Jim Parsons Opens Up About Coming Out, Why he Quit The Big Bang Theory
Jim Parsons first spoke about his sexuality for the first time in a 2016 interview and though he was initially worried that his personal life would become the thing that defined him once he made it public, he doesn’t regret his decision.
During a conversation on David Tennant Does A Podcast With…, the host said: ”It’s interesting when you have the success that you have had and you also happen to be gay, you become de facto an activist.
“The very fact that you admit that in a world where still not everyone who’s in that position is willing to talk about it…”
Jim replied: “That’s right. And that was my last hurdle with coming out. The press. I knew that ‘You’ll be a gay actor from here on out.'”
“And now, looking back, not only has it not been a bad thing for me, it’s been the opposite and a great thing for me, it’s not untrue, but also I don’t mind.”
The 47-year-old actor – who is married to Todd Spiewak – insisted it wasn’t a “big decision” to come out because it happened ”organically.”
David asked: “Did it feel like a big decision to take because you were having to weigh all that up?”
He replied: “No, it happened organically. I was doing an interview the year after A Normal Heart with the New York Times and Patrick Healy was interviewing me and he just asked, ‘Was it more meaningful to you to be a part of A Normal Heart because you’re gay?’ I went ‘Yes.'”
“And I just thought, I sort of came out through the back door, which again sounds dirty in this conversation. But it kind of was appropriate because, to your first question, I wasn’t trying to hide from my friends and family.”
During the interview, Parsons also opened up about what led him to decide to leave The Big Bang Theory.
“Our final contract was for the last two years, but no one knew when we signed it what that would mean. I kind of had a suspicion in my heart that that was going to be it for me when I did sign that contract, but you never say never and who knows,” he said, going on to reveal that the decision to leave the show solidified the summer before they started filming Season 12. “I was exhausted, and I was really upset about, more than anything, one of our dogs was getting really at the end of his life around then.”
The actor was performing a play in New York at the time and tearfully explained that he feared his dog would die while he was at work, so he and his husband made the difficult decision to put the dog to sleep at their home. A few days later, Parsons injured himself on stage:
“It was the scariest moment for the next couple of days because I didn’t know — I felt like I was at the edge of a cliff, and I was teetering, and I saw something really dark below between the death of the dog, and I don’t know what they would have done if I couldn’t have gotten back on for the play.”
Parsons also reminisced on the fact his father passed away at the age of 52, and at the end of his new contract, he’d be 46 years old. Did he want to keep doing this sitcom with what time he had left, or did he want to move on?
“I had this moment of clarity that I think you’re very fortunate to get in a lot of ways, of going ‘Don’t keep speeding by.’ You know? ‘Use this time to take a look around.’ And I did. I was like, ‘I gotta make a move,’” Parsons said. “And this is what I said to Chuck Lorre and Steve Molaro when I talked to them when I went back to work next year. I said, ‘If you told me that like my father, I had six years left to live, I think there’s other things I need to try and do.’”