INTERVIEW: Lance Bass on the importance of gay pride
Lance Bass parties down at the New York Barefoot Wine Kick Off Celebration, but also gets serious about love, pride and his upcoming wedding.
On Wednesday, Lance Bass was on hand to host the Barefoot Wine Pride Kick Off Celebration in New York City. The event benefited Heritage of Pride and began a weeklong series of events to celebrate the LGBT community.
SheKnows got the chance to chat with Bass as he took in the scenery. "I have my bubbly in my hand [and I'm] very excited that Barefoot Wine let me come to be a part of this [event]."
Bass admitted that he went to the event to do more than just have a great time; it was also about sending out a positive message to young, gay people. "Every Pride here in New York is so memorable to me and I love to be a part of it in a more visible way with Barefoot Wine. They put their company's neck on the line for our community and you have to respect them [for that].
"It's all about visibility for our community," Bass continued. "Our [community] has just grown and grown with acceptance all over the world. Just in the past few years, [it's been great to see] how accepted it's been and it really is because of all these Pride events. When you see a group of people just having a good time, there's nothing scary about it. The more visible everyone is, the more it will turn people's minds. They'll say, 'Oh, I'm not so scared of it anymore.'"
Bass also has another way he's helping the LGBT community — with a brand-new dating app that is set to go live the first week of July. The app, called Sparxx, is something Bass has been thinking about for some time.
"I'm a techie guy. I love, love, love anything technology. So I've been wanting to do this for a little while," Bass said.
Bass said another popular dating app gave him some inspiration as well. "I love the app, Tinder. I like that it's just a little more legit and you can't really 'catfish' people doing that," he said, adding that he wanted his app to be more than just for hookups. "In our community, there are lots of apps out there that are — quote, unquote — 'dating apps,' but they're just for one-night stands and that kind of stuff. I wanted to create an all-inclusive app for LGBT — lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — and a nice dating app to find real love."
It's about finding love, according to Bass. "It's really just to find dates and not those one-night stands. I think that our community is a little stereotyped, or a lot stereotyped, as being risqué and one-night stand-ish and that's not what we represent, really. Me and all my friends that are gay, we love our relationships. I'm getting married next year and I just want to help gay friends of mine [find] love themselves."
Speaking of love and marriage, Bass and his fiancé, Michael Turchin, couldn't be happier about their upcoming nuptials. They could, however, be a little more prepared.
"The problem is: We're two guys planning a wedding," Bass said with a laugh. "No matter if you're straight or gay, we're still two guys planning a wedding, so we don't know what the hell we are doing. We've had a wedding planner for a few months, [but] we haven't really planned anything. We do know that it's going to be around February. We have a couple locations in mind, but we haven't even started making a guest list, anything like that. So when I get back to L.A. next week, I told my fiancé, 'Look, we have to sit down and start planning this, because before you know it, it's going to be November.'"
The wedding will be televised on E! and the couple is excited to be a part of helping people in America understand their community. "We're so excited that Middle America gets to see a gay wedding, probably for the first time. I think it's important for people to see that and to say, 'Oh! I've been to a gay wedding before.'"
It's something that Bass wished he could have seen as a child. "It's one of those things that — as a little kid from Mississippi — I would have loved to have been able to see something like that [and] know that there was nothing wrong with me."
Bass believes it's vital for people like him to get out there and make themselves known. "I think it's all about visibility. It's so important for those gay, popular people that are in the news to keep being out there and keep being seen because you forget how many young, LGBT people — especially in the South and Middle America — feel like they're the only gay in town and it's a lonely, lonely feeling. So they have to look to the magazines, they have to look at television to not feel so lonely when they see people like us.
"We forget [that] 95 percent of [gay] people are still living in these places that it's just not talked about," Bass added.
What about those rumors about a possible *NSYNC reunion? Check out the first part of our interview with Bass to find out what he had to say about that.