NEW YORK - Lance Bass doesn't want others to stay silent as he did.
So he's made a public service announcement for the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. The spot, which was distributed virally Friday, debuts in advance of the National Day of Silence on April 25, when students take a vow of silence to protest bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools.
"Everyday, thousands of students are silenced," the former 'N Sinc singer said. "They're silenced by fear, they're silenced for being who they are. ... They're brothers, they're sisters, they're gay, they're straight, they're you, they're me."
Bass, who recently completed a stint in the Broadway musical "Hairspray," said the PSA is meant to honor Lawrence King -- a 15-year-old student was shot and killed in February in Oxnard, Calif., by a younger boy because he arrived at school in feminine attire.
"It also shows me that these kids don't -- they don't learn [bigotry] on their own," he said. "They're being told by older siblings or family members or other fellow students."
Bass joined 'N Sync in 1995 with Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick. He announced in July 2006 that he's gay. 'N Sync went on hiatus in 2002.
"I think it would have been great to be able to come out [at] the height ... 'N Sync -- I think it could have helped a lot of people."