What kept Lance Bass so quiet about being gay all those years that ‘N Sync was sitting pretty atop the music business?

Lance Bass

In a recent Associated Press story written by Erin Carlson, Bass said he stayed closeted back then because he was "very scared of ruining my four best friends’ careers."

"The ignorance in me thought that if I did reveal that, that our whole life would crash and the group would end because everyone would hate us. But now I see how stupid that was, and I wish I could go back and be able to tell the world who I really was," Bass said.

Now, looking back, Bass said he thinks his fans would have been fine with him being gay, and that coming out when ‘N Sync was at the height of its popularity "could have helped a lot of people."

Now that he is out, Bass is making up for lost time. He made a public service announcement for the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, released on the Internet on April 18, to promote observance of the National Day of Silence on Friday, April 25.

"I think it’s time for me to stand up … and help educate, because I’m lucky enough to have been given a voice to be able to talk and grab the attention of people," Bass said, explaining why he made the PSA.

"Everyday, thousands of students are silenced. They’re silenced by fear, they’re silenced for being who they are. … They’re brothers, they’re sisters, they’re gay, they’re straight, they’re you, they’re me."

Demi Moore, Parker Posey cry ‘Happy Tears’
Demi Moore knows how hard it is for an actor who takes a break from the business to find her way back in, so lately she’s been taking some cues from ex-husband Bruce Willis.

Want a low-risk comeback? Get on the indie-film bus.

And that’s exactly what she’s been doing, recently starring in the heist drama "Flawless" with Michael Caine, and now set to shoot gay writer-director Mitchell Lichtenstein’s ("Teeth") latest film, "Happy Tears."

She’s in good company, too, as indie-film veteran Parker Posey has signed on to play Moore’s younger sibling.

The drama focuses on the two estranged sisters (one self-aggrandizing, the other bitter and resentful) as they re-establish their relationship and deal with their elderly father’s progressive dementia.

Shooting now in Philadelphia, look for the happiness sometime in 2009.

Gay cast populates ‘Canvas’
"Shifting the Canvas," an indie drama due to tackle the complicated lives of a group of Brooklyn friends after Sept. 11, 2001, has cast several faces familiar to queer audiences, notably up-and-coming gay actor Cheyenne Jackson.

Last seen on film as rugby player Mark Bingham in "United 93," and currently on Broadway in the hit musical "Xanadu," Jackson will star as a heterosexual Wall Street executive involved with a group of gay friends.

Rounding out the cast is "Kids in the Hall" alum Scott Thompson, as well as John Paul Pitoc (best remembered as the horny go-go boy in "Trick") and Gedde Watanabe (last seen regularly as a gay nurse on "ER," but forever known as "Long Duk Dong" from "Sixteen Candles").

The film rolls in June and promises cameos by several as-yet-unnamed New York nightlife personalities.

Raul Esparza slays ’em in ’25/8′
Eventually, all the Broadway stars try their luck in Hollywood. And it was just a matter of time before Raul Esparza, the handsome Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner (both for "Company" and "Taboo"), wandered west.

The bisexual actor has already found success on the small screen, cast in a recurring role on ABC’s hit "Pushing Daisies."

But now he may be stepping way outside the feel-good box he’s been in — he’s in talks to play a serial killer in Wes Craven’s latest teen-horror film, "25/8."

Concerning a group of kids being stalked by a killer believed to have died on the birthday they share in common, the film will co-star teenage colleagues Max Thieriot ("Jumper") and Shareeka Epps ("Half-Nelson").

No production or release dates yet, but the scary stuff is due to shoot soon.

‘Cosby’ kid ‘Goes to Jail’
Adorable little Rudy Huxtable is all grown up and looking to introduce her adult self to audiences.

Already, Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Bill Cosby’s youngest child throughout the ’80s on his groundbreaking sitcom, has been featured in "Beauty Shop" opposite Queen Latifah. And now she’s about to become more visible in Tyler Perry’s latest drag extravaganza, "Madea Goes to Jail."

Starring Perry as the clownish and outsized old woman who’s always ready to beat on people who misbehave, Pulliam co-stars as a prostitute who finds herself protected from a predatory lesbian inmate by Madea.

Audiences expecting to find subtlety, good taste, and positive queer role models are advised to look elsewhere when this one comes down the pipeline. The rest of you will know where to find it when it hits multiplexes in 2010.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 25, 2008.

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