Joshua Bassett Says It Was 'Liberating' to Come Out Even If He 'Was Subjected' to Homophobia
Joshua Bassett is opening up about coming out.
Speaking with the U.K.'s Attitude Magazine, the "Feel Something" singer, 20, shared that he experienced homophobia firsthand after revealing he was part of the LGBTQ community.
"This was the first time where I was subjected to a lot of homophobia. You know, I seem 'straight' to everyone I meet, pretty much, and I have had to see that [homophobia] first-hand," the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series told the outlet. "Seeing that put things into perspective, of how far along we aren't yet; I thought we were a lot further on than we are."
"On the flip side of all that are the responses I've gotten from people saying, 'I've never had somebody put into words exactly how I feel,'" he added. "Or, 'Thank you so much for helping me be seen.' Or, 'I can't be who I am around my family, but because of you I feel a little bit safer, a little bit more at home.'"
For Bassett, it's the positive responses "that makes it all worth it."
"People can hate me forever and say the nastiest thing possible, but it will not change a thing, because you need to stand tall and face those people as an advocate for all the people without a voice," he added. "Ultimately, all that garbage melts away from one story, let alone thousands of people telling me I've changed their life – which is wild, but a crazy honor."
Bassett shared a note coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community after an interview where he called Harry Styles "hot" went viral. He said he was still figuring it out at the time.
"My team were making me aware that [the interview] was blowing up, and they were, like, 'What are we going to do?' I said, 'I'm not worried about it, let's see what happens… I don't think I need to say anything about it,'" he explained. "But it kept going and growing – I was seeing comments and stuff, and I was, like, this is an important opportunity to say something that I've wanted to say for a while, but never felt like I had to, and never felt like I could."
The singer said he wrote his statement "in less than five minutes" but he never felt anxious about putting it out. "It felt so right," he said. "I put it out and never looked back. It was liberating, it was freeing; it was nothing like I expected it to be."
Bassett revealed that he was part of the LGBTQ community in a statement back in May, sharing a video of himself singing a track related to his coming out.
"Even if there are consequences, I would much rather deal with consequences and live my truth than live in fear," he said, adding that he is "at peace" with his own sexuality but "anti-coming out in the sense that there's no need to," clarifying that he believes "people are welcome to have boxes if they want them."
"There are plenty of letters in the alphabet ... why bother rushing to a conclusion?" the star added then. "Sometimes your letter changes, sometimes you try a different one, other times you realize you're not what you thought you were, or maybe you always knew. All of these can be true."