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It Should Be Boring To Be Gay
It's a sign of the disgusting hold of irrational thought in the form of religion that it's still a big deal to be gay. How sad that so many gay people have to go through so much to hide their sexuality, or are endangered physically or socially when they let the most basic thing about themselves -- their sexuality -- be known. Here's a story about Lance Bass of the band 'N Sync being in hiding for years:

Lance Bass, the former 'N Sync heartthrob, reveals that he is gay, in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE.

"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," says Bass, referring to bandmates Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake.

"I didn’t know: Could that be the end of ’N Sync? So I had that weight on me of like, ‘Wow, if I ever let anyone know, it's bad.' So I just never did," he says speaking about his sexual orientation for the first time with PEOPLE.

Now, after years of keeping his personal life private, the Mississippi-bred, Southern Baptist-reared Bass, 27, is publicly revealing what he first shared with his friends, then his shocked family.

"He took years to really think about how he was going to tell everyone," says his close buddy Fatone, 29, who was the first 'N Sync bandmate to find out Bass is gay. "I back him up 100 percent." Adds Bass’s longtime pal, actress Christina Applegate: "I've always accepted him as who he is. It's about his own serenity at this point."

Having pursued acting, producing and – most memorably – space flight after ’N Sync went on hiatus in 2002, Bass now is looking ahead to new beginnings. He is in a "very stable" relationship with model-actor-Amazing Race winner Reichen Lehmkuhl, 32, and is developing an Odd Couple-inspired sitcom pilot with Fatone in which his character will be gay.

Mostly, though, he’s just enjoying the relief that comes with the culmination of a long, at times emotionally fraught journey.

"The thing is, I’m not ashamed – that’s the one thing I want to say," he explains of his decision to come out. "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."

If you're straight, think about what it would be like if most of the people in the world were gay and you were one of the few straight people: to have to have to have some uncomfortable conversation with your parents at 15, and come out as heterosexual. To worry about losing your job or being looked at funny or maybe even being beaten up for being "openly heterosexual." And all the rest.

Posted by aalkon at July 26, 2006 8:19 AM

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Comments

I LOVE JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE!

I usually can't get my eyes off the photos long enough to read interviews with him, but I remember something a couple of years ago where he gave the thumbs-up to his homie-sexual brothers and sisters.

These kids are too fabulous to be homophobic. I'm reminded of the time I came out to my niece (another Justin fan):

"I need to tell you something about myself. I'm gay."

"Oh. Okay."

And that was that!

Posted by: Lena at July 26, 2006 8:43 AM

The weirdest imaginable showbiz example for the point you're trying to make... Boybands of the 1990's were the most successful ventures of their kind, marketing silliness to adolescents. These teen years are when sexual identity is still drying, right? And all these feminine male singers and premenstrual female singers are packaged to take advantage of this rubbery confusion in young minds. Lance Bass kicked a$$ in this market like few people in human history, and was poised to retire at the hour that most of us graduate college in deep debt.

If his sexual fluidity was authentic (where as that of the others was merely implicit) it probably didn't hurt his popularity, and might have helped a lot. See also Tab Hunter and Rock Hudson. All gays should be so oppressed and constrained. All teenagers should!

To hear him whining in this context is like listening to a president complain about campaigning, or a Pope griping about all those boring services. Remember The Godfather? "This is the business we have chosen."

It takes a coddled celebrity of the first order to now speak of his "serenity."

Posted by: Crid at July 26, 2006 10:27 AM

Point taken, Crid...but, actually, I was thinking about the issue in general because I did a column for my deadline yesterday, answering the question of a jealous lesbian...brought the issue to my mind...and this was one of the news items I saw when I woke up.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 26, 2006 10:30 AM

Oh, who cares about Lance anyway? He's ugly.

LENA LOVES JUSTIN!

Posted by: Lena at July 26, 2006 10:36 AM

"If you're straight, think about what it would be like if most of the people in the world were gay and you were one of the few straight people."

Wouldn't be a lot of procreation going on then would there?

Posted by: Rob at July 26, 2006 1:39 PM

Actually you don't need to think about it--there's a movie! I know, via email, the professor who directed A"lmost Normal" --click on the URL for the link. It's pretty good.

Posted by: KateCoe at July 26, 2006 5:08 PM

"If you're straight, think about what it would be like if most of the people in the world were gay and you were one of the few straight people: to have to have to have some uncomfortable conversation with your parents at 15, and come out as heterosexual. To worry about losing your job or being looked at funny or maybe even being beaten up for being "openly heterosexual." And all the rest."

Already read that book, it's called The Forever War.

Posted by: Tom at July 28, 2006 10:56 AM

Well, Rob, you no longer need a man to have sex with a woman to have children.

And Kate, I think your link got messed up as you were posting it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 28, 2006 11:02 AM

Yay...

Less brats to trip over while at the grocery....

Posted by: Rob at July 31, 2006 1:32 PM

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