Lance Bass Reveals the Pressure to Hide His Sexuality While in NSYNC

Written by gaymennewsApril 12, 2024

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Lance Bass recently opened up about the strict “image management” his record label imposed on him before he publicly came out as gay in 2006. The former NSYNC member shared his experiences of being forced to hide his sexuality during the height of his fame, highlighting the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in the entertainment industry.

The Struggle of Being in the Closet

Lance Bass, the former member of the popular boy band NSYNC, recently opened up about the challenges he faced while hiding his sexuality during the height of his fame. In a candid interview on the Pod Meets World podcast, Bass shared his experiences with strict “image management” imposed by his record label before he publicly came out as gay in 2006.

A High School Romance with Danielle Fishel

Danielle Fishel, known for her role as Topanga on the hit sitcom Boy Meets World, revealed that she had dated Lance Bass for about a year during her senior year of high school. Bass even accompanied Fishel to her high school prom as her date. However, two weeks after the prom, Bass broke up with her over the phone, leaving Fishel devastated and wondering about their future together.

Realizing His True Identity

When asked whether he knew he was gay at the time of his breakup with Fishel, Bass admitted that he was aware of his attraction to men but felt that he could never act on it. “You trick yourself into thinking that you’re just always going to be in the closet, that you will meet someone that you can have a relationship with and you live that lie like so many people have to,” he explained.

The Pressure of Image Management

Bass went on to detail the control his management team had over his public image. He revealed that he wasn’t allowed to talk about his love life, so he would appear “available” to fans. “If they knew that I was gay, they wouldn’t say, ‘Hey, if you’re gay, don’t come,'” Bass explained. “But they would always disguise it like, ‘People look up to you so you can’t have a cigarette in your hand, you can’t be seen with a drink, you can’t be seen with a girlfriend.'”

The cultural climate of the 1990s made it difficult for celebrities to come out as gay, and Bass felt that being openly gay was not an option for him at the time. The lack of social media and the public’s reliance on the stories presented to them made it easier for celebrities to manage their image.

Living Authentically

Since coming out in 2006, Lance Bass has been an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and has encouraged others to live their truth. In 2014, he married actor and artist Michael Turpin, and the couple welcomed twins in October 2022.

Bass’s story serves as a reminder of the challenges that many LGBTQ+ individuals face in the entertainment industry and the importance of creating a more inclusive and accepting society. As Bass stated, “Authenticity is key, and everyone can see right through it.”

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