According to his autobiography, the How I Met Your Mother Star first told his mother Shelia that he thought he was gay when he was 13, because he was attracted to guys in a "tingly kind of way." It was 1986 and he started crushing on the trumpet player in his middle school band.
He writes that she was always loving and supportive and that "she sees that even though you date some really nice girls through your high school years, it's the cute new boy in your class or on set who really gets under your skin and thrills you and spurs your imagination."
Harris would later identify as bisexual, which seemed to him like a "half-truth, but the only truth" he knew. However it was during a guest spot on the show B.L. Stryker, starring Burt Reynolds, that things began to became clearer.
"As a joke at the end of one take, Burt leans over and kisses you square on the mouth," writes NPH. "The crew thinks this is very funny, but it makes you uncomfortable. Uncomfortable and, it will ultimately turn out, gay. Burt Reynolds' kiss makes you gay."
This is both a purposefully, humorously reductive examination of Neil's own sexuality and a testament to the (enduring) gorgeousness of Burt Reynolds.
Harris would go onto have his first gay liaison with a Rent cast member in 1997, lurk in online chat rooms, have a "fantastic" tryst with a man named Christophe while visiting a friend in Germany, and meet his now husband, David Burtka, in 2003. Harris came out in 2006 and married Burtka in Italy this passed September.