Actor/musician Joshua Bassett addressed speculation around his sexuality on social media Tuesday after seemingly coming out in an interview on Monday.
“My entire life people have told me my sexuality. People have shamed me for things they know nothing about,” the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star wrote in an Instagram post accompanied by a collection of rainbow hearts. “It’s 2021. We are the generation of love and growth. It’s time we start acting like it. Whether you love me, hate me or damn me to hell, I love you all the same. Love who you love shamelessly.”
Bassett’s message comes as speculation about his identity abounds following him casually mentioning coming out while answering a question about his admiration for musician Harry Styles in an interview with Clevver News on Monday. Bassett described Styles as “cool,” “charming” and “hot.”
“What I admire about Harry Styles is that he’s a very classy man,” Bassett said. “He’s just a nice guy who doesn’t say too much but when he talks it matters what he says … who doesn’t think Harry Styles is cool? Also, he’s hot. He’s very charming too.”
“I guess this is my coming out video,” Bassett added.
The Disney Channel star has been a topic of discussion recently as rumors of him being the subject of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-star and upcoming Saturday Night Live musical guest Olivia Rodrigo’s hit breakup track Driver’s License emerged earlier this year amid reports of his relationship with fellow co-star Sabrina Carpenter. Those rumors spurred many fans to tie the supposed love triangle to additional songs from all three, including Bassett’s single Lie, Lie, Lie and Rodrigo’s recently released second single Deja Vu.
Bassett’s affirming words come during what has already been a busy year. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ second season debuts this Friday on Disney+ and his self-titled debut EP released back in March.
The week’s news also gave Bassett an avenue to address his followers who may be questioning their identity or “figuring out” who they are. “It’s OK to still be figuring out who you are,” he wrote. “Life’s too short to let ignorance and hatred win. I choose love.”
I’m changing every day in so many ways – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse,” Bassett told People when asked about going through the self-discovery process under the public eye. “I’m just figuring it all out. Sometimes you’ve got to embrace that other people get to watch that. Sometimes it’s embarrassing, but sometimes you just have to own it.”
Bassett attached a video of him performing what appears to be an original piece of music about taking ownership over one’s life. “I’m breaking the spell. I’m mending the cycle. Been going through hell. Need more than survival. If I don’t work this out, I’ll probably pass it down again. The time for change is now. It’s my life. It’s my life to live,” Bassett sang.
Read Bassett’s full statement here: