Disney cutie Joshua Bassett set the internet ablaze last month when he alluded to having a crush on former boybander (and bona fide hottie) Harry Styles, leaving many to question his sexuality and prompting Bassett to release a powerful statement regarding his journey to finding himself.
“My entire life people have told me my sexuality," he wrote on Tuesday, May 11. "People have shamed me for things they know nothing about. I want to say thank you to those of you who stand for love and acceptance. Toxicity, hatred and negativity say less about the subject but say far more about those who spew it.
“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,” he vaguely added, still leaving many to wonder how he identifies.
Now, the 20-year-old singer is clarifying that he is indeed part of the LGBTQ+ community. “I wasn’t joking,” Bassett said, putting any questions to rest, but the actor noted he is still figuring out how to properly articulate his sexuality.
“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,” he spilled to GQ. “All of these can be true. I’m happy to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community because they embrace all. Don’t let anyone tell you love isn’t love. They’re the ones who probably need it the most.”
The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star explained the reactions he received from fans, family and complete strangers after he released his powerful essay speaking his truth gave him “an opportunity to say something that I believe in.”
Bassett added, “I stood behind every word that I said,” referring to his coming-out post. "Even if there are consequences, I would much rather deal with consequences and live my truth than live in fear."
Growing up, the dancer dealt with others' opinions of his sexuality. “People would tell me that I’m straight or [I] can’t be gay because XYZ thing,” he told the outlet, noting that people didn't believe him “either way” when discussing his sexuality.
As far as what he hopes for the future for his millions of young fans around the world is that they won’t feel the need to “come out” in the same way he did, as it will be fully accepted. “I am anti-coming out in the sense that there’s no need to,” he said, but added that “people are welcome to have boxes if they want them.”