Lance Bass claims he offered Jason Collins, who came out on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, "some very good advice" about how to avoid the media frenzy the former boy band star went through when he announced his sexuality in 2006.
Bass, 33, who was a member of the popular boy band 'N Sync, spoke out on his Sirius XM radio show "Dirty Pop With Lance Bass" Monday and said Collins reached out to him earlier in the day
before his big announcement.
"He's been trying to plan this for a very long time, contemplating if he wanted to do this," Bass said of Collins' coming out. "In fact, he said he was going to call me months ago but was too scared, because he wanted to tell me."
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The two don’t know each other personally, but mutual friends suggested they get in contact. Bass famously came out on the cover of People magazine in 2006.
"I told him, look — this is what I wish would have happened when I came out because when I came out, I had 24 hours to decide what was going to happen, because basically the magazine said 'We're doing it with or without you,'" Bass said. "But what I wish I could have done back then was to have a couple of days to sit down with GLAAD [Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation]. So I gave him some really great connections. He's going to sit down with GLAAD today and get some really good information so he doesn't put his foot in his mouth, say something that he's going to regret. This will live [on] for the rest of his life, and he'll always have this first sit-down to look back on — and he wants to make sure it's good."
Bass said he can relate to Collins' decision to come out during basketball's offseason.
"He finally got to sit back and think about himself, and relationships and love and all of that type of stuff because he had the time," Bass said. "And that's when he started becoming more comfortable with it and finding out about himself. And that's exactly what happened with me when we went on the hiatus after the last 'N Sync show.
"He's such a nice, nice guy and I think people are going to fall in love with this guy. When you see him in these sit-down interviews, everyone's going to fall in love with him."
Collins made headlines when he revealed his sexuality in a first-person Sports Illustrated essay Monday. He gave his first sit-down interview to ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday.
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"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay,"
Collins, former center for the Boston Celtics and now a free agent, wrote in SI. "I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation."
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