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New Kids on the Block fans take notice! Jonathan Knight is officially out of the closet. He released a statement Saturday on the NKOTB Web site (viewable by members only) where he stressed that he’d never hidden his sexuality and has been out to friends and family for 20 years.

The singer’s sexuality has been in the tabloids a few times before because of speculation about his sexuality, but he was able to silently drift out of the celebrity rumor mill when NKOTB left the spotlight in the ’90s. That is until Knight and the group reunited in 2008.

The rumors hit a fever point when ’80s pop star Tiffany, Knight’s former girlfriend, mentioned that he was gay on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” a couple weeks ago. She and Knight made up through a Twitter exchange, but apparently people began berating him further so he felt the need to officially come out to the public.

Here’s Knight’s full statement:

“I have never been outed by anyone but myself! I did so almost twenty years ago. I never know 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! Apparently the pre requiste 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! 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!”

NKOTB is set to tour with the Back Street Boys this summer. (Those living in Columbus can purchase tickets to their July 24th concert here.)

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