Lance Bass’ moving WOF speech about LGBTQ+ acceptance
On Monday (Apr. 30), *NSYNC finally got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For the occasion, all five members had a short speech but Lance’s one was moving and heart breaking.
In fact, his Walk of Fame speech took a look into his past, his challenging journey to self-identity, and why he’d sacrificed coming out as a gay man to protect his *NSYNC family.
The 38-year-old singer started out his speech by honoring his fellow four band members: “I wanna thank these four guys right here. We’re brothers, we’re family, and out of all this, the music, the tours, the love from the fans, it’s my brotherhood with you guys that I’m most thankful for,” he said.
He went on dedicating his speech to the LGBTQ+ community. Although the height of the *NSYNC cultural phenomenon was roughy between 1997 and 2001, Bass didn’t come out until 2006 on the cover of People magazine.
Well, no harm done: he took the opportunity on Monday, in front of fans, family, and industry leaders, to explain why he was so selfless in hiding his authentic self even though it caused him pain.
He revealed he hid the truth about his sexuality while growing up in Mississippi. He detailed that he was just 17 years old when *NSYNC made its debut. Bass said that at the time, he was not only terrified of “lasting rejection” but putting his fellow bandmates and their hard-earned careers in danger, fearing that people wouldn’t accept his sexual orientation.
“I thought if I had come out, *NSYNC would be over, so out of fear I kept my secret. Our wildest dreams were coming true and I was so incredibly thankful and I still am. But so many nights on stage, I’d see young, gay fans singing their hearts out, I wanted so badly to let you know: I was you,” he said
“I just didn’t have the strength then. But I do today, and so let me say loud and proud to all my LGBT brothers and sisters who embrace me and show me the way to be who I am: thank you so much,” he added.
His touching speech got a wild applause from the crowd and from his former bandmates. Then he said “A star on this boulevard is more than just an honor, it’s a lasting reminder of all the artists from all the colors of the rainbow that your voice matters. I am truly humbled and honored to be a part of that legacy in some small way,” he concluded.
When Bass finished the deeply personal speech, Justin Timberlake put his arm around him and told him, “Well said.”
Bass – as already said – first publicly came out in a 2006 interview with People magazine. The pop star has since become a staunch LGBTQ rights advocate. He married his husband, Michael Turchin, in 2014, and they have recently expressed their interest in having children.
Watch *NSYNC deliver heartfelt speeches at Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony below.