Neil Patrick Harris opens up about how he came to terms with his sexuality as a young teenager and how kissing Burt Reynolds on the set of ‘B.K.Stryker.’ convinced him he was gay. It’s among the fascinating details he reveals in his new in a memoir, ‘Choose Your Own Autobiography.’

Neil Patrick Harris

Photo: Neil Patrick Harris
Credit: PR Photos

Yes, Neil Patrick Harris is making headlines with his new book. Thankfully the live story he details is not one fraught with the stuff of celebrity train wrecks. He is more than a survivor, but is flourishing professionally and personally having escaped the perils of transitioning from child star of ‘Doogie Howser M.D.’ to adult star of ‘How I Met Your Mother.’

Yes, he’s gone on to become the mega-successful star of television, screen and stage, most recently winning a Tony Award for his impressive and poignant performance as the title character in the Broadway revival of ‘Hedwidg and the Angry Inch.

But it’s not been without struggle, as he reveals in ‘Choose Your Own Autobiography’ which is written in the second person, and thus putting the reader in the midst of the unfolding story.

In the new book, as quoted by The Daily Mail, NPH talks about those adolescent days and beyond. He was navigating the challenges of adolescence in the public eye, and he was also tasked with dealing with his sexual identity. No small task back in the 1980s, or even today for that matter.

In the book he reveals that a crush on a fellow male student let him to conclude and to say, plainly to his mother, “Mom, I’m afraid I’m gay.”

He goes on in his second-person narrative to say, of her, “And 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.”

And later, he adds, “You’ve come a long way from the anonymous skulker trolling the AOL chat rooms.’

And finally NPH is ready to say, “You are gay. You know that you are; you like that you are; you’re proud that you are. You are totally gay. and now you are totally gay and totally in love, and it’s wonderful’.

Continuing, he adds, “After a long internal journey, you now embrace being gay, recognizing it as a wonderful and integrally important component part of the totality that is you.” And, “‘You are full out…to yourself’.’

But there is that anecdote that Neil Patrick Harris shares which adds a startling detail to this story of self-realization as we do know, at least as far as we can ever know an iconic actor, the person in question here.

Neil Patrick Harris talks about a certain day on the set of the TV series, ‘B.K. Stryker.’ He said, “As a joke at the end of one take, Burt leans over and kisses you square on the mouth. 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.’

And there we have it, the story that’s made headlines. It virtually trumps some of the other fascinating details, including Neil Patrick Harris’ admission that he experimented with psychedelic drugs during the years after ‘Doogie Howser M.D.’ ended and he was struggling to find work.

Now as he hits the promo trail, there is a happy present life. He’s recently married David Burkta, longtime partner and the couple continue to parent their twins.

You can see more excerpts from the book here. The full episode of ‘B.K. Stryker’ below, which Neil Patrick Harris speaks of, starring Burt Reynolds who had such a pivotal real-life role.