Neil Patrick Harris: Coming Out Is a 'Very Individual Thing'

10/29/2013 at 08:00 PM EDT

Neil Patrick Harris: Coming Out Is a 'Very Individual Thing'
David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris
Amanda Edwards/Wireimage
The coming out process is a very personal one and no one should be pushed into it, says Neil Patrick Harris.

"I don't think doing it in an exploitative way makes sense. I just feel like that whole world is very personal," the actor, 40, said Monday on Huffpost Live. "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."

As for his own journey, Harris, who came out to PEOPLE in 2006, says he didn't want to cover up his love for his now fiancé, David Burtka.

"For me, I fell in love with a dude and started spending all my time with him. And therefore, you don't want to be suppressive of that," the How I Met Your Mother star explains. "As I started working more frequently, with more eyes on us, I figured that that was inevitability and the opposite would be, again, suppressive."



"I didn't want to disrespect David," he continues. "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."

Harris, who's currently preparing to star in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, says he's thankful that times are changing.

"People seem less concerned about who you're f–––ing, and more importantly [about] who you fall in love with."

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