Lance Bass: “I’m Gay”

Lance_is_gayYes, the rumors are true. Lance Bass has come out of the closet in the latest issue of People:

Having pursued acting, producing and – most memorably – space flight after ’N Sync went on hiatus in 2002, Bass now is looking ahead to new beginnings. He is in a “very stable” relationship with model-actor-Amazing Race winner Reichen Lehmkuhl, 32, and is developing an Odd Couple-inspired sitcom pilot with Fatone in which his character will be gay.

Mostly, though, he’s just enjoying the relief that comes with the culmination of a long, at times emotionally fraught journey.

“The thing is, I’m not ashamed – that’s the one thing I want to say,” he explains of his decision to come out. “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.”

As for why he’s talking about this now Bass says, “The main reason I wanted to speak my mind was that (the rumors) really were starting to affect my daily life. Now it feels like it’s on my terms. I’m at peace with my family, my friends, myself and God so there’s really nothing else that I worry about.”

Good for Lance. It’s very easy to say ‘you should have done it sooner’ but I applaud him for finally making this decision. The issue hits newsstands Friday…

You may have missed…
As Seen in Provincetown — Part One [tr]
No Privacy for Lance Bass at Gay Bar [abc news]
(thanks for the tip barry)

Comments

  1. GBM says

    Good for Lance. Still, some people don’t need to come out of the closet…Some so obviously gay that the closet tiptoes away fro them without them knowing, then hightails it out of sight. I think that was Lance. But we need more publicly-out-and-proud celebrities, so right on. And in the absence of real celebrity, we will sontinue to take what we can get. Congrats, again.

  2. Dottie says

    Once again, another celeb who everyone and their grandmama knew was a fag comes out only after repeated outings in the press. Would he have otherwise?

  3. sam says

    Good for him. A Southern Baptist from Mississippi has to over come a great deal of emotional baggage to come out. This is very significant for him and I hope he’s happy.

  4. Rob (lrdarystar) says

    What matters is that he is finally saying it. He had to be ready to come out and until then everything was circumstance and rumor. Well, mostly anyway… I hope he’s happy and his family/friends support him. I may be only 24 but when I saw him on that Disney channel N’Sync concert so long ago I thought “well here’s hoping he’ll be happy one day.”

  5. Patrick says

    How and when someone comes out should always be on their own terms. What I find appalling is when gay press itself outs gay celebrities with rumors and such….and all the sarcastic comments, then when the celebrity does ultimately come out, they applaud him.

  6. hoya86 says

    Good for him. The timing and circumstances of coming out is intensely personal -even if the person is in the public eye! I hope he makes something postive of this and the “I’m Gay” stuff is not just connected to security of being in a relationship but rather comes out of a real and material sense of self.

  7. David says

    You’re right — he was outed in the press and only came out to quell any further speculation. However, if there is somebody out there, say another Southern Baptist boy in Mississippi, can see it as positive, I don’t care why he came out.

  8. says

    For once it would be nice to see someone come out during the prime of his/her career, not after it has already ended. It almost smells of a publicity stunt to attract attention to his proposed TV pilot.

    Nonetheless, good for him. It’s still a big deal to have your face with “I’m Gay” in 78 point font underneath on the cover of People Magazine.

    Also great that the frosted hair appears to have seen its last days.

  9. Zeke says

    As a fellow “Southern Baptist from Mississippi” I know where Lance comes from. I applaud him for coming out, regardless of the circumstances. Better late than never.

    Wow, we Mississippi queers are “coming out” of the woodwork: me, Will Wykle and now Bass. When I was growing up in Mississippi, I didn’t know there were THREE of us in the whole state!

    I’m a bit curious about the People headline that claims he was “Hurt by the rumors”. What rumors was he hurt by I wonder? The rumors that he was gay or some of the other petty and meanspirited rumors about the status of his relationship with Reichen.

  10. Rad says

    I applaud Lance! It is SUCH a hard thing to go through. I was his age when I came out, and I know the pressure he must have felt to finally admit it (family, friends, associates). Compound that with having some celebrity status that thrusts your life under the microscope more often than you would care to. Good for him! And FINALLY, we have an alternative to GM that may show what a young, gay male pop star is suppose to behave like!

