High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star Joshua Bassett has confirmed he was “coming out” when he recently branded Harry Styles “hot”.
The actor-singer raised eyebrows with his comments in a video interview for Clevver News in May, when he said the former One Direction hunk was “so hot,” and then added, “That was me coming out.”
Now he confirms, “I wasn’t joking,” about his same-sex crush.
However, Joshua isn’t keen on being identified by a particular LGBTQ label or letter.
“There are plenty of letters in the alphabet… Why bother rushing to a conclusion?,” he muses in a new GQ interview.
“Sometimes your letter changes, sometimes you try a different one, other times you realise you’re not what you thought you were, or maybe you always knew. All of these can be true. I’m happy to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community because they embrace all.”
Asked whether people should even bother ‘coming out’ anymore, he responded, “I am anti-coming out in the sense that there’s no need to. People are welcome to have boxes if they want them.”
He didn’t specify whether he’s romantically interested in either his co-star Olivia Rodrigo or singer/actress Sabrina Carpenter, and he tried to deflect from online speculation suggesting he was caught up in a love triangle with the two ladies.
Rodrigo’s breakup anthem Drivers License is rumoured to be about a previous relationship with Bassett.
“(Everyone) is asking me about Sabrina and Olivia,” Bassett says. “Why don’t we focus on these women for who they are? Let’s focus on the art that they’re making and how great they are instead of their relationship to a boy.”
Meanwhile, the Grey’s Anatomy actor admits he got “full body chills” and wept after watching Joe Serafini and Frankie Rodriguez, who play a gay couple on HSMTMTS, dancing together in one episode.
“I didn’t connect the dots why until recently… the reason that made me so emotional,” he shares. “I’m getting so emotional now because they were speaking their truth despite the inevitable reaction that they were going to get.”
He adds he “would love” if his TV character Ricky was given the same space to, as the interviewer phrased it, “explore his queerness onscreen”.
“I just hope that this generation can feel comfortable, confident, and safe talking about sexuality without needing to be a box and without needing to have it all figured out,” he says. “It makes me emotional. I didn’t necessarily have that when I was younger. I didn’t have a me saying stuff like this.”
He concludes, “I’m very at peace. I’m celebrating Pride all month long.”
June is LGBTQ Pride Month in the U.S.
– Cover Media