Lance Bass on why Pride is essential under Trump “I was told being gay was just really wrong”
At the end of US Pride month, former NSync member Lance Bass has said Pride is more important than ever, against a rising tide of hate.
In a long piece for NBC’s THINK, Bass said that although it was possible to grow complacent after some landmark legal battles were won, in an environment where acceptance of LGBT people was decreasing for the first time in a long time, Pride remains a vital part of resistance.
In the piece, titled LGBT pride is a necessary part of the resistance to this political era of hatred, Bass says that the blame has to be placed at politicians’ feet for rising intolerance that is dangerously driving LGBT people back into hiding.
Speaking about the experience of being scared to come out, he said “Staying in the closet has a lot to do with the environment in which you live; people are usually scared to come out for a reason. All of us have our different stories, but I stayed in the closet because I’m from a small town in Mississippi where they’re very religious and I was told that being gay was just really wrong.
“Right now, with so many people getting on the hate bandwagon, it’s got to be a little scary for kids to be able to come out. Even in my life, I see fewer people coming out recently than in the last 15 years.”
Bass said that the rising intolerance does not just people struggling to come out and that he and his husband had started thinking about the world in which their children would have to grow up.
“It’s not just young people, though. There are gay people, like my husband and I, who are trying to start a family who can’t help but wonder, “How are our children gonna be treated in the future if we’re on this path right now?””
We reported yesterday that Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black’s baby announcement has been met with disgustingly homophobic comments online. Bass and husband Michael Turchin have seen some of the same messages, while going through the process of surrogacy –
“It recently surprised me to see some negative comments in the midst of congratulatory messages that came through after publicly speaking about having children with my husband, Michael. I can’t fathom what other LGBT people are facing day to day, especially those who are struggling to come out.”
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Bass has spoken out frequently on LGBT issues, including his blood being refused for donation to Las Vegas victims last year and is proudly public about his sexuality.
Bass said “So many people are so depressed with what’s going on in the world, and they have every right to be afraid because it is a scary time.”
But finished on a optimistic note – that the LGBT community is resilient, important and positive.
He said “We have to continue to speak up. And, as a community, we’re a very positive community: If you see any of our marches or parties, it’s all about love and positivity.
“The great thing about the LGBT community is that we’re very resilient. Even in the face of ignorance, we’re going to stay positive. And things will get better, of course — it always does. If you look at all of history, yes, there are times where there’s just horrible evil happening in the world, but it always gets to a better place. So we have to hang on, and keep resisting, and we’ll make it through it.”