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Lance Bass of 'N
Sync: I'm gay

Lance Bass of 'N
Sync: I'm gay


The 'N Sync member talks about being gay for the first time in this week's People magazine, including his "very stable" relationship with Amazing Race winner Reichen Lehmkuhl.

Lance Bass, one of five members of the multimillion record-selling pop group 'N Sync, has come out as gay. In a story published Wednesday on People magazine's Web site, the singer and aspiring astronaut said he and Amazing Race winner Reichen Lehmkuhl are in a "very stable" relationship.

Media and blog coverage of Bass and Lehmkuhl's dating life had reached the mainstream in recent days, including the New York Post's Page Six. That "tipping point" apparently prompted the singer's tell-all. "The main reason I wanted to speak my mind was that [the rumors] really were starting to affect my daily life," Bass told People. "Now it feels like it's on my terms."

In recent weeks gay blogger Mario Lavandeira, who calls himself Perez Hilton, had even lifted paparazzi photos that he said showed Bass, 27, and Lehmkuhl, 32, wearing one another's clothing.

In the excerpts from the People interview posted online--the full story will appear in the magazine's print edition on sale on Friday--Bass says he hid his sexuality and declined even to act on it because he feared disclosure would hamper 'N Sync's success and thus harm the group's other four members. "I had four other guys' careers in my hand," said Bass, "and I knew that if I ever acted on [my sexuality] or even said [it], it would overpower everything."

"He took years to really think about how he was going to tell everyone," fellow 'N Sync member Joey Fatone, 29, told People. "I back him up 100%."

'N Sync has not recorded or appeared as a group since 2002. That year Bass famously negotiated with the Russian space agency to buy passage on a space flight to the international space station--a deal that fell through when the Russians pulled out. Bass now produces television and film projects; he and Fatone are developing an Odd Couple-like sitcom in which Bass's character would be gay, Bass told People.

"The thing is, I'm not ashamed," said Bass, who had already come out to band mates, friends, and what People termed "his shocked family." "That's the one thing I want to say.... I'm more liberated and happy than I've been my whole life. I'm just happy." (The Advocate)

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