Find Out Why Lance Bass Kept His Sexuality a Secret

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Taking the cover of People magazine with a headline that read “I’m Gay,” Lance Bass finally came out in 2006 — 11 years after becoming famous with ‘NSYNC.

So why did he keep his sexuality a secret for so long?

The 35-year-old opens up about his journey during his upcoming E! special Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding. He explains that he kept the secret all those years with his bandmates and their career in mind.

“I was afraid to tell anyone, mainly because of ’NSYNC,” he recalls. “You know, if I told one person I knew someone would tell someone else and it would go around and the group would be over. The guys would hate me, and they would leave the group and be like, ‘We’re not going to be in a group with a gay guy.'”

He conveyed those similar sentiments during his coming out interview back in 2006.

“I knew that I was in this popular band and I had four other guys’ career in my hand, and I knew that if I ever acted on it or even said [I was gay], it would overpower everything,” he explained to People at the time.

So at 27 he finally disclosed the truth to the world, and less than 10 years later, met the love of his life Michael Turchin.

The couple tied the knot on Dec. 20 before several famous friends and family members. All of the ‘NSYNC bandmembers were there for the special moment with the exception of Justin Timberlake who was finishing up the very last show of his tour.

Bass’ wedding special will air tonight on E! at 8/7c.

Launch the gallery above to see more celebrities who have come out of the closet.