Karine Jean-Pierre
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T.R. Knight:
"I've Learned So Much"

T.R. Knight says
he's evolved as a person since announcing last October
that he's gay.

''I feel I've
learned so much this past year, so I'm grateful for that --
so, yeah, that changes you,'' the 34-year-old actor said
Thursday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Knight, who plays
Dr. George O'Malley on ABC's hit medical drama, Grey's
, announced that he's gay after it surfaced
that Isaiah Washington had used an antigay slur against him
during an on-set clash with costar Patrick Dempsey.

Washington, 44,
was booted from his role as a surgeon on the show after
he used the same antigay epithet backstage at the
Golden Globe Awards in January while denying he'd used
it previously on the set against Knight. He publicly
apologized and tried to make amends by meeting with
gay rights organizations and filming a public service
announcement calling for tolerance.

Knight said
telling the world you're gay isn't an easy thing to do.

''Everyone has
their own path,'' he said. ''You just have to respect
that. I know a lot of people who make statements, but you
have to do it when it's right for you.''

Knight joked that
he's dating someone very close to Grey's Anatomy
costar Katherine Heigl. ''Recently Kate and her
fiance, Josh Kelley, and me and her mom went out to
dinner...and it was reported that it was with me and my new
boyfriend. But that was really her mom,'' he told
DeGeneres. ''So I guess I'm dating Katherine's mom
right now,'' he quipped. (AP)

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