With a Prince Charming of his own and game-changing reality TV show, it seems Lance Bass has finally found his real-life happily ever after. That said, the host of Logo's Finding Prince Charming is the first to admit he's "went through a few frogs to get [his] prince." That's what he told me over the weekend at Entertainment Weekly's pre-Emmy bash in Los Angeles. The former *NSYNC member made countless headlines and magazine covers when revealing he was gay in 2006, and thereafter, the world saw him marry his prince Michael Turchin in 2014. Now, Bass is helping single men attempt to find a match with his new, history-making show. However, he wasn't always in the position to be playing cupid, as he explained to me the difficulties he once had navigating his own love life.
Beyond the role of game show host, Bass is personally tied to FPC and its contestants because in some ways, he sees himself in them. "There's a lot of deep issues that come out, because in our community a lot of us start dating way later in life, I know I did," the 37-year-old explains. "A lot of these guys never had a boyfriend before, they never really dated. So a lot of [issues]... Conversion therapy, being kicked out of their homes, living on the street, having to go into sex work, [coming out]." Finally, these struggles are surfacing in a mainstream way.
"People don't really talk about [that] and it's a big part of our community," Bass says. In addition to dealing with such struggles head-on and perhaps without sufficient support, there is one significant piece of advice, that in hindsight, he wishes he had.
"I wish people would've told me: don't settle. That's the biggest thing I can tell people, just don't settle," Bass explains. When he learned to love and accept himself and understand his worth, that ultimately led to him to his dream man, Turchin.
"Love yourself, 'cause I guess I really didn't like myself, I was so in-the-closet at that point," he says. Because he was in such a fragile state, he admits every man who would bat an eye at him immediately won him over. "Every guy that I met that liked me, I was like, 'This is it. This is the only one I can do because I feel like it's the only person I'm ever gonna meet.' I think I settled a couple of times."
Fortunately, kissing all those frogs worked in Bass's favor, because he seems to be in marriage bliss with his painter husband. And as for his show? He couldn't be happier about all of the positive strides it's creating for the LGBT community. "I'm surprised it took this long. But, I'm just happy it's [on]," he says, with his husband by his side. And although the show tackles serious problems, Bass wants viewers to know that it's really in good fun at the end of the day.
"It's a fun, entertaining reality competition show, it's supposed to be silly, it's not supposed to be real life. It's a social experiment," he says.