Joshua Bassett is asking for "love and acceptance" as he addresses speculation about his sexuality.
The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series actor issued a statement on Tuesday, May 11, after he made comments referencing "coming out" in a previous video interview. The 20-year-old actor wrote on Twitter, "My entire life, people have told me my sexuality. People have shamed me for things they know nothing about. I want to say thank you to those of you who stand for love and acceptance."
"Toxicity, hatred and negativity say less about the subject, but say far more about those who spew it," he continued. "It's 2021. We are the generation of love and growth, it's time we start acting like it. Whether you love me, hate me, or damn me to hell, I love you all the same."
Joshua declined to put a label on his sexuality, instead writing, "Love who you love shamelessly. It's ok to still be figuring out who you are."
"Life's too short to let ignorance and hatred win. I choose love," he concluded his statement.
Social media users began commenting on Joshua's sexuality following a video interview with Clevver News. In the May 10 conversation, the star was asked to share his thoughts on Harry Styles, to which he replied, "Who doesn't think Harry Styles is cool? Also, he's hot, you know? He's very charming too."
He added, "This is also my coming out video, I guess."
Joshua was previously romantically linked to HSM:TM:TS actress Olivia Rodrigo. It's never been publicly confirmed if and when the co-stars even dated, but Olivia spoke about a "failed relationship" on TikTok last August. She additionally sang about heartbreak in her song "drivers license," but declined to comment on who the song was about.
For his part, Joshua recently released his new single "Feel Something."