Actor Jake Borelli, who recently came out as gay on social media moments after his character on Grey’s Anatomy, Dr. Levi “Glasses” Schmitt, experienced his first same-sex kiss, graces the cover the newest issue of Gay Times Magazine.
The totally adorable actor shares with Gay Times that since the airing of the elevator kiss between Schmitt and hunky Dr. Nico Kim (played by Alex Landi), he’s “received so many messages” he can barely keep up.
“I sat there for like four hours and some of them were heartbreaking, and some of them were filled with joy and excitement,” Borelli shares with Gay Times. “It was beautiful to see how brave all of the fans were being with sharing their story. It truly felt like we were doing this together.”
The TV relationship is the latest in a long run of LGBT diverse representation on Grey’s Anatomy, now in its 15th season.
Borelli shares that he, like the rest of the audience, assumed Schmitt was straight during his first season with the show last year. With this new development in Schmitt’s storyline, Borelli thinks there’s an important lesson to be learned.
“You probably shouldn’t assume anything about anybody’s sexuality because I assumed he was straight,” says Borelli. “I would say he doesn’t even know yet at this point. He’s still learning, he’s still grappling with his own sexuality.”
In fact, Borelli admits he’s had to step back and adjust the backstory he’d created for the character now that this new dynamic has come into play.
“I think we came up with something really beautiful and really exciting, and it’s a story I would’ve loved to have seen when I was younger,” says the 27-year-old actor. “It’s a story that fits right into my own history, and it’s very close to me in some ways.”
And while he acknowledges the role and storyline may be “way bigger than me and my own coming out,” he hopes the Hollywood ‘powers that be’ take note of how the TV audience is embracing the Schmitt/Kim romance.
“I can’t imagine other tastemakers in the industry aren’t seeing this and aren’t getting super excited about it,” clearly enjoying the positive reactions he’s seeing. “We’re craving diversity and representation and different stories – stories that weren’t at the forefront of the narrative.”
Grey's Anatomy airs on ABC at 8/7c on Thursdays.
Click here to order Borelli’s issue of Gay Times Magazine.
(Photo credit – Gray Hamner/courtesy Gay Times Magazine, styling by Tyler Cunningham)