Neil Patrick Harris explains why it was important to come out when he did

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It’s been seven years since the slick-talking playboy of “How I Met Your Mother” came out of the closet. Neil Patrick Harris plays Barney Stinson, a character he couldn’t be more unlike, on the comedy sitcom.

Whereas Stinson is a suit-wearing womanizer who serves as the best friend of the show’s main protagonist, Harris is a loving father of two, who decided to come out so that his partner would realize the importance of their relationship and time together.

“For me, I fell in love with a dude and started spending all my time with him,” Harris told Huffington Post in an interview, in reference to his fiancé David Burtka. “And therefore, you don’t want to be suppressive of that. And so as I started working more frequently, with more eyes on us, I figured that that was inevitable and the opposite would be, again, suppressive.”

Burtka, who made several guest appearances on “How I Met Your Mother” from 2005 through 2012, quit acting to become a chef and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Pasadena in the summer of 2009. Harris and Burtka announced their engagement in 2011 and are parents to twins Harper and Gideon, born in 2010.

“I didn’t want to disrespect David. I didn’t want to make David feel like he didn’t exist in my life and at the same time I didn’t want David’s identity to be, ‘the guy that’s dating me.’ It’s a very individual thing.”

Although the couple is quite comfortable with their own relationship with the media and being out, Harris expressed his views on exposing others in the closet:

I don’t think doing it in an exploitative way makes sense. I just feel like that whole world is very personal. I think it’s not a good idea. Here’s a good analogy—if you’re going to jump into the pool and you’re not sure how to swim, it’s probably not so effective to just push someone into the pool…It’s probably not the best way. 

After season 9 of his CBS sitcom wraps, Harris is headed to Broadway to star in the revival of ”Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

And be sure to click thorugh the photos above to see how Harris and family do Halloween in style. 

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