Neil Patrick Harris ‘Forgiven’ For Being Gay: Maxim Russia Says He’s Earned ‘Respect’

Neil Patrick Harris is one of the few male celebrities whom Maxim Russia has “forgiven” for being gay. Harris was included on the magazine’s list of respected gay men because he played a character who slept with hundreds of women on the popular CBS TV series, How I Met Your Mother.

According to Buzzfeed, the Russian edition of Maxim magazine recently published an article titled “Gays We Respect.” It listed off a few gay male celebrities and explained why each star was “forgiven” for being sexually attracted to men instead of women. The list included Neil Patrick Harris, Ian McKellen, Freddy Mercury, Stephen Fry, and Rob Halford.

In the first paragraph of the article, the writer reveals that he doesn’t consider most gay men to be real men.

“We, men, do not consider men who love men to be men,” the article reads. “This is the rule. But there are exceptions. There are gays who have earned our respect and the right to remain real men in our eyes.”

The writer explained that Neil Patrick Harris made the list because of his role as Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother. Barney was a womanizer who used an entire book of dirty tricks to get women to sleep with him, and he often fooled his targets into thinking that he had actual feelings for them before breaking their hearts by bolting in the morning. Barney also preyed upon girls who were suffering from emotional issues or bad breakups. The Maxim Russia writer thinks that Barney’s predatory behavior is an admirable trait.

“We weren’t sure about including Neil Patrick Harris in the list — after all, he declared himself a ‘happy gay’ in 2006. But his performance as Barney Stinson in the series How I Met Your Mother hasn’t left us indifferent,” the Maxim article reads. “It’s impossible not to respect someone who elevated the hunt for girls into a true art, who systematized all the tricks and techniques and created the ‘Bro Code.’ Even if he was just acting the role. But how he acted!”

Neil Patrick Harris hasn’t responded to being listed in the Maxim Russia article, but many Buzzfeed commenters have expressed their opinions about his inclusion on the offensive list. Many Neil Patrick Harris fans are appalled that the Maxim writer thinks that Harris is only deserving of praise for playing a despicable character, not for being a loving father and family man.

“So they respect NPH for playing a disgusting lying douchebag who sees women as objects existing for his own personal pleasure and conquest, not for being a loving husband and father in real life?” Bailey Culbreath wrote.

As luck would have it, Neil Patrick Harris recently shared photographic evidence of his happy family life. He and husband David Burtka enlisted their five-year-old twins, Harper and Gideon, to help with Thanksgiving dinner. In an Instagram post, Harris joked that the kids also got a biology lesson when they found some mutant carrots that look like legs. As you can see, Gideon’s carrot appears to have another appendage.

Neil Patrick Harris Thanksgiving
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka let their twins, Gideon and Harper, help them cook Thanksgiving dinner (Image via Neil Patrick Harris Instagram)

While some Buzzfeed commenters expressed their disbelief that the Maxim Russia writer didn’t give Neil Patrick Harris any love for being such a great dad to his adorable kids, others tried to paint the magazine article in a more positive light. They pointed out that Russia has some “pretty nasty anti-gay laws,” so it could actually be looked at as a step in the right direction.

“Any kind of slightly positive outlook on homosexuality in Russia is a tiny glimmer of improvement,” Tracy Sanders wrote. “Let’s just hope that it gets better than this.”

According to E! News, these harsh anti-gay laws are what made Prison Break star Wentworth Miller decide to come out in 2013. Neil Patrick Harris and Jesse Tyler Ferguson were just a few of the celebrities that applauded Miller’s courage.

Wentworth Miller had been given an invitation to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival, but he publicly declined it by revealing that he was a gay man who found Russia’s treatment of the LGBT community deeply troubling. The country had just passed a law that prohibited citizens from discussing gay rights with minors or handing out materials about gay rights.

NPH With His Husband And Twins
Neil Patrick Harris And David Burtka enjoy a day in Harlem with their kids (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Harlem EatUp!)

Like Wentworth Miller, Neil Patrick Harris also released a public statement revealing that he is a gay man. However, Harris told NPR that he was forced to come out in 2006 because he wanted to beat celebrity blogger Perez Hilton to the punch. Perez was trying to procure evidence that Neil Patrick Harris was a gay man, so the actor decided he’d rather come out on his own terms.

“It just seemed like the straight-up thing to do, pardon the pun,” Harris quipped.

Neil Patrick Harris also admitted that he felt a bit guilty about hiding his relationship with David Burtka. According to Harris, it seemed “disrespectful” and “insulting” that his future husband couldn’t walk down the press line with him at a movie premiere. And now the happy couple is posting photos of their ridiculously good-looking family on social media for all the world to see.

Neil Patrick Harris’ life drastically changed over the course of a few short years, so who knows? Maybe life for members of the Russian LGBT community will start to look very different in the near future. Do you think the Maxim article is a step forward or backward?

[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for CNN]

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