Grey’s Anatomy Jake Borelli came out as gay in an inspirational message on Instagram three weeks ago.
The actor announced his sexuality right after his character on the show, Dr. Levi Schmitt, started a romance with fellow doctor Dr. Nico Kim, played by Alex Landi.
In the midseason finale, Nico and Levi escaped a windstorm and hid in an ambulance where things got quite steamy. Schmitt, who has had female love interests on the show, came out as gay in the episode.
A few weeks after his public announcement, Borelli is still receiving the support of the fans of the show, who are now his fans too.
Now in its 15th season, the medical drama created by Shonda Rhimes is still going strong and maintains a huge fandom. And many in the LGBTI community love the series for its portrayal of different sexualities and gender identities.
He came out so that others ‘don’t feel as alone’
The 27-year-old first joined the cast of the series last year in what he thought would be a two-episode spot. However, he became a mainstay of the show as his character was expanded over the course of Season 14.
In an interview with HuffPost, Borelli explained he used his character’s journey as an opportunity to acknowledge his real-life sexuality.
‘From the beginning, I had a sense it was going to be important. It’s a milestone for the show and a milestone for representation in general,’ he told HuffPost.
‘I thought, “OK, this is gonna be bigger than me”. I’m in a position right now where I have a platform, and I think it’s really important to be honest and to put myself out there so that other people don’t feel as alone.’
He also revealed Krista Vernoff called him to discuss Schmitt’s arc over the summer.
He furthermore added: ‘I knew that as a gay guy myself, I needed to come out to everyone so that when I entered a dialogue around this story, I could be as authentic as possible. So I called Krista back and I said, “Let’s do this.”’
Borelli relates to Levi on a deeper level
Borelli said he isn’t bothered by the fact that his character and his private life will forever be connected. On the contrary, he identifies with Levi on ways that go beyond his sexual orientation.
‘He entered this hospital in awe of the doctors that had come before him and really wanted to prove himself in that environment. That’s exactly what was going on with me as an actor. I was coming onto this established show that had been on for 14 years at the time, and I was seeing these icons of television that I had looked up to when I was a kid, and I was trying to prove myself so that I could stay on the show and prove myself in this world.’
He further explains he is excited to portray Schmitt as ‘a real human being who clearly has flaws’.
‘I’m still learning about him, and I think that’s kind of perfect, because he’s still learning about himself, too.’
He is not keen on revealing anything about his character’s romance. Those who ship Levi and Nico will need to wait until January 2019, when the ABC smash hit resumes after the winter break.