Joshua Bassett has been at the center of media attention for months, first because of his past relationship with costar Olivia Rodrigo and her new album Sour and then again after he came out in a video on Twitter. He has recently talked openly about his experiences with both life events, discussing his identity more in-depth than ever.

“I am anti-coming out in the sense that there’s no need to,” he told GQ. “People are welcome to have boxes if they want them.”

He clarified his statement by saying, “There are plenty of letters in the alphabet… Why bother rushing to a conclusion? Sometimes your letter changes, sometimes you try a different one, other times you realize you’re not what you thought you were, or maybe you always knew. All of these can be true. I’m happy to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community because they embrace all. Don’t let anyone tell you love isn’t love. They’re the ones who probably need it the most.”

Bassett first mentioned his sexuality in a video. The “Lie Lie Lie” singer complimented Harry Styles, calling him “cool,” and afterward said, “Also he’s hot, you know… This is also my coming out video I guess.”

After the video dropped, fans speculated that over whether or not the Disney+ actor had meant what he said, but told GQ, “I wasn’t joking.”

In fact, Bassett talked about how he’s struggled with gender roles and speculation his entire life. He said that as a child, growing up with five sisters, he “always had a pretty feminine sort of energy in [his] life.” The singer, who was homeschooled by his parents and trained in musical theater, recalled, “My sisters would put me in a Snow White dress and have me run around my house.”

Bassett also said he was an emotional child. “I was constantly yelled at for crying. I would spend every night being like, Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry. I remember beating myself up every night,” he said. “I remember spending every day looking in the mirror, seeing if I had any hairs on my chin. Every day I was hoping that I was finally going through puberty.”

As a kid, he would commonly hear comments like, “When’s he gonna find out he’s gay?” or he would be told that he couldn’t be “gay because of XYZ thing.”

Now, Bassett has felt a lot more comfortable in his identity, even if it seems inarticulable at the moment. He’s in no rush to fit into a specific box.

“I think nothing is more powerful than speaking the truth.”

Bassett was recently hospitalized with heart failure but has recovered now.

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