So “The Advocate” informs us that TR Knight is a “hero.” What a fucking surprise. The doughy “Grey’s Anatomy” cast member is the magazine’s PRIDE 2007 cover boy, marking yet another ridiculous overreach by the gay media. If you’re a celebrity, and you’re queer, you’re a hero.
Of course Knight would likely still be in the closet if not for his castmate Isaiah Washington, who was sent to rehab for calling Knight, 33 at the time, a fag. He was then “forced” to reveal his sexuality. And for that he’s labeled a role model? From what I’ve read, Knight’s homosexuality was not a recent discovery. He lived a lie so as to further his career, one that likely would not have suffered had he been open about his identity. Look at him — he’s no leading man. He is to Tom Cruise as Lance Bass is to Justin Timberlake. In other words, his career is not wholly dependent on his looks, or the fantasies of Midwestern housewives. Knight had every right to remain in the closet. But now that he’s been forced out, he shouldn’t be celebrated for his bravery or courage. Hell, coming out has been good for his career. I don’t watch “Grey’s Anatomy,” so I had no idea who TR Knight was. Now, unfortunately, I do, as he’s apparently bought into his own fawning press.
In April of 2007, nearly three months to the day after appearing on Ellen, TR Knight took the stage once again. This time, the boyishly handsome actor appeared to introduce GLAAD’s west coast media awards. Standing before the cream of the queer crop, TR Knight insisted, I am angry very angry at the inequality that we face every day. I hope I can turn my anger into action. One of those actions is me being here tonight. The 34-year old, fresh faced actor received a standing ovation.
How brave of him, to show up at the GLAAD awards. What inequality does he face, as a rich guy living in one of the most queer-friendly burghs in America? I might admire Knight if he came out on his own, without being dragged from the closet. I might admire him if he focused on real homophobia, not the Hollywood brand of self-pity. (Is, for example, David Geffen a victim?) I might admire him if he used his fame to expose real heroes, not those created by a slur and a fawning gay press. I’ve covered this territory before, in a column I wrote a few years back for the LA Times:
In truth, the gay community has only itself to blame. Could it be we’re suffering the consequences of elevating one too many lightweights to hero status, just because they’re gay and famous? And where’s the indignation over repeatedly trite media characterizations of homosexuals, as if it’s a given that we’re all theatrical and melodramatic, with a show tune in our hearts?