    I like the comment: “…I’m at peace with my family, my friends, myself and God so there’s really nothing else that I worry about.” It’s a touchstone to the young, gay, closeted Christians that are terrified to be cooked in Hell if they come out. You can be at peace with your God and be yourself.

    Lance will be a exceptional role model!

    Rad

  11. says

    Regardless of whether his celebrity status is as high as it once was in the late 90s, it is a huge deal and a great victory for him. I think it will also be a great thing for gay people of all ages to watch his career continue…or to see how it take shape with this information out there. I really don’t see any problems befalling him in the celebrity arena, seeing as he already has a built in fan base that can only grow to include a much larger community. (I am guessing that the saccharine dance pop of N-Sync is not going to be “re-discovered” but that gay people will be watching his newer projects with a bit more interest than they may have previously.)

    Based on what I have read, I think he was trying to come out for a long time and I think that the not so discreet “sightings” he was a part of with Reichen were a way of putting a toe in the water and pushing the door open a bit.

    Though I am not an NSYNC fan (my tastes run a bit edgier), I would like to see what the future holds for this attractive young guy and I hope he and his love can have a great relationship without the stress and lies of “the closet”.

    I also think it will inspire young people to be un-afraid and come out to their families, co-workers and most of all to themselves. This often happens when a celebrity comes out and I don’t see this as being any different.

    Recently, I read a quote in a magazine from Mr. Towleroad himself in which he says he is inspired by the e-mails he gets where people tell him that his site has made them come out of the closet or make positive changes in their lives. That’s why it makes perfect sense that this article is profiled in this blog.

    So, to our Blogmaster…thank you for creating this forum. Thank you for including this information as well!

    And To Lance…Congratulations!

  12. says

    Regardless of whether his celebrity status is as high as it once was in the late 90s, it is a huge deal and a great victory for him. I think it will also be a great thing for gay people of all ages to watch his career continue…or to see how it take shape with this information out there. I really don’t see any problems befalling him in the celebrity arena, seeing as he already has a built in fan base that can only grow to include a much larger community. (I am guessing that the saccharine dance pop of N-Sync is not going to be “re-discovered” but that gay people will be watching his newer projects with a bit more interest than they may have previously.)

    Based on what I have read, I think he was trying to come out for a long time and I think that the not so discreet “sightings” he was a part of with Reichen were a way of putting a toe in the water and pushing the door open a bit.

    Though I am not an NSYNC fan (my tastes run a bit edgier), I would like to see what the future holds for this attractive young guy and I hope he and his love can have a great relationship without the stress and lies of “the closet”.

    I also think it will inspire young people to be un-afraid and come out to their families, co-workers and most of all to themselves. This often happens when a celebrity comes out and I don’t see this as being any different.

    Recently, I read a quote in a magazine from Mr. Towleroad himself in which he says he is inspired by the e-mails he gets where people tell him that his site has made them come out of the closet or make positive changes in their lives. That’s why it makes perfect sense that this article is profiled in this blog.

    So, to our Blogmaster…thank you for creating this forum. Thank you for including this information as well!

    And To Lance…Congratulations!

  13. JA says

    The more fascinating part of this article is when Mr. Bass equates “stable relationship” with Reichen Lemkhul. I wonder how long before Mr. Bass goes from feeling liberated to jaded? :-)

  14. John T says

    Yay, another former boy-band member on “our team.” I’d be a little more impressed (and if I was a young closet case, a little more hopeful) if it had instead been a politician, journalist, athlete, elite scientist, or anybody else who is famous for doing something besides making 12-year-old girls swoon. Oh well, take what we can get.

  15. says

    Hey, maybe he will go from “by band also-ran” to a new level of celeb status with whatever projects he may have coming up. I agree that Nsync was prcessed velveeta corporate pop, but he could rise from the ashes to form a new identity…and gain a new level of acceptance.

    In addition, you never know… he could be a catalyst for other celebs to come out. There is no way he could have come out at the height of Nysnc’s fame… there were to many teenage girl dollars to be had at the time… I know I sound jaded about that, but that’s the truth.

    Now why the hell doesn’t Ricky Martin formally come out? Is he STILL that popular in the Latin community? His last few singles weren’t dynamic or memorable and just came and went. Shouldn’t he be due for a “phoenix rising from the ashes moment” soon?

