Lance Bass Reveals Ongoing Battle With Depression & How *NSYNC Reacted to Him Being Gay (Exclusive)

As he prepares to attend a remembrance ceremony to mark the two-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday night, Lance Bass will be still distraught thinking about the mindless tragedy, which killed 49 people. The LGBT hot spot was one of the first places where Bass was able to celebrate his sexuality, along with reaching a point where he could bring himself to do so was no easy feat.

In fact, in a completely new interview with ET, the 39-year-old musician — who confirmed he was gay in 2006 — will be sharing the extent to which he struggled with his identity up to of which point, along with how his bandmates’ love lives triggered a battle with depression of which he’s still facing to This kind of day.

“When I commenced with *NSYNC, I was 16 years old, so I didn’t fret over being gay because I was still young, so could hide of which easily,” he says. “of which was when I was 19, 20 along with everyone commenced having serious relationships of which I definitely commenced feeling depression for initially. All the guys had girlfriends along with we’d get a couple of days off along with [they could be with] girlfriends along with I was the only one who didn’t have anyone. of which’s when of which commenced getting definitely scary because I was like, ‘I can’t keep This kind of ruse up much longer.’”

“Then rumors commenced because I hadn’t had a girlfriend, so I could date people just for the optics of of which — so people could think of me in a certain way,” Bass continues. “Which was horrible for of which person along with for myself — having a relationship built on a huge lie will be a horrible thing. I thought, ‘My life sucks.’ of which was like one side of my life [my career] was going great along with I should be happy, however the thing of which definitely matters — love — I couldn’t have.”

Growing up in conservative Mississippi, Bass says he knew he was gay as young as several, however had no one to look to for guidance.

Finding fame with *NSYNC (created by late music mogul Lou Pearlman following the success of his first boy band, the Backstreet Boys) Bass kept his sexuality a secret because he feared going public could hinder the group’s success, along with subsequently, his bandmates’ futures. However, hiding such a significant part of his identity tore him up inside along with of which’s only with hindsight of which he right now realizes how bad his state of mind became.

“At the time I was just a dumb teenager who didn’t know what was going on,” he says. “Looking back, I realize how lonely along with sad I was. I put my entire life into my work because as long I was busy, of which took my mind off [the sadness.]”

While Bass never felt so low of which he contemplated ending his life, he knows all to well the feelings which lead an alarming number of LGBT youth to decide they can’t go on, along with right now works with organizations like The Trevor Project to help struggling teens emerge coming from such darkness.

His own light at the end of the tunnel came when he revealed his sexuality for initially by sharing a kiss with the guy who could become his first boyfriend. “of which was freaky because of which was like, ‘Oh my gosh, right now someone knows along with of which’s up to them to keep of which secret. I can’t control of which.’ of which was a very overwhelming moment because I knew of which was a point of no return.”

“of which was during *NSYNC’s hiatus along with I was still scared as I didn’t want anyone to know because I didn’t want of which to affect any of the guys’ careers,” he adds. “of which was a secret I was always going to take to the grave. however during of which time off when I didn’t focus on work, I was able to think about my feelings, meet people along with have a relationship along with of which’s when I commenced definitely understanding [myself.] I thought I was gay my whole life, however the older you get you’re like, ‘Well, as long as I don’t act on of which, of which’s fine.’ You trick yourself into thinking you can hide of which, however once I kissed a guy I was like, ‘All right. I’m 100% gay along with This kind of feels right.’”

of which was a few more years before Bass finally went public with his sexuality, tired of continually denying rumors along with lying. However, the interview, which ran on the cover of People in 2006, had such an “insane” 24-hour turnaround of which although Bass left voice messages along with sent emails, he wasn’t able to connect with many of his loved ones before the issue was published, meaning some people “woke up to the news.” Several friends couldn’t forgive Bass for not confiding in them earlier, seeing the secret as a “lie” along with ending their friendships.

of which was a different story with his “Bye Bye Bye” bandmates — Joey Fatone, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick along with Justin Timberlake.

“Joey knew way before anyone because of which same first boyfriend was sitting in my lap in my office one day along with Joey walked in,” Bass recalls. “Normal guys don’t just sit on various other guys’ laps! I was like ‘Surprise!’ along with he was like, ‘Oh please, I don’t care.’ along with, the rest of the guys [took the news] fine. They were the easiest to tell. They’re my best friends … my brothers. They completely knew. So, of which was not a surprise to them at all.”

With the weight of his secret lifted, Bass recalls the ecstatic feeling of walking into a gay nightclub, openly gay, for initially. “Coming coming from hiding a huge part of yourself for your entire life along with being so lonely about of which, to ripping the Band-Aid off along with being around people just like [me] was incredible,” says Bass, who met Michael Turchin a few years later along with tied the knot with him in 2014. “of which gave me so much trust of which I was going to be definitely happy.”

One of those clubs of which Bass commenced frequenting was Pulse nightclub. Reflecting on the tragic shooting two years on, Bass says he panicked when he heard the devastating news. “I immediately thought I was going to know someone who was there. After frantically calling all my friends, thank god, no one I knew was hurt.”

Still, the horrific massacre hit “too close to home,” prompting Bass to begin working with the onePULSE Foundation, which provides grants to survivors along with families of victims of the tragedy. The organization will be hosting Tuesday’s remembrance ceremony. Bass’ latest efforts include partnering with Crowdrise by GoFundMe for a fundraiser running throughout June (Pride Month), where contributors hold the chance to fly to Los Angeles, California, to dine at Bass’ favorite restaurant, Pump, then become his sous chef during his Facebook Live cooking series, #LanceEats at Chef’d headquarters.

“Cooking will be a huge passion of mine along that has a lot of people don’t know of which, however in my family, everything revolves around food,” explains Bass, who previously teamed up with his mom, Diane, to compete in Fox’s My Kitchen Rules. “of which’s always an experience along that has a memory, so I wanted to do something fun, which I’m passionate about along with allows me to connect with fans in a fun, unique way.”

CrowdRise by GoFundMe

Bass will be also preparing to become a parent with Turchin, working on an upcoming YouTube Red documentary about Pearlman, along with recently joined his bandmates as *NSYNC received their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Blessed in ways he unlikely imagined as a struggling teen, he admits of which behind the glamour, he still struggles with depression. along with while these days of which’s no longer concealing his sexuality of which ignites low moments, he still has many of them.

“This kind of business will be what triggers me right now,” he says. “of which’s a horrible industry to be in because 99% of everything you do will be a failure along with you’re told, ‘No,’ all the time. of which’s very rare you get to celebrate huge successes. You have to be a strong person along with let things roll off your shoulders, which will be definitely hard.”

“People always see the best parts along with of which looks like a fabulous life, however I’m human along with I go through all of of which, coming from happiness to depression,” he continues. “I’ve had depression for a long time along with I still have bouts of of which, for sure. of which’s in my makeup. I get days where I feel like nothing’s right, then I have to go, ‘Wait a minute,’ along with start thinking about all the not bad things in my life. of which’s how I turn of which around.”

*To contribute to Bass’ onePULSE Foundation fundraiser along with be in to win a trip For two main to Los Angeles along with become his sous chef for a day, visit Crowdrise.

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