"[The doctors] told me that I had a 30 percent chance of survival," Bassett says of the emergency surgery he had in January.

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Joshua Bassett is finally opening up about the emergency surgery he had in early 2021, and it turned out to be more serious than anyone knew.

In a recent GQ profile, the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star revealed that two days after costar Olivia Rodrigo released her No. 1 hit "Drivers License" and the day he released his own single "Lie Lie Lie," he actually experienced septic shock and heart failure.

"[I] started getting very ill, and it kept getting worse," he says. "I thought it was, like, food poisoning or whatever. It got worse, it got worse, it got worse, it got worse" until he was hospitalized with "unimaginable pain."

Joshua Bassett
Credit: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

While Bassett was vague on what caused him to experience septic shock and heart failure, he says, "I'm sure stress had a part in it ... [The doctors] told me that I had a 30 percent chance of survival. They told me that if I had not checked into the hospital within 12 hours, I would have been found [dead] in my apartment."

And while he was at the center of pop culture gossip due to rumors that Rodrigo wrote "Drivers License" about him (never forget there was an entire SNL sketch about it!), he "didn't have any energy to be able to focus on anything but staying alive."

Bassett had posted a video of himself in a hospital bed on Instagram on January 14 but didn't reveal the details of his health issues until now. "welp... not the first place i assumed i'd be on my Lie Lie Lie release day... the ER!! (before you ask, no it's not covid.)," Bassett said. "after an unknown, uncomfortable feeling turned into, times 10, the worst pain of my life, i figured i'd just try to sleep. after multiple, very very ugly days and nights, i had no choice today but be taken to the hospital. i'd like to say thank you!!!! for all the support on the song!!! i've been doing what i can today to stay involved. had my first surgery tonight ! gonna rest at the hospital and the doctors will see what they see in the morn!"

The actor also opened up about his sexuality after a video went viral in which he called Harry Styles "hot" and then said, "I guess this is also my coming-out video," which then led Bassett to release a lengthy statement on Instagram that read, "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." In the profile, Bassett talks about how he's "always had a pretty feminine sort of energy in my life. My sisters would put me in a Snow White dress and have me run around my house." He adds he was also "a very emotional kid" who "was constantly yelled at for crying. I would spend every night being like, Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry. I remember beating myself up every night."

But now Bassett is clarifying that he "wasn't joking" in the video where he said he's "coming out." He had made that comment in the interview months ago without even thinking about it. "I stood behind every word that I said," he says. "Even if there are consequences, I would much rather deal with consequences and live my truth than live in fear."

Bassett added, "I am anti-coming out in the sense that there's no need to. [But] people are welcome to have boxes if they want them." As a child, he would hear comments like "When's he gonna find out he's gay? People would tell me that I'm straight or can't be gay because XYZ thing [or] people not believing me either way if I talked about my sexuality in any way ... There are plenty of letters in the alphabet ... 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."

That's why a scene in the first season of HSMTMTS where his costars Joe Serafini and Frankie Rodriguez, who play gay couple Seb and Carlos, dance together at Homecoming gave Bassett "full body chills."

"When I watched Joe and Frankie film the scene in season 1, episode 5, 'Homecoming,' where for the first time they danced together, I just remember ... weeping," he says before pausing. "I didn't connect the dots why until recently ... the reason that made me so emotional. I'm getting so emotional now because they were speaking their truth despite the inevitable reaction that they were going to get ... 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. It makes me emotional. 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."

Related content:

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series

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