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When Joshua was asked about Harry Styles in an interview with Clevver, the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star expressed respect and admiration for the singer, also calling him “hot.” “This is also my coming out video, I guess,” Joshua said in the clip. Soon after, the internet exploded with speculations on whether Joshua had given himself a label or if he was even serious. This led to Joshua sharing a thoughtful note on social media in which he spoke about his experiences growing up and shared a message of love, complete with rainbow heart emojis. “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 wrote.
“I wasn’t joking,” Joshua told GQ on Thursday. "I stood behind every word that I said," referring to his social media post. “Even if there are consequences, I would much rather deal with consequences and live my truth than live in fear."
Joshua says that he is “anti-coming out in the sense that there’s no need to.” He went on to explain that throughout his childhood, other people would attempt to label his sexuality as gay or straight, but not believe him if he spoke about his sexuality on his own.
“There are plenty of letters in the alphabet,” said the actor and musician. “Why bother rushing to a conclusion? Sometimes your letter changes, sometimes you try a different one, other times you realize you’re not what you thought you were, or maybe you always knew. All of these can be true. I’m happy to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community because they embrace all. Don’t let anyone tell you love isn’t love. They’re the ones who probably need it the most.”
The intense amount of speculation (and TikTok investigations) from fans about Joshua’s love life has mostly been centered upon his alleged love triangle with HSMTMTS co-star Olivia Rodrigo and former Disney star Sabrina Carpenter. Joshua has mostly avoided discussing the “Drivers License” and “Deja Vu” drama in depth, despite being pressured by the media. But one thing’s for sure: Joshua is passionate about sharing his truth, on his own terms.
He remembers getting “full body chills” and “weeping” while watching his co-stars Joe Serafini and Frankie Rodriguez, who play a gay couple on HSMTMTS, dance together during the show’s homecoming episode. “I didn’t connect the dots why until recently… the reason that made me so emotional,” admitted Joshua. “I’m getting so emotional now because they were speaking their truth despite the inevitable reaction that they were going to get.” And if his own character, Ricky, were given a storyline to explore his queerness on the show? “I would love that,” he says.
"I just hope that this generation can feel comfortable, confident, and safe talking about sexuality without needing to be a box and without needing to have it all figured out,” Joshua stated. “I didn't necessarily have that when I was younger. I didn't have a me saying stuff like this… I'm very at peace. I'm celebrating Pride all month long."
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue