Neil Patrick Harris acts for many people as a role model in the LGBTQ+ community in addition to his stage, on-screen, and musical roles — so it comes as no surprise that when he sees bigotry and homophobia, he does what he can to combat it.
The actor took to Twitter this week to challenge a harmful and offensive tweet from fellow actor James Woods.
Woods shared a photo of a family at a Pride event. The parents are holding signs in support of their child: “I ❤ my gender creative son,” and “My son wears dresses & makeup… get over it!” respectively. Their son stands between them, smiling big, with a rainbow painted on his face, a rainbow hat, and a rainbow flag. It’s a heartwarming, loving photo.
Well, at least some of us think so.
“This is sweet,” Woods wrote, “Wait until this poor kid grows up, realizes what you’ve done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage.”
His tweet isn’t just rude, it’s harmful, and it perpetuates the idea that gender is assigned at birth and that people must fit into society-taught, cookie-cutter gender roles regardless of how they identify.
Fortunately, Harris new exactly how to respond.
“Utterly ignorant and classless, Mr. Woods,” Harris wrote on Twitter. “I’m friends with this family. You know not of what you speak, and should be ashamed of yourself.”
People are applauding Harris for his response and for standing up for both his friends and for the rights of children to express themselves however they choose. Even the Human Rights Campaign took to Twitter to thank him for his words, writing: “All children should be accepted & loved for who they are.”