Joshua Bassett may be his most authentic life right now after coming out in May, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been subjected to homophobia.
The “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” star recently opened up to Attitude UK Magazine about his coming out experience and the profound effect it has had on him.
News of Joshua coming out first started when he admitted that Harry Styles was ‘hot’ and said, “I guess this is my coming out video,” in an interview.
The media went wild with the particular quotes and the news spread like wildfire.
Joshua said the moment didn’t worry him at all.
“My team were making me aware that [the interview] was blowing up, and they were, like, ‘What are we going to do?’ I said, ‘I’m not worried about it, let’s see what happens… I don’t think I need to say anything about it,’” he explained. “But it kept going and growing – I was seeing comments and stuff, and I was, like, this is an important opportunity to say something that I’ve wanted to say for a while, but never felt like I had to, and never felt like I could.”
Prior to coming out, Joshua explained to fans that as a young kid he was always taught “Boys Don’t Cry,” and he was forced to suppress his “sensitive side.”
He admitted he cut himself off from his tender side completely and it hardened him. Joshua noted that this is how toxic masculinity is engrained in people from a young age.
Since coming out, Joshua has faced toxic masculinity and homophobia.
“This was the first time where I was subjected to a lot of homophobia. You know, I seem ‘straight’ to everyone I meet, pretty much, and I have had to see that [homophobia] first-hand,” the “Feel Something” singer told the Attitude. “Seeing that put things into perspective, of how far along we aren’t yet; I thought we were a lot further on than we are.”
Despite all of the negative responses, Joshua noted that there has been an overflowing amount of love and support hurled his way.
“On the flip side of all that are the responses I’ve gotten from people saying, ‘I’ve never had somebody put into words exactly how I feel,’” he added.
Fans have thanked him for helping them feel seen and be seen. Joshua’s coming has made fans feel ‘safer and a bit more at home.’
“People can hate me forever and say the nastiest thing possible, but it will not change a thing, because you need to stand tall and face those people as an advocate for all the people without a voice,” he added. “Ultimately, all that garbage melts away from one story, let alone thousands of people telling me I’ve changed their life – which is wild, but a crazy honor.”
Joshua is happy to be living his truth.