Joshua Basset has thanked fans “who stand for love and acceptance,” following an interview in which he seemingly “came out.”
In an interview earlier in the week with Clevver News, the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star gushed about how much he admires Harry Styles, prompting millions of fans to wonder if he was making a statement about his private life.
“He’s very well-rounded,” the Disney star said. “He’s just cool. … Who doesn’t think Harry Styles is cool? Also, he’s hot, you know?”
“He’s very charming, too,” the actor added. “Lots of things. I guess this is also my coming out video.”
In response to the interview, Bassett opened up in an Instagram post about how what it feels like to have people constantly speculating about his sexuality, urging fans to “love who you love shamelessly.”
His comments divided fans, who were unsure whether or not the actor was making a statement about his sexuality.
“To me, it felt like he was just joking because of how much people obsess over Harry Styles,” one user wrote.
“I like the way he came out,” another responded. “The more people treat coming out as a casual thing, the more normalized the lgbtq+ community will become.”
Bassett took to Instagram to expand on his earlier comments, not mentioning if he identifies as either gay, straight or bisexual but urging fans to “choose love.”
“My entire life people have told me my sexuality,” Basset wrote on the post, alongside a video of him acoustically singing. “People have shamed me for things they know nothing about.”
“I want to say thank you to those of you who stand for love and acceptance. toxicity, hatred, and negativity say less about the subject, but say far more about those who spew it.”
“It’s 2021. we are the generation of love & growth, it’s time we start acting like it,” he continued. “Whether you love me, hate me, or damn me to hell, I love you all the same. Love who you love shamelessly.”
“It’s ok to still be figuring out who you are,” he concluded the heartfelt post. “Life’s too short to let ignorance and hatred win. I choose love.”
Bassett’s was the subject of relationship rumours earlier in the year, after his High School Musical co-star Olivia Rodrigo released her hit single ‘Drivers License,’ which hinted at a possible love triangle between him and Girl Meets World actress Sabrina Carpenter.
However, Bassett has brushed off the rumours, saying they don’t get to him.
“I’m also just proud of [Rodriguo] and the success that her song is having,” he told BuzzFeed. “I really couldn’t be mad at the situation.”
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