  16. Anon2 says

    People Mag no doubt paid him for the story, but still, at least someone famous ignored their agents and “handlers” and told the truth! (Does anyone know if he still has any agents or handlers?) Now, he should go on that space ride he chickened out of…

  17. Scott says

    What a horrible burden Lance has had to deal with. Not the gay thing…I mean not being able to snicker when Reichen describes himself as an “model-actor”.

  18. Amanda says

    You guys seem very jaded. NO everyone did not know Lance is gay. You fail to realize Lance has a lot of N’SYNC fans that are very sheltered and live in Middle America. And yes its a big deal for YOUNGER GAY PEOPLE. Maybe not to the swishy queens on this site. However, this story will gain more ATTENTION than Darren Hayes coming out that’s for sure. N’SYNC was the biggest boy band EVER. All over the globe. I cannot believe anyone would criticize Lance. He has a LOT OF COURAGE HERE. He’s only 27. At least he’s not like closeted faggots like Kevin Spacey and numerous OLDER queers hiding in the closet. This kid has BALLS and he deserves respect. Go Lance!!

  19. Kyle Childress says

    I agree with Greg. Way too much bitterness. Is it too much to just simply welcome him to the tribe and wish him happiness? Think back to when you finally made that leap out of the closet and remember how great you finally felt and try to be happy for him. Damn.

  20. says

    I say the more gay men and women that come out – famous or not – the better. Hiding who you are only says that something is wrong with it. Lance is only 27 and could have attempted to dodge the rumors for years. But unlike so many other celebrities, he chose to do the right thing. Good for him, and welcome to our little club, Lance. Congrats to your boyfriend on his new toaster oven. I use mine all the time.

  21. Will says

    So, is Lance Bass the Toothy Tile of Ted Casablanca’s gossip column? Or is there still yet another (I’m sure there are many) closeted celeb waiting to come out?

  22. Zeke says

    If you grew up: in San Francisco, LA or New York City; in California, New York state or New England; in any large city or in any progressive city or part of the country; or within a family that was anywhere to spiritual left of Jerry Falwell and the political left of Jesse Helms, be thankful! Then let me suggest that you take a day trip to rural Southern Baptist Mississippi to see what life is like on another planet. Consider what it must be like for queer people who are actually born and raised there. That, in addition to the consideration of his fame and his concern for the careers of his bandmates, may help to put into perspective just how big a deal this coming out announcement is.

    I can’t relate to the fame or the concern for the careers of bandmates, but I have lived, and thankfully survived, the Mississippi experience.

    Let’s just be happy that Lance has also survived and even thrived, by whatever means, and has openly and proudly joined us on the other side of the closet. If all he gets is ridicule, what message does that send to others who are struggling with coming out?

    I can’t imagine what it would have meant to me, when I was a queerling growing up in Oxford, MS, if I had heard an announcement like this. A successful, gay person with whom I shared so much in common. Wow, I just can’t imagine!

  23. ric says

    overall, the fact that Lance is making this statement is a good thing. He’s out and open and now the rumors and speculation will stop and he can get on with his business. And yes, for any young gay people who might not have much support or anyone to look up to, an out and proud celebrity like Bass might give them some kind of light in what can be a dark time for anyone struggling with it. Some of the postings here (mine included) have a bit of sarcasm attached becuase really, it is sort of a “told you so” kind of situation. I mean, the guy’s a big fag and the jabs he’s going to take from other fags are to be expected.

    Amanda, you need to relax and not take this all so personally. Whether or not “N’sync was the biggest boy band ever” is sort of irrelevant. Calling out “closeted faggots like Kevin Spacey” or “OLDER” closeted gay men isn’t really something that someone who sounds like a little girl should probably be commenting on. Being catty is one thing, just being a bitter bitch is something else.

  24. adam says

    while I’m glad he came out.. what pisses me off about these closeted gay celebs is that they have no problem partaking in all the things people who are OUT have worked to establish (oh, say like gay bars, and vacationing with us fags in Provincetown).. but people get “OMG YOU ARE VIOLATING HIS PRIVACY” when you talk about these closet cases wanting to have things both ways and exclaim “why can’t you let him come out on his own”.

