In a recent interview with Variety, out actor Jim Parsons discussed the role his husband played in coming out to his family. He also discussed why used to not like Pride parades
“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.”
Before he met his would-be husband in 2003 — Todd Spiewak, who Parsons married in 2017 — Parsons said the sight of Pride parades frightened him, because he knew there were plenty of people both in his life and within society in general that expressed contempt and ridicule for public displays of gay pride. He also didn’t like crowds, so he tended to avoid them.
“Once it was out in the public, I was like, ‘Well, f— you! If you still have a problem with gay people, you directly have a problem with me. Being a full-fledged member of it and claiming it, there was just an elation there, and there still is! I still feel it. It’s a huge relief, and it’s also really nice to sometimes be able to feel righteous anger.”
He also now appreciates Pride parades for how they help many people discover strength and power that they perhaps didn’t realize they needed.
Parsons is best known for playing Sheldon, a conceited and socially awkward genius in the successful nerdy sitcom The Big Bang Theory; Tommy Boatwright, the kind-hearted southerner in the HBO film adaptation of Larry Kramer‘s 1985 HIV play The Normal Heart; and Michael, the self-loathing birthday boy at the center of the groundbreaking 1968 gay stage drama The Boys in the Band.
Parsons also served as executive producer of the Netflix short series Special about a gay man living with cerebral palsy.