, reportedly saying “Dude, I don’t care.” Fatone is currently developing a sitcom pilot with Lance, said to be an Odd Couple-inspired show in which Bass’ character will be gay. As, for the others, JC Chasez told MTV News, “I’ve known Lance for more than 10 years…”We have been through so much together. He is family and I support him unconditionally.” JC Chasez found out about three months ago. Chris Kirkpatrick found out everything last summer. And with a bit of surprise to most of the public, is the fact that Lance has never come clean to Justin Timberlake. He explains it like this: “I haven’t had the conversation with Justin yet. I know he knows, but I’ve never really sat him down and said it… I will be calling him.”
Lance also says “I’m pretty sure they all knew and they probably all talked to each other, but they had the respect to let me tell them. He adds “very few people have the guts to come up to you and say, ‘Hey, are you gay?” Timberlake did say this week however that “Lance is one of my great friends… I support him and wish him all the happiness in the world.” It has been reported that his fellow band mates suspected Lance being gay in the past, “because we were like brothers.” Lance now says, and they often wondered, “why aren’t you hitting on women all the time and acting like a rock star?’ Because I was a good Christian boy, that’s why.”
The rumors started during ‘NSYNC’s heyday of popularity, but really began to fuel the fire in the last couple of months, with tabloids and gossip internet sites literally tracking his every move, as he says it was “really starting to affect my daily life.” Coming out now and confirming things has giving him the chance to have the power saying, “Now it feels like it’s on my terms. I’m at peace with my family, my friends, myself and God, so there’s nothing else that I worry about.” a close friend and actress Christina Applegate, has also been supportive saying, “I’ve always accepted him as who he is. It’s about his own serenity at this point.”
Lance Bass is surely not the first boy band member to come out of the closet, back in August 2005, Mark Feehily of the band Westlife, revealed he was in a long-term relationship with singer Kevin McDaid, saying, “I want people to know the truth about my sexuality. I am gay and I’m very proud of who I am. I’m not asking for any sympathy, or to be a role model to anyone else.” Earlier that same year Irish boy band Boyzone’s Stephen Gately also came out after rumors surfaced that he was being threatened by a tabloid that was planning to out him with or without his consent. This very same thing seems to have happened in this current situation; Lance could come out himself or be forced out by a tabloid. This way of outing public figures and celebrities seems to becoming something that seems to be happening more and more.
Lance confirms that he is in a “very stable” relationship with reality-TV personality and gay-rights activist Reichen Lehmkuhl, who won the $1 million dollar prize with his former partner Chip Arndt on CBS’s The Amazing Race 4. He has also appeared on NBC’s Fear Factor and most recently was the host of a talk show on the now recently defunct Q Television Network.
This past April, Reichen tried to put out some of the fire and speculation by posting a statement on his web site explaining that he wanted to keep his personal and private life actually private, saying, “As for the rumors about me and Lance, please continue to remind people that things that I do not discuss anymore, such as the private and personal relationships that I have, are just that — private — unless I choose to open up with details to my family and close friends for reasons of support and love,” he wrote. “I wish people could allow that part of me for, well, just me and who I choose to share my life with and love … and to leave it well enough alone.”
The 32-year-old Lehmkuhl started as Lance’s real-estate agent, then becoming friends and then finally lovers. The singer says they are “taking it one day at a time… This is a huge turning point in my life and also in his life too.” He also says he would love to have a family one day and wants to have his own kids, and adopt as well.
Lance Bass is showing his own version of pride saying “The thing is, I’m not ashamed – that’s the one thing I want to say,” he explains “I don’t think it’s wrong, I’m not devastated going through this. I’m more liberated and happy than I’ve been my whole life. I’m just happy …I want people to take away from this that being gay is a norm,” he continues. “That the stereotypes are out the window… I’ve met so many people like me that it’s really encouraged me. I call them the SAGs — the straight-acting gays. We’re ju