By Kate Feldman
New York Daily News
Lance Bass stayed in the closet for the sake of *NSYNC.
As the boy band accepted its Hollywood Walk of Fame star Monday, the former member spoke about his decision to come out as gay in 2006, years after *NSYNC members went their separate ways.
“Growing up in Mississippi and in a Southern Baptist church, in a town where everyone knows your business, I had a secret: I was gay,” Bass said.
“Yes, guys, I’m gay! I am! And at the time, I thought that I would never be able to tell anyone because not only was I terrified of the lasting rejection – I was certain that that would happen – but more than that I didn’t want to jeopardize the careers of these guys up here, much less the hundreds of amazing people who worked tirelessly to bring *NSYNC to the world.”
Bass, now 38, revealed in a 2006 People magazine cover story that he’s gay. Today, he’s married to painter and actor Michael Turchin. Their December 2014 wedding, which aired on E!, was the first same-sex ceremony shown on cable television.
“I thought if I had come out, *NSYNC would be over. So I kept my secret. And our wildest dreams were coming true, and we were so incredibly thankful – and I still am. But so many nights onstage, I’d see so many young, gay fans singing their hearts out, and I wanted so badly to let you know, I was you. I just didn’t have the strength then,” Bass said during the Walk of Fame unveiling.
“But I do today and so let me say loud and proud to all my LGBT brothers and sisters, who embrace me and show me the way to be who I am, thank you so much.”
Bass reunited with Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, JC Chasez and Chris Kirkpatrick for the special event, along with speakers Ellen DeGeneres and Carson Daly. Over the weekend, the band also celebrated its Los Angeles pop-up, “The Dirty Pop-Up,” and sat in on Timberlake’s Man of the Woods concert in Inglewood.