Leave it to Oprah Winfrey to ask the awkward questions! On “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” her new OWN show, Oprah interviewed Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka about their life with twins Gideon and Harper — and their lives before Gideon and Harper.
“When did you know that you were gay?” she asks.
Harris hesitates, then says that he knew at six or seven, but he did date women growing up. “I didn’t really feel like a liar and ‘I’m gay and I’m doing this and I wish I wasn’t,’ but I did feel like it wasn’t clicking like it was supposed to.”
“By dating, I mean you actually had sex with girls,” Oprah says. Thank you, Oprah.
Finally, they got around to the reason they were on the show — the babies, and their family. “The one thing that I am so appreciative of that my parents did to us is talk to us like we were regular people, and didn’t talk to us like we were little babies,” Harris says. “We’re going to tell them information. I want them to have information. The way that they were brought into this world was very unique and weirdly scientific, and the technology involved in it, I think, is remarkable. It came because we really, really wanted kids. We really had thought it through financially, emotionally, relationship wise. We didn’t accidentally get pregnant and decide that now we need to make this work. These kids come in to our world with nothing but love.”
Burtka says that he is more “maternal” than Harris is.
“I didn’t love the first six, nine months,” Harris says, admitting that he struggled with fatherhood in therapy. “When they’re so little and they’re just crying, I don’t know what’s wrong, and I try to soothe you and you’re still crying, and I know that he’s more maternal and is much more intuitive with that, so I would pass off, and then fix the crib or clean the dishes. I’d do my work, I didn’t just vanish, I would try to provide, but I didn’t feel like I was bonding with them. It was okay, because I still feel like my strengths will come when it’s like ‘Papa, let’s build a fort!'”
Below, you can watch video of Harper and Gideon’s nursery, complete with teepee, his and her closets, and a clock made of “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, and a video of Oprah meeting the twins… and making sure that Harris and Burtka follow pool safety regulations. In the second video, Harris and Burtka explain their surrogacy process, which included anonymous an anonymous egg donor and sperm contributions from both men.