Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images Photo: Lance Bass

Ex-boy-bander Lance Bass is opening up about his closeted past, his struggle with his identity as a gay man, and the timing of his coming-out.

Ricki Lake talked with the former ‘N SYNC member on her new talk show, The Ricki Lake Show, and the one-time teen idol talked about how he felt it was necessary to come out, even if the decision sabotaged his career.

“Coming out has definitely changed my life and my career and everything... for good and bad,” he said.  “I would rather be in a position where I could help other people than be the biggest superstar in the world and pretend to be straight.”

As for his time in the band, Lance had to keep his identity secret for the sake of the band: “As long as I was with ‘N SNYC, I didn’t date a guy... I was asexual.”

Lance also revealed that it took nearly 20 years to become comfortable with his sexuality.

“It eats you away. My whole existence, up until 20 years old, I always told myself — and I prayed every day — that I would wake up straight because I just didn’t want to have to deal with it. I wanted to fit in,” the 33-year-old said.

“When you are taught from your first thoughts that being gay is completely wrong and it’s against the Bible and that you will go to hell, you’re gonna try to [...] change yourself into what everyone else wants you to be.”

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