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Lance Bass Won't Let Tragedy Stop Him From Expressing Love

"Nothing’s going to stop me from being who I am, and waving the flag very proudly."
“I just wanted to show people that you shouldn’t be scared," Lance Bass told The Huffington Post. 
“I just wanted to show people that you shouldn’t be scared," Lance Bass told The Huffington Post. 

A one-time Orlando resident, Lance Bass said he “bawled for the longest time” after learning about the June 12 mass shooting at a queer nightclub in his former home city.

“I immediately started crying not even knowing [fully] what had happened,” the *NSYNC star told The Huffington Post at the kickoff party for American Express’s #ExpressLove Pride campaign in New York on Monday. “It was one of those things where you just immediately feel defeated, and you feel like staying in bed all day.”

Instead, the 37-year-old pop singer and LGBT rights advocate opted to ride in L.A. Pride’s annual parade on a float with the stars of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” Noting that he “had the best time being out, proud and not being afraid at all,” Bass lined up appearances at Pride events in New York, Denver and, of course, Orlando shortly thereafter.

“So much of the community is scared. They’re frightened,” he said. “I just wanted to show people that you shouldn’t be scared. Nothing’s going to stop me from being who I am, and waving the flag very proudly.”

Bass and "Orange is the New Black" star Lea DeLaria were among the stars who attended the June 20 kickoff party for American
Bass and "Orange is the New Black" star Lea DeLaria were among the stars who attended the June 20 kickoff party for American Express's #ExpressLove campaign at New York's Spotted Pig. 

The tragedy also strengthened Bass’s passion for the American Express Pride effort, which encourages users to share how they "express love" on social media and offers support for local advocacy groups, such as the Stonewall Community Foundation in New York. 

Six years after he came out in a highly-publicized People magazine interview, Bass has no time for haters who might take issue with how he and his husband, Michael Turchin, show affection.

“Even now, I find myself sometimes wondering if I should grab my husband's hand in public in certain places, and I should never have to think about it,” he said. “It’s not my problem. It’s their problem, if they’re against it.”

Bass said he and his husband, Michael Turchin, are working on a men's accessory line of pocket squares, lapel pins and socks.
Bass said he and his husband, Michael Turchin, are working on a men's accessory line of pocket squares, lapel pins and socks. 

Last year, Bass and Turchin made history when they became the first real-life same-sex couple to tie the knot on an American television network. Their 2014 Los Angeles nuptials were broadcast on the E! special, “Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding,” in February 2015.

Bass told HuffPost that he and Turchin, who is an artist, are currently at work on a forthcoming men’s accessory line that will comprise of pocket squares, lapel pins and socks in “bright, vibrant colors.”

Gushing over Turchin, Bass said, “His art is so beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it because I love design, too. So I get to piggyback on his artistry.”

Leave it to Lance to provide some optimism for the LGBT community, especially when they need it the most.   

HuffPost

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