AceShowbiz - Joshua Bassett has opened up about coming out of the closet. The "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" star, who revealed that he is a member of the LGBTQ community in May, confessed that he found it "liberating" to come out though he experienced "a lot of homophobia."
"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 20-year-old actor/singer revealed in a cover story for Attitude magazine's September issue. "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."
However, Joshua admitted that he received many positive and supportive messages from people who could understand his situation, which he said "makes it all worth it." He continued, "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.' "
Referring to his coming out statement, Joshua divulged that he wrote it "in less than five minutes," but he never felt anxious about putting it out. "It felt so right," the "Feel Something" singer stated. "I put it out and never looked back. It was liberating, it was freeing. It was nothing like I expected it to be."
Joshua shared his coming out note after an interview where he called Harry Styles "hot" went viral. "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," Joshua continued. He then realized that it was "an important opportunity" to come out, adding, "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."
Elsewhere in the interview, Joshua addressed people's reactions to his coming out moment, "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." The Ricky Bowen depicter on the musical series 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."