No Privacy for Lance Bass at Gay Bar

ByABC News
July 13, 2006, 5:47 PM

July 14, 2006 — -- How much privacy should onetime *NSYNC star Lance Bass expect when he visits a prominent gay bar with a prominent gay star?

On Wednesday, The New York Post's Page Six column reported that Bass had been spotted with "Amazing Race" star Reichen Lehmkuhl at Atlantic House, a gay bar in Provincetown, Mass.

Following the Post report, a blog on the Washington Blade, a leading newspaper for the gay and lesbian community, said that Bass had been outed.

Through his spokeswoman, Cindy Owen, Bass, 27, declined to comment on the report. Lehmkuhl's spokeswoman, Mara Santino, also declined to comment on the Post report.

Certainly, simply visiting a gay club doesn't confirm that you are gay. But historically, mainstream media have restrained from exposing the sexual orientation of celebrities who have chosen to keep that side of themselves personal. Some gay activists condemn the Post and other media outlets for speculating about Bass' sexual orientation.

"Coming out is a personal, private decision that needs to be made by the individual," said Damon Romine, entertainment media director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. "Media speculation about people's sexual orientation is not something we support."

Blade is a newspaper that takes a more aggressive approach outing celebrities.

Its reporters expose celebrities they believe are in the closet and are hypocritical for not publicly revealing their sexual orientation.

"Perhaps the Post is not outright saying Lance is gay. But by implication, we can all easily connect the dots," said Kevin Naff, managing editor of the Washington Blade.

In his "Blade Blog" entry "Bye, Bye, Bye to the Closet," Naff questioned why Bass had allegedly continued to deny his sexuality while otherwise living what he described as an "openly closeted" celebrity, comparing it to what Rosie O'Donnell and Ellen DeGeneres had done for several years before they publicly came out.