Why Jim Parsons Was Scared to Come Out as a Gay Actor in Hollywood and How He Managed to Stay on Top

10 months ago

Coming out can be a big deal in the ordinary world. But it’s a whole other story when it comes to Hollywood. Actors and actresses worry about their followers, their reputations, and upcoming rejections from production companies. Today, we want to go deeper and see how Jim Parsons, the talented actor from The Big Bang Theory, feels about it.

He came out a few years ago.

Invision/Invision/East News

In 2012, Jim Parsons quietly came out as a gay man. In a new profile in the New York Times, The Big Bang Theory star matter-of-factly described that he was “gay and in a 10-year relationship.” Parsons never explicitly discussed his sexuality or comments in the written statement, and when contacted, his rep had no further comments.

“Once I came out to myself and admitted it to myself, the only people [left] were my family, sadly, but that’s kinda the way it goes. Everybody else I worked with knew, but I was doing theatre and I was still in school... It was lowkey, it was out of the public eye. There were no high stakes.”

He loves to play roles where he can embrace his true self.

Jim Parsons admits that in recent years, he has experienced “an awakening” about how much he enjoys “bringing myself to the work” when playing characters that identify as LGBTQ+. Parsons, 49, said that “the majority” of the roles he gets offered are for gay characters: “I wouldn’t necessarily call it a lot of LGBTQ+ content, but there are a lot of gay characters that I get offered,” Parsons said when asked what kind of scripts he’s sent. “The majority, I would say, that I get offered are gay.”

He had a role model.

When discussing being openly homosexual in Hollywood, Parsons said he “grew up in a time where the first thing I think of every time is when Ellen [DeGeneres] came out.” Then he added that it was so exciting and as much as it helped him ultimately, it was still so scary for him as a gay person who wanted a career on the same road, in the same industry. “So, it’s been a long time coming.”

In The Big Bang Theory

Jim was concerned that coming out as gay while filming The Big Bang Theory might “cause trouble.” He stated that times have changed and that it’s way easier now to tell somebody you are gay “than it was 20 years ago.”

“So I was scared. I wasn’t scared about losing my job. And I wasn’t scared to the point of denying my sexuality. But I was scared enough to make it my mission not to talk about it. I was scared enough to be nervous the first time I was even nominated for the Emmy. And I was scared that it might cause trouble, quote unquote, for our big television show.”

His love encouraged him to come out.

Jim Parsons has discussed how meeting his husband, Todd Spiewak, in 2002, encouraged him to come out to his family. He said that he “immediately knew” the relationship would be significant.

“No offense to the lovely men I dated before Todd, but somewhere deep inside, I immediately knew that there was no choice left but to deal with this [by coming out to my family] because to not let them in on this person I had met was to officially start putting up these lifelong barriers,” he said.

Now he’s a happily married man.

Our favorite The Big Bang Theory star married Todd Spiewak in 2017. When Parsons, for the third time, took home the trophy at the Emmys for playing Sheldon, he drew direct attention to Spiewak in his acceptance speech, saying, “I love... oh, my favorite person on Earth, Todd Spiewak.”

What other movies or shows do you know Jim Parsons from? What do you think of this huge step in coming out as gay in the Hollywood world?

Preview photo credit Invision/Invision/East News, The Big Bang Theory / Chuck Lorre Productions and co-producer


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