When one thinks of the exalted and affable Neil Patrick Harris, household name and star of How I Met Your Mother, one cannot help but chuckle indiscriminately. The actor has come a long way since his Doogie Howser days, and has sewn a level of professional success seldom attained by an openly gay member of Hollywood. In a soon-to-hit-stands interview by Rolling Stone, in which NPH poses buck naked, Harris claims his enormous victories in the world of entertainment are due exclusively to the fact that he publicly came out of the closet. This of course is not the norm for gay actors, but rather a fascinating exception that seems to ordain Neil Patrick Harris the Gay Ambassador of America.
Fans of How I Met Your Mother are presumably still mourning the end of the era of Barney. But with the show being over, and the gang’s loose ends all neatly resolved, fans of Harris need not worry about missing him. NPH is not going anywhere. As the star of the recent Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, his abundant followers can go watch him every night if they want to. The outrageous show is about a German Transgender Glam Rocker, and Harris is of course playing the lead to a packed house.
According to NPH, this newest role, and all the other blessed opportunities he’s had the pleasure of pursuing, are a direct result of his decision to come out years ago. He claims coming out was a wholeheartedly positive experience that miraculously opened doors to him that he otherwise would have missed. Who could forget his side-splitting cameos in all three Harold and Kumar films? Harris would like the world to imagine a society where every gay man and woman are actually celebrated for their bravery and true selves, not just him. Hopefully with Neil Patrick Harris’ encouraging words and honesty as America’s unofficial Gay Ambassador, this dream will come to fruition, and sooner rather than later.
As the entire country comes around to the idea of a gay celebrity, Harris lives his life no holds barred. The more exposure, it seems, the better, as he can do no wrong in the eyes of those glued to his every uproarious move. Him and husband, David Burtka, made a very distinguished appearance at this week’s coveted Met Gala, the pinnacle event of the fashion world, when they arrived in a pair of crop top tuxedos, one black and white and the other argyle. They were quite the talk of the town, and not a soul could help but smile.
It appears that Harris is just the role model the gay community wanted to finally leap off the streets and onto the screen, without being banished to obscurity in the process. Like Ellen, and a very select few who came before him, NPH has managed the impossible; garnering success as an openly gay actor. The projects he chooses in the future will undoubtedly be both hilarious and well received as he has been extended membership into the privileged fold, and the sky is the limit. As America’s Gay Ambassador, one can only hope that whatever is in store for Neil Patrick Harris, he continue to share it with the eagerly watching world.
Opinion by Brandon Duringer