T.R. Knight Admits Some Friends Encouraged Him Not to Come Out

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Before Grey's Anatomy star T.R. Knight came out of the closet last year, some advised him not to do it, the actor says in a new interview.

While friends were "beautifully supportive," Knight tells The Advocate in its June 19 issue, others cautiously advised him, "Don't do it - don't do it now."

T.R. Knight Admits Some Friends Encouraged Him Not to Come Out
Looking back, the 34-year-old has no regrets.

"I remember saying to someone when I got one of those don't-do-it comments - I just remember hearing my voice being calm and saying, 'No, it's going happen. It's going to happen. I'm just letting you know.'"

Ultimately, Knight is glad he decided to go public about his homosexuality after castmate Isaiah Washington referred to him on-set by a gay slur.

"I made the decision to make a statement," he says.

"I could have not [spoken up]. I could have retreated. But I'm definitely happy I made the decision."

Washington has since apologized, entered therapy, and will be appearing in public service announcements on behalf of gay groups.

Since coming out, Knight, who plays the unassuming Dr. George O'Malley on the hit ABC drama, has seen his character marry Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and sleep with fellow interns Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl).

Off camera, Katherine Heigl is a very close friend, but she says Knight came out to her much more gradually.

"There came a point where we were close enough friends that he would just talk about dates or about other guys," Heigl told The Advocate. "I wasn't shocked or surprised.... It was more just like, 'Oh, okay, now I know why you don't want to go out with me.'"

But Knight, who says he is single - "Not that I've had the most successful dating experiences," he says - insists coming out hasn't much affected his love life. He states, with a laugh, that he still assumes people aren't interested in him, but notes:

"Too much aggression isn't a good thing, either."

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I just ran across this page after the Emmys. I totally agree with Burke Backer and some others here. I like TR Knight on the show but I will miss Isaiah Washington. Of all the characters his was, to me, the most intersting, the best acted, and the show will absolutely not be the same without Isaiah's talent, intensity, and chemistry with other actors. Why did the personal have to interfere with the professional? I wondered tonight if Washington would have been up there on stage accepting an Emmy had it not been for the press, the poor timing, and the pity party of some. I do not condone what Washington said but what a beating he took for one mistake.


Maybe you are right, Nedrick. I hope so. I'd like nothing better than for all of it to be behind everyone, including us, the fans of GA.


I don't think he's trying to get people to feel sorry for him, as someone suggested. Just giving honest answers in an interview really. Knight himself has never said a negative word about Washington, and this article also notes the ways Isaiah is making amends. I think they've moved on rather well, it's the fans that are having a problem with it!


I have always liked TR he seems to be a great person and a wonderful actor. You don't know what really goes on inside a persons head. It just appears to me Isaiah is doing his best to make amends and TR is still trying to get people to feel sorry for him. I hope Im wrong about TR because it would be really sad and hurts the cause even more.


TR Knight's sexuality is not a problem to me at all. I don't care about it one way or the other. He does a very fine job of playing a straight male on Greys anatomy. It is George that I like. I don't care to know TR. I don't care about his coming out either, however, his timing could not have been worse. He chose that moment to come out of the closet when it would be the most destructive to the show and to his castmate, a time when it would cause the most media frenzy. He had been hiding his sexual orientation for over 30 years and chose that moment after overhearing someone refer to him in a derrogatory way to tell the world that he is gay. If he were at all concerned about the show, the fans, and the people he works with, he would have picked another time. It seems to me that he did it in a very deliberate and passive aggressive manner. His feelings were hurt and he wanted to get back at his castmate and chose this way to do it that almost ended his colleague's career. I don't find it brave. I find it self serving and vindictive. It would have been brave to make his statement at a time when he felt proud to be making it and when it would not reflect negatively on anyone else. There was no need to make it at that moment. He chose to do it at a time that it would be the most damaging to Isaiah. This doesn't mean I condone Isaiah using this word, but we don't even know if Isaiah knew TR was gay. He may have been referring to what he saw as subservient behavior. The word he used may not even have been referring to his sexual orientation. I agree with Hafsa. Enough already. We've all been to the pity party and now it is time to move on. Do what you want off screen, just keep the characters we love on the show we love and don't let the off screen unpleasantness, that happens frequently on long running television shows between people who spend far too much time together, spill over onto the screen. George and Burke are good together. Isaiah and TR do not have to be friends. I'm frankly sick of it and find it sad that TR can not seem to get past it. Isaiah is doing all he can to make amends for something taken out of context and blown out of proportion. I dislike TR for the way he responded to this situation. It has nothing at all to do with his sexual orientation.


I have a very close friend that didn't come out for 7 years and one day he invited me and another lady friend to a restaurant and said I need to tell you something. He started very embarrassed and we ladies encouraged him with our smiles and suddenly he said you knew? We said yes. How long have you known this? Years. Suddenly we had a very confident person in front of us who finally opened up about his life. He did call us names (but gently) because we never said anything. We are still very close it didn't change a thing.


The Skinnier George gets the more.. I hate to say it, gay he looks - meaning its hard to see he has any affection for Izzy or Callie.


Its good that you are proud of who you are, but serously i am getting tired of all this george/ IW old news, what is done is done, so kindly stop rubing it in.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.