Lance Bass tells People Magazine I�m gay
Following months of speculation, 'N Sync singer comes out
Ross von Metzke | July 27, 2006
HOLLYWOOD — �I�m Gay,� screams the headline from this week�s People Magazine, on newsstands Friday, bringing to end months of speculation surrounding former 'N Sync-er Lance Bass and his rumored relationship with Amazing Race winner Reichen Lehmkuhl.
The 27-year-old pop star, who�s been the subject of numerous attempted media outings for much of the past year, sat down for an exclusive with the magazine to talk about his sexual orientation for the first time publicly.
�I knew that I was in this popular band and I had four other guys� careers in my hand, and I knew that if I ever acted on it or even said (that I was gay), it would overpower everything,� Bass told the magazine, according to ABC News Online.
At the height of their popularity in the late 90�s, 'N Sync was playing to sold out crowds across the world, a bundle of number one hits (including �Bye, Bye, Bye� and �Tearin� Up My Heart�) in their repertoire and appearing on the covers of every teen girl magazine on the market.
The boys went on hiatus in 2002 to pursue solo projects and outside interests. While Justin Timberlake�s star rose to include a multi-platinum selling recording career and film roles, Bass largely stepped behind the scenes as producer, director and sometimes actor.
And the rumors about his sexuality began to fly.
Though the gay and lesbian community in New York and Los Angeles has considered Bass� sexuality something of an open secret for years, main stream media first began speculating when Bass made a 2005 appearance with Kathy Griffin and her 'gays' on her reality show, My Life on the �D� List.
Just a few months later, photos of Bass and Lehmkuhl began popping up on Web logs and in the tabloids, with gay gossip columnist Andy Towle of Towle Road spotting the pair in Provincetown for the notoriously all-gay 4th of July Weekend, the singer attempting to �disguise� himself with a ball cap.
Online gossip Perez Hilton claimed to have photographic evidence of the two sharing each other�s clothing while editors at the Washington Blade waged an online blog campaign to out the singer, both attacking him for being �openly closeted� and his career highlights post 'N Sync, alluding to his �ill fated attempt at space exploration.�
Bass told People he is in a stable relationship with Lehmkuhl, who rose to fame after winning the million dollar cash prize with then partner Chip Arndt on The Amazing Race.
The singer made it a point to tell the magazine that he is in no was embarrassed by his sexuality; it was merely a matter of waiting for the right time to come out.
�I'm not ashamed,� he told the magazine. �I'm more liberated and happy than I've been my whole life.�
According to People, band mate Joey Fatone, with whom Bass is developing a sitcom pilot based around The Odd Couple, was the first to respond to the pop star�s announcement.
�I back him up 100-percent,� Fatone said.
Though many media outlets took it upon themselves to be the first to �out� Bass, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation criticized such attempts, saying none of Bass' actions justified invading his privacy.
"Coming out is a personal, private decision that needs to be made by the individual," Damon Romine, GLAAD�s entertainment media director, told ABC News in an interview before the singer�s announcement. �Media speculation about people's sexual orientation is not something we support.� – Gay Link Content
Did I miss the �National Coming Out Week� Memo?