    You can’t be a media/press whore one moment and expect the media to “respect your privacy” and keep your open secrets the next (which i guess would apply to the britney’s of the world too)

  25. Nicholas says

    Good for him and shame on those who are pooh-pooh’ing his acknowledging his true self. Obviously you never lived in the southeast of the USA or if you did, it was in a liberal oasis like Atlanta. ‘Cause if you did, you would know that you are brainwashed from the day that your are born by the holy rollers to believe that gay is the worst of the worst. He could well have risked becoming persona-non-grata with his entire family, which hurts more then anything you can imagine if you’ve been there. If you think it was easy, I assure you it isn’t. Mississippi is the #1 most anti-gay state in the entire USA, even surpassing the Mormon Triangle (Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming) in it’s hatred for gays.

    On a lighter note… Queens, stop your hatin’ this instant! You know you’re only being jealous because he didn’t pick you. If you were a teen when ‘Nsync hit it big and you never masturbated while fantasizing about doing it with Lance, then you were living under rock. We all know you did it at least once, so you might as well admit it! Now get over it! So let’s show the boi some support, m’kay?

  26. Marcolo says

    To Nicholas: No one in their right mind masturbated to Lance. It was always a Justin/JC threeway with me. Get it right.

    Just Kidding.

    I am glad he came out. It was no secret to almost anyone with an ear to the entertainment world, but who cares? Whether you think he came out too late, to bolster his stagnant career or whatever. He’s out.

    I was in the closet for my own reasons and when I came out I realized how stupid those reasons were. Honestly, no one i cared about gave a shit and the few who did seem to have an issue with I don’t fucking care about anymore. Although, like Lance, it wasn’t the most horrible painful burden I had to carry – but that’s another story – but it did/does feel great to be out for 10 years and counting.

    Good for you Lance. Just never do anything musically like N’Sync ever again!!!

    Ps. I’d fuck Reichen.

  27. Anon1 says

    When, how, or why he comes out is HIS business, you jaded, bitter fags! And he was outed by the press only after he decided not to hide from the press. He had been going to gay bars, walking with Reichen on the streets, etc…

    So it’s not like he didn’t have a choice. He could have had a beard, a la Tom Cruise.

    He should have done it sooner? Your opinion doesn’t matter, you goons! None of your business!

  28. Gavin says

    While its entirely within the rights of all of us readers to react to this “news” how we choose…I balk at people sling around “bitter queens” and “fag” at people we disagree with. I’d like to think we can be better than that.

    Those who consider this a non-story do have a point. The guy has been spotted at several gay establishments in as many months. Its nothing we haven’t been speculating on. The fact that he’s come out of the closet is actually very encouraging, as I’d expected he’d take the route of many a closeted public figure and not come out until he’d retired. I think its pretty commendable for him to have taken this step. Gay (in)visability has always been something of a problem in the Hollywood set, the more famous people sending the mainstream public the message that gayness isn’t an abomination or an anomally the better.

  29. Michael says

    Lance coming out is a big deal he did it at 27 as others have said. He didn’t wait until he was over 60 like Richard Chamebrlain and that gay guy from Star Trek. Lance came out as a young gay man and he should be praised for this. It takes a lot of courage to come out.People also need to realize America is very progressive on the West and East coasts. Lance is from the south and from a Baptist family from Mississppi. He came out for himself. And I don’t think people are being fair to him. Maybe this isn’t a big deal to a big city gay guy from LA or New York City. However, for gay people from the South or from isolated places this is a big deal. Good for Lance for being true to himself. I don’t see Jake Gyllenhaal coming out or Anderson Cooper coming out they are hiding in the closet. And no Lance is not Toothy Tile Jake Gyllenhaal is Toothy Tile.

  30. Lexxicuss says

    i think it’s great that you followed up your originanl post and asked us all to take a quick step back and respect what he had to come to terms with before making the final plunge out of the closet.

    and then I thought, what could this multi-millionaire; in todays current climate of celebrity self-outings possibly be afraid of?

    Wouldn’t it take a least a few weeks for the mag to get a major cover story like this ready??? and unless he was decamping from a friends Yacht, what the fuck was he doing in P-Town on one of our biggest weekends?

