If you grew up in the 90s as I did, then there’s no way you could not have heard about the music group New Kids On The Block. And even to this day, mention of the band drives the most mild mannered of housewives to a state of nostalgia and questionable dance moves. As the group evolved and the band members grew up, they were able to have the room to be who they really are and this is especially true for bandmember Jonathan Knight who came out years later.
But it was not of his own will, unfortunately as others decided to voice their own opinions on his sexuality. First by his old girlfriend and teen icon Tiffany. Then by the infamous blogger Perez Hilton that is known for his trolling ways. Here’s more:
“Perez tried to out me many times and I hate that guy for doing that,” Knight noted. “I was already gay and living a gay lifestyle but he wanted me to talk about it. Why? My brother and the rest of the guys don’t go on interviews saying ‘I’m straight’ etc. so why do I need to just because I’m gay?”
He concluded, “People like him want me to talk about it to make themselves feel better. They think ‘I’m gay so I want to make sure everybody knows I’m not the only one out there.’ I hate that.”
In 2011, Knight broke his silence following the Tiffany gaffe on the official NKOTB blog, according to Towleroad.
“My belief is that you live your life by example, and not by a caption on a magazine! If there ever has been any confusion about my sexuality, then you are someone that doesn’t even know me!I love living my life being open and honest, but at this time I choose not to discuss my private life any further! My fellow band members don’t discuss their private lives with their loved ones and I don’t feel that just because I am gay, I should have to discuss mine!”
It does not matter whether Knight was living authentically as a gay man and just not speaking about it publicly or completely in the closet the journey of coming out should never be in the hands of anyone else. It’s disturbing and flat out wrong for Perez or anyone else have a hand in how someone else comes out because it isn’t anyone else’s business but yours. No one owes anyone to share that part of their lives if they are not ready to do so. All forms of the media should know that. It’s all about decency.
I do applaud Knight in embracing the media coverage that came of all this a few years ago and still doing so today. And hope those so called journalist bloggers like Perez learn some decency and stop trying to out people.