After Joshua Bassett praised Harry Styles during a viral interview this week, he posted on Instagram that it's okay to take time to figure out your sexuality. According to posts on Instagram and Twitter on Wednesday, the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star says that he was "shamed" for his identity for a long time, but grateful for those who "stand for love and acceptance."
"It's 2021. we are the generation of love & growth, it's time we start acting like it," Bassett wrote. "Love who you love shamelessly. it's ok to still be figuring out who you are." He added a string of rainbow emojis and paired the statement with a video of himself singing an unreleased song. "The time for change is now," he sings at one point. "It's my life. It's my life to live."
Bassett, an actor and musician, is best known for his starring role in Disney's High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and rumoured involvement in the "drivers license" saga that launched a thousand TikToks and an SNL sketch. He was the subject of a firestorm of speculation on Monday after Clevver News shared a five-minute video of him answering fan questions. In one, he was asked to detail what he admired about Styles, an artist he's described more than once as his dream collaborator.
"What I admire about Harry Styles is that he's a very classy man, and he's very well-rounded. He's just cool. Who doesn't think Harry Styles is cool?" Bassett said. "Also, he's hot, you know? He's very charming, too. Lots of things. I guess this is also my coming out video." The video received 2 million views, after which Bassett shared his own posts about his sexuality.
Bassett has expressed his admiration for Styles many times. "I'm spending whatever it takes to see Harry Styles live," he told Billboard in May 2020. "I probably know his lyrics better than his main demographic, and I'm proud of it." In December 2019, he described himself as a "huge fan of Harry Styles," and told the website BriefTake that it would be his "dream" to someday open for him.
"life's too short to let ignorance and hatred win," Bassett wrote at the end of his statement. "i choose love."