Former *NSYNC member Lance Bass has revealed that he is gay. "I knew that I was in this popular band and I had four other guys' careers in my hand," he told People magazine, "and I knew that if I ever acted on it or even said [that I was gay], it would overpower everything...I didn't know: Could that be the end of *NSYNC? So I had that weight on me of like, 'Wow, if I ever let anyone know, it's bad.' So I just never did." Of Bass' ex-bandmates (Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, JC Chasez, and Chris Kirkpatrick), Fatone was the first to know Bass was gay. "I back him up 100 percent," Fatone told the magazine. Bass, whose sexual orientation has been fodder for tabloids recently, also verified what gossip columnists have long been speculating: Yes, he is in a "very stable" relationship with Amazing Race winner Reichen Lehmkuhl.
"The thing is, I'm not ashamed -- that's the one thing I want to say," Bass said. "I don't think it's wrong, I'm not devastated going through this. I'm more liberated and happy than I've been my whole life. I'm just happy." Now that he's out, Bass plans to continue work on an Odd Couple-inspired sitcom pilot with Fatone, in which Bass will play a gay character.
Talk: Do you think Bass' decision to announce his sexual orientation will motivate any other potentially closeted artists to come out? COMMENT
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