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Jonathan Knight Hid His Sexuality to Protect New Kids on the Block

Jonathan Knight Hid His Sexuality to Protect New Kids on the Block

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The singer opened up to fellow boybanders Lance Bass and Joey Fatone about the pressures of keeping his sexuality a secret.

Those of us who see New Kids on the Block's Jonathan Knight living his best life alongside longtime partner Harley Rodriguez these days may forget about a time when he was forced to keep his sexuality a secret.

In a recent episode of the Frosted Tips with Lance Basspodcast, Knight opened up to Bass and Joey Fatone about the pressures he felt during his band's early years.

"My manager knew I was gay," he said, although he also noted he felt like it was something he couldn't share at the time.

When Bass asked if Knight had been told to keep quiet, he said, "My manager actually did. He pulled me aside and was like, 'If anybody finds out, your career is over. The New Kids' career is over. My career is over.' It was so much pressure."

Knight went on to say the stress continued to build and the anxiety left him feeling like he was having a nervous breakdown.

Further still, it wasn't even Knight's choice for the world to know he was gay, either. He revealed that a boyfriend of his at the time sold pictures of the couple to the National Enquirer. Even after that, Knight never wanted to make a "formal announcement" regarding his sexuality.

"I didn't want to," he said. "I was just living my life... It wasn't something I was hiding. But then it was like, 'No you have to make a statement. You have to clear the air.' And that whole process was horrible."

With celebrities having a much easier time coming out these days and society becoming more accepting, Knight celebrated the direction we've come as a whole since his personal experience with coming out.

RELATED | 48 Celebrities Who Came Out As LGBTQ+ in 2022

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