Joshua Bassett Calls Coming Out 'One of the Easiest and Most Liberating' Things He's Ever Done
By Rachel McRady
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Joshua Bassett is comfortable in who he is and who he loves. The 20-year-old High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star opened up about his sexuality earlier this year and the decision wasn't a difficult one for him.
"Funnily enough, it was one of the easiest things I've ever done and one of the most liberating things I've ever done," Bassett says in a new interview for Attitudemagazine. "I wasn't planning on talking about it and then there was a point where it kind of got bigger than me and I knew I had to acknowledge it. I wrote the statement in less than five minutes, it all came out at once. I was like, 'Yep, let's post it,' and felt really great about it. And I never looked back."
However, Bassett notes that "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] firsthand," he tells the magazine. "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."
He adds, "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.’ 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. 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."
Bassett wants to make sure his fans don't feel pressured to open up about their own sexuality if they're not ready.
"There is no right answer when it comes to your sexuality or your sexual identity," he says. "You decide. If you don't know yet, then you don't know and that's that and that's OK... Don't put any pressure on yourself to figure it out because nobody really figures it out. We're all sort of making it up as we go."
He added that he's be "super open" to his HSMTMTS character Ricky having an LGBTQ storyline.
“I trust the writers, and I trust Disney to do what’s best, and you know what, I would love that,” he says. “I’m down for whatever they choose. All of that’s out of my control, I don’t have a say in that, but yeah, that would be great.”
Discussions about Bassett's sexuality started in May when he called Harry Styles "hot" in a video that went viral. He later released a statement on social media, writing, "Love who you love shamelessly. It's OK to still be figuring out who you are. Life's too short to let ignorance and hatred win. I choose love."
In a June 2021 interview with GQ, Bassett addressed his sexuality, saying he identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community, but hesitated to put a label on himself.
"I am anti-coming out in the sense that there’s no need to. People are welcome to have boxes if they want them," he said at the time. "There are plenty of letters in the alphabet... Why bother rushing to a conclusion? 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."