Colton Underwood shocked Bachelor Nation when he came out as gay on Good Morning, America on Wednesday. "I've run from myself for a long time and I've hated myself for a long time," he explained, admitting that he was was "still nervous" about being out public but saying that he was "the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life." Everyone has been talking about The Bachelor alum's announcement, including former *NSYNC member Lance Bass, who went through his own public coming out ordeal in 2006.
"In this business, you meet tons of people that are still in the closet and there's several major actors and musicians out there that still have not been able to come out publicly because they fear many things," he explained to former Bachelor contestants Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti on their podcast, The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous, on Thursday. "Everyone's coming out is their own story. And I'm just glad that Colton could tell his story."
"I can really relate to his experience because in a way, I was kind of like in a Bachelor Nation situation where 90% of my fans were women and they all thought I was straight," Bass explained. "And I made my money off of women, right, and singing about love and using that market. So, me coming out, it was scary because I was like, 'Oh crap, now everyone is going to see me as a liar, and why did I do this to them?' You start telling yourself all these just the worst-case-possible scenarios of everything."
"As long as I was in the group, I didn't want to even talk about it, mention it, act on it, because it was so ingrained in me that if anyone found out I was gay, *NSYNC would be over. Done. And now I have my four best friends' careers in my hands that I just completely just trashed," he continued. "I just didn't want to hurt my group."
Bass also admitted that his upbringing in the southern, Catholic church made it a tough decision to make as well. "I grew up in the church, going to church three times a week. You're taught that gay people are going to hell," he said. "When that's instilled at you at such a young age, you think that's the truth." Bass also revealed that he was outed, and the reason he came out publicly was to get ahead of the story.
"He definitely going to get a lot of backlash from the community at first," Bass explained, citing the fact that Underwood was filming a reality series for Netflix about his experience as a gay man. "Not the majority but there is a small percentage of the community that's just going to not like the fact that he came out this way, that he's using this as monetizing the experience." However, Bass in all in favor of more gay representation on television. "Every story that you see on television or in a film of a gay character, a different person can relate to that," he said. "We haven't had too many representations if a gay person on television that came from this world, this crazy sports world where you had to hide it."
Bass also explained that the biggest thing that Underwood needed to do now was listen. "That's all you need to do right now, is just listen to the community, listen to everyone around you. Educate yourself and then you'll naturally find where you belong in this community. But the best thing to do right now is sit back, listen and learn."