Back in May, the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star came out as queer during a video interview after revealing that Harry Styles was “hot.” However, while many have supported him, the actor also told Attitude magazine that he was on the receiving end of some “nasty” comments, which he said was an eye-opening experience for him.
“This was the first time where I was subjected to a lot of homophobia,” Bassett said, according to People. “I seem ‘straight’ to everyone I meet, pretty much, and I have had to see that [homophobia] first-hand.”
He continued, “Seeing that put things into perspective, of how far along we aren’t yet. I thought we were a lot further on than we are.”
On the other hand though, Bassett explained that all of the positive responses have made it “all worth it,” before adding that people have said, “‘I’ve never had somebody put into words exactly how I feel.'”
“Or, ‘Thank you so much for helping me be seen,'” he explained. “Or, ‘I can’t be who I am around my family, but because of you I feel a little bit safer, a little bit more at home.'” And because of that, Bassett went on to say that he was going to keep his head high amidst all the negativity.
“People can hate me forever and say the nastiest thing possible, but it will not change a thing, because you need to stand tall and face those people as an advocate for all the people without a voice,” he concluded. “Ultimately, all that garbage melts away from one story, let alone thousands of people telling me I’ve changed their life – which is wild, but a crazy honor.”
Read People‘s recap of the article, here.