After '80s singer Tiffany "outed" him recently, New Kids on the Block singer Jonathan Knight has publicly confirmed he is gay for the first time, but makes sure to say he's never hidden his sexual orientation to begin with.
In a somewhat defensive, exclamation-point-heavy post on NKOTB's official blog (hidden behind a paywall), Knight says:
"I have never been outed by anyone but myself! I did so almost twenty years ago. I never know [sic] that I would have to do it all over again publicly just because I reunited with NKOTB! I have lived my life very openly and have never hidden the fact that I am gay!"
He goes on to jab celebrities who have chosen to come out on the covers of magazines:
"Apparently the pre requisite to being a gay public figure is to appear on the cover of a magazine with the caption 'I am gay'. I apologize for not doing so if this is what was expected!"
Good for him that he's now out, but yes, there is a difference between being gay in your private life and acknowledging to the public at large that you're gay. (And saying you're gay doesn't mean you're required to become an activist or to talk about what you do in bed or with whom you do it.) Also, I don't recall him acknowledging he was gay in 1991 or, actually, ever before now (anyone have links?), so his rant is a bit disingenuous. When I posted a tabloid report regarding his love life, a number of his fans has not seemed to know he was gay, to put it mildly.
But now that he's out, he's out, and that's great; another public figure—in fact, a once-and-current heartthrob, helping to show that gay people are everywhere, and come in all different flavors from activist to "I am, now leave me alone."
P.S. Randomly, one single commenter on the 'Net has claimed Knight was hyping Kirstie Alley's TV show in '10 so much they tweeted to him that they hated Scientologists and he replied, "Im a Scientologist, do you hate me?" I couldn't find this anywhere else, so it might be B.S., but it would be interesting—I'm not aware of any other public figure who is a Scientologist and who is openly gay.