Life After ‘The Big Bang Theory’: Jim Parsons On Coming Out And What’s Next

For 12 years (an exorbitant amount of time in Hollywood) Jim Parsons has been known for his role as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.

“No matter how successful you are,” Parsons recently told Variety, “even if you’re a huge success in movies, you don’t get to check into the same parking space for 12 years. This is not how someone in a creative profession normally gets to behave. Most human beings crave that structure, so I can see how it causes some hurricanes in the heart.”  

Todd Spiewak and Jim Parsons | Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Imagess
Todd Spiewak and Jim Parsons | Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Imagess

A lot can change in 12 years, both within the television industry and within a person.

Jim Parsons talks pride and coming out

When Parsons was young he said, “the sight of pride parades frightened me, because I knew that there were plenty of people around me — whether they were in my life or I just was aware of them — that derided this show of pride.”

But once he came out things changed.

“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 said.

Parsons came out to his family when he started dating his husband, Todd Spiewak.

“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, because to not let them in on this person I had met was to officially start putting up these lifelong barriers.”

In 2012, he came out publically (a year after performing in the Broadway revival of The Normal Heart, a play about the rise of the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984).  

Parsons describes his journey to get to where he is today with pride as “a discovery of a strength and a power that perhaps you didn’t realize you needed.”

What is Jim Parsons doing after ‘The Big Bang Theory’?

Parsons has a couple of things on the agenda now that Big Bang Theory is over. One of those things is starring in a Netflix adaptation of a role he’s already played on Broadway back in 2018. The Boys in the Band is slated to begin filming in July. The story details a group of gay men coming together to celebrate a friend’s birthday party. According to Parsons, his character is “swimming as fast as he can to keep above the waters of his own tortured psyche and his own feelings of hating himself. But he doesn’t succeed — nobody would for very long.”

The Boys in the Band is expected to debut on Netflix in 2020.