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Neil Patrick Harris Talks Parenting, Surrogacy … and Gay Bum Touching

Neil Patrick Harris is a busy man these days.

The 40-year-old actor is promoting his new movie, Smurfs 2; has two other movies soon to be released (A Million Ways to Die in the West and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2); and will soon start filming his last season as ladies’ man Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother.

Add to that an autobiography in the works (yes!) and a planned move to New York in the spring so he can star in a Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and you wonder how he has time left for anything else.

Yet Neil always makes time for his fiance, David Burtka, and their three-year-old twins, Gideon and Harper.

He recently told USA Today:

My life is like a carnival plate spinner. No plate is bigger or more expensive than another. I love our children implicitly and would stop anything if they needed me.

And yet work is rolling at such a pace that I don’t want to stop yet. David and I are almost 10 years into a relationship, and that takes time. I don’t want to take anything for granted. I have problems in all these areas, but that’s what’s fun about life.

Neil also talked about how the kids have changed his life, and the way his parenting style has shifted as the twins have grown bigger.

When you have kids, everything anchors to their wants and needs, so you get less sleep and have to be more aware all the time. You have to be adaptable because they constantly keep changing. They’ll do something that blows your mind and then they’ll spit all their food out on the carpet.

The first year with them was complicated. They were twins, and they were crying a lot. Thank God for David. He is so good at differentiating cries.

David is so drawn to parenthood, just in his core, that I suddenly felt I was a perimeter guy. I was the man who put the cribs together and took the trash out. I tried to balance the equation. The older they get, the more I love being a dad. Now that they’re talking, I’m really loving the camp counselor end of parenting. I think that’s where my strengths lie.

Appearing recently on Conan, Neil revealed that just over three years ago he confessed to David Furnish, Elton John‘s partner, that he and Burtka were expecting twins by a surrogate. Neil says Furnish “blanched” but then leaned in to whisper his own confession: that he and Elton were also expecting by a surrogate.

The four men are good friends and sometimes vacation together. In fact, they’re such good friends that Furnish goosed Neil when the four men were posing for a photo. The friendly bum squeeze was caught on camera, and Conan just had to ask him about that, too. Funny stuff, which you can see for yourself in the video below.


But my favorite interview with Neil is still the one he and David did with Oprah in 2012. The two dads talk about family, parenting, their relationship, coming out, and more. And it’s just lovely. Here’s a snip.

I’m not one to gush about celebrities but I do so love how Neil and David are out there with their twins, being honest about the challenges that come with all the good times and standing proud as a gay parents. Thanks, guys! You make it a little bit easier for all us other LGBT parents to do the same.

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