June is Pride Month, and Lance Bass of 'NSync, who came out as gay in a People cover story in 2006, tells Yahoo Entertainment that he thinks “we are definitely in a time where we can have an openly gay boy band member and complete band. Times have completely changed.”
Bass’s comment coincides with a recent photo opp backstage at New Kids on the Block’s Mixtape tour at Los Angeles’s Hollywood Bowl with NKTOB’s openly gay Jonathan Knight — who came out in 2011, 27 years after NKTOB’s formation. Bass’s Instagram post of the moment was amusingly captioned, “Co-chairs of G.A.B.A. The Gay American BoyBand Association. Desperately seeking new members!”
Prior to Bass’s coming-out announcement four years after 'NSync went on indefinite hiatus, media speculation — particularly in the celebrity gossip blogs — regarding his sexuality had run rampant for years. In his People announcement, Bass emphatically stated, “The thing is, I'm not ashamed — that's the one thing I want to say. 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.”
The public’s reaction to Bass’s announcement at that time was generally positive, and it probably would be even more well-received today, in an age when LGBTQ artists of various genres, like Sam Smith, Janelle Monáe, Troye Sivan, Brandi Carlile, Frank Ocean, Kim Petras, and Halsey are on the charts.
“I mean, the music industry is still very homophobic; you still have a lot of those record heads that just are dinosaurs, and they're just going to really have this homophobic look at us,” Bass acknowledges. “But times are definitely changing. Just look at the last five years, all these LGBT artists that are out and proud — and not coming out after they're famous, but before they're famous. That never would've happened 10 years ago.”
'NSync, minus Justin Timberlake, recently reunited at the Coachella festival during Ariana Grande’s Sunday headlining set — and at the Mixtape Tour’s Hollywood Bowl show, NKTOB’s Donnie Wahlberg rallied for a permanent ‘NSync reunion. So, perhaps the time is also right for the full-time return of 'NSync.
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