Long before such contemporaries as Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Wentworth Miller came out publicly as gay men, there was TR Knight.
The year was 2006 and his Grey’s Anatomy co-stars Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey had an on-set scuffle during which Washington is reported to have said he was not Dempsey’s ‘faggot like TR.’
After the incident was widely reported and speculation ran rampant, Knight released a matter-of-fact statement confirming that he is indeed gay.
There was no Time magazine cover like Ellen DeGeneres or not even a People magazine cover like Lance Bass who came out just months earlier.
Now one of the stars of the eight-part Hulu series 11.22.63, Knight is not comfortable with anyone calling him ‘brave’ for going public at a time when very few TV stars and even fewer movie stars were out.
‘I hear that word (brave) and, with all due respect, it’s hard for me to hear that because it was just — I had to do what I had to do for me. To me it was — that decision was pretty clear,’ he tells Michelangelo Signorile of SiriusXM Progress in an interview posted Monday (11 April).
Knight, 43, married Patrick Leahy in 2013 and has continued to work steadily in film, television and theater since leaving his Emmy-nominated role of Dr. George O’Malley on Grey’s Anatomy in 2009.
Knight says he’s never been told if homophobia has prevented him from being cast so he has no idea if it has.
‘I do think it’s different for character actors,’ he says. ‘I think we’ve got maybe a little farther way to go, but I think things are (also) changing for people who maybe, like, you know, happen to be molded and have very movie-star looks.
‘I think the more people come out, (the more it) changes it. Every single time somebody comes out, it changes.’