High School Musical’s Joshua Bassett says coming out was ‘liberating’ despite ‘nasty’ homophobia

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star Joshua Bassett says coming out was “liberating” even though he endured “a lot of homophobia” afterwards.

In May, Joshua Bassett, 20, gushed about Harry Styles in an adorable interview which he joked was his “coming out video“.

Soon after, the actor clarified that he is a member of the queer community – a decision he came to see as “one of the easiest and most liberating” things he’s ever done.

Speaking to Attitude, Bassett said: “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.

“I wrote the statement in less than five minutes, and there was no part of me that was anxious, no part of me that was hesitant at all.

“It felt so right. I put it out and I’ve never looked back. It was liberating, it was freeing; it was nothing like I expected it to be.”

Joshua Bassett faced ‘nasty’ comments after coming out

Two months on, Joshua Bassett opened up about experiencing anti-LGBT+ hatred firsthand after publicly coming out.

“This was the first time where I was subjected to a lot of homophobia,” he said.

“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.

Joshua Bassett. (Amy Sussman/KCA2021/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

“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.

As much as Bassett received hateful comments from internet trolls, sharing his truth also prompted countless fans to thank him for reminding them they’re in no way alone and for feeling “seen”.

But Bassett’s identity is something he admitted he “never really questioned”.

“It just was, if that makes sense,” he said.

“That’s something that I think is really cool about this generation,” he added, “and the generation to follow; that you don’t need a box, and you don’t need to be put in a box.

“But I would say that it definitely took a lot of time to realise that, and that might be because of our religious upbringing.”