    While I gladly welcome him into the family, I must step back again and say- bitch pleeeeaaase.

    Miss Thing knew exactly what she was doing.

  31. Giovanni says

    Good on ‘m! Coming out can be tough for anyone – coming out on the cover of People magazine takes some cojones and I would imagine that cover, with the words I AM GAY printed boldly on it, will help facilate many an awkard dining room table confession this week/month.

    Hopefully the late night assassins (Kimmel, Leno, Lettermen) will make the kill short, quick and easy. As for the radio shock jocks… he’s just going to have to ride that out.

  32. says

    MMm whats the big deal? dont tell me you didnt know this hehe, i guess that makes him happier, i actually went to a Beverly hills party once and i saw him making out with a hot guy, i wasn;t shocked i knew he was gay- but i wonder how good is this for people? not record sales.. a member of a boy band is gay- not big deal. I would be more shock if it was Justin T, lol peace

  33. SickofitnSF says

    Who cares or should care? Celebrity worship has become a national addiction. If people were more interested in what they themselves are doing or not doing as opposed to some vapid celebrity this world would be a wonderful place to live.

  34. Anon1 says

    Gavin, you said

    While its entirely within the rights of all of us readers to react to this “news” how we choose…

    That’s what I did. And I don’t call someone a bitter queen because they disagree with me. I call them that because they are bitter queens.

  35. Marcolo says

    Anon1,

    first you say this:

    “When, how, or why he comes out is HIS business, you jaded, bitter fags!”

    then you end your post with this:

    “So it’s not like he didn’t have a choice. He could have had a beard, a la Tom Cruise.”

    So, Lance is off limits, but Tom’s life is just a-ok to pry into?
    I am not sure if I’d consider you a hypocrite or just another “bitter” Jaded fag”?

  36. Joe T. says

    Good for him. I bet a lot of his fans, very average grammar school aged kids across the globe didn’t know that, so his coming out is cool. Alright, it’s not like a Nobel Prize winner coming out, but he’s still a popular guy who kids liked. It makes more kids see that there are far more varied examples of people who prefer their own sex than some of the goofs they see on the news at gay pride parades.

  37. bugsy says

    It shouldn’t matter, really, except to the
    person doing it, where, how, and when
    s/he comes out. Congrats, Lance, you’re
    all the more beautiful for it, and relieved,
    I’m sure. Too many people are pressured
    too much, not enough people given the
    proper support when coming out. Furthermore,
    whether it’s easy or hard for that person,
    it certainly doesn’t depend on their
    degree of celebrity.

  38. Joe T. says

    Greg! Shame on you. (lol) Actually, my personal taste is that Lance Bass is pretty average-looking, but Stephen Gately from Boyzone is a major babe. And Mark Feehily from Westlife is a good-looking guy (though my personal favorite was Shane Filan).

  39. says

    Here’s the thing:

    What Lance Bass has done is unprecedented in American popular culture history, not just LGBT history. While there have been openly gay musicians/pop acts in America, he is the first American male pop singer of a significant and considerable stature to officially come out of the closet.

    It doesn’t matter how he came out (provided that it’s tasteful), or under what circumstances he came out. We should be celebrating his decision, and not bitching about him fucking Reichen Lehmkuhl (who is not that bad, by the by). Now, what do you say we join hands and sing a chorus of “Abraham, Martin, and John”?

  40. says

    I find it hard to care that he came out. But I suppose that to a younger gay man it may be of some use. Everyone would had been better served if he had came out while the band was at its hight. Srill as the saying goes, better late then never, and I wish him as I would anyone the very best. I must say that I saw a picture of his bow and he is a fine man in a white sort of way.

  41. kenny says

    There are some petty comments on this site. I think that alot of you queens are just pissed that Lance did not pick you. Maybe you need to troll the restrooms, and bushes and find a stranger to help relieve you pent up anger.He is HOT. When do the home movies come out???

  42. kenny says

    There are some petty comments on this site. I think that alot of you queens are just pissed that Lance did not pick you. Maybe you need to troll the restrooms, and bushes and find a stranger to help relieve you pent up anger.He is HOT. When do the home movies come out???

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