'Big Bang Theory' mystery: Is Sheldon gay?

Here’s a question that would’ve left Einstein scratching his head: Is Big Bang Theory brainiac Sheldon straight? Gay? Asexual? According to executive producer Chuck Lorre, “other” may be the best way to describe him.

“His entire focus is on the work that he’s doing — theoretical physics,” explains Lorre. “‘Alternate reality’ is another way of looking at it. Characters like Sheldon are drawn to an alternate reality that might be more comforting than the ones they live in. And why modify that? Why not let the character be that unique?”

Well, for one thing, because some viewers are dying to see Sheldon in a relationship. Jim Parsons, who plays the scientist, empathizes. “People want to see him cared for in a way that those of us a little more average have been able to experience through love,” he suggests. “But I also [understand] Chuck’s point that all Sheldon really wants is a Nobel Prize. That’s the warm embrace that he longs for.”

Lorre says it’s unlikely questions surrounding Sheldon’s sexuality will ever be answered. “Why would we have to [brand him ever] if the character is so thoroughly focused on his work?” he argues. “If touching other human beings of any gender is irrelevant to him, why label the thing? Why can’t there be a third gender — male, female and Sheldon?”

For his part, Parsons is more than happy to continue playing the ambiguity of it all. “Do I think that he’s ever going to sway one way or the other? I don’t know,” he says. “If nothing else, it keeps open the world of possibilities.”

Okay, now it’s your turn. Use the space below to explain why you think Cupid should target ol’ Smarty-Pants. While you’re at it, shall we take a vote? Straight, gay or… “other”?

Comments (373 total) Add your comment
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  • Emy

    Sheldon is perfectly fine the way he is :D

    • Megan

      Agreed! Let it alone. While put Sheldon in a relationship of any type probably wouldn’t “ruin” the show, it would totally mess with the vibes. Let. It. Go.

      • Nic.

        Agreed, too! Let Sheldon be Sheldon.

      • Stephanie Tanner

        I think Sheldon has aspects of Schizoid personality disorder. Not completely as he does maintain friendships but he does so not for normal reasons. But really, enough about Sheldon – his character has been so repetitive that he is boring and predictable – I want more Wolowitz and Kunthrapali. Get rid of Penny and minimize Leonard. Sheldon should not be overused like Steve Urkel, Homer Simpson, or Kirsten Wiig.

      • amj

        Stephanie…please don’t harsh on Sheldon or Penny! I love both of these characters and the scenes they do together are priceless!

      • sfeighner

        Leave Sheldon alone to work his science. If he gets in a relationship, the will will have jumped the shark and the ever decreasing concentric circles to ruin and cancellation will have begun.

      • Charlie Benjamin

        Sheldon’s sexuality is a bit like Niles Crane’s ex wife Maris in Frasier, or indeed Howard Wolowitz’s mother in TBBT. Part of the comedic genius of the character lies in what you don’t see, rather than what you do see.

      • maya

        I agree that Sheldon is perfect the way he is

      • typeg98

        Stephanie Tanner is just mad because DJ and Michelle got more of the spotlight than she did. She usually played second fiddle to the rest of the cast. Heck, even Kimmy Gibbler got more airtime! So sad for Stephanie… but hey – think about it this way – at least you got to stay on the show from beginning to end and did not end up like Judy Winslow from Family Matters – so there is a bright side to it. :)

      • Wendy

        Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie: Penny & Leonard are a big part of the show. If you got rid of her and minimized Leonard, the show would suck. By the way, you did not spell Miss Wiigs first name correctly. It’s Kristen, not Kirsten. I feel Sheldon’s relationship is getting to the Nobel prize. Nothing else matters until then. When he has nothing else to work towards, that’s when a woman will walk into his life, pick him up, brush him off and show him that there is more to life than work and science.

      • starhouse

        if, as Wendy says, Sheldon’s relationship is getting the Nobel Prize, I hope this means the series is going to last 10 or more years. ’cause that would be an awesome cap to the whole thing, but doesn’t seem reasonable before then.

    • John

      Let’s face it,Sheldon is the way he is. Any romance I think would ruin the character.

      • stacymac

        MY ANSWER IS “D.” ALL OF THE ABOVE :-)

        I love Chuck Lorre, he’s got a great knack of producing some cool shows. Big Bang is doing great and Sheldon being who he is “a scientist” *wink* is entertainment in itself. Some may say he’s awkward, but quite unique, either way! If he was “romantically attracted” to anything, it would his work anyway. We all know that by now, don’t we? The character is hilarious just the way he is and JP does an awesome job playing it! “And all will be well!” XP

      • robinesque

        I think the answer would be to have for an episode or two or three, have Sheldon try dating as an experiment … and then end it with him knowing it was not for him, but he can see why the mere mortals go crazy for love!

      • Walter Kovacs

        We’ve seen him “date” a few times, albeit sort of unwittingly, or just playing along to help out Raj. I could see him going down the same road and dating a man just as easily. At some point perhaps he should at least get some hint at what the fuss is all about that has his three friends falling over themselves to find (or keep) significant others, but going full on relationship is probably not for the best.

        The perfect mix of course would be another sham relationship (either for sake of experiment, acting as a wing man, etc) which Sheldon only misses after it’s over. However, even with feelings, Sheldon decides that while love is nice, he still wants the Nobel Prize/etc more.

    • charlane

      totally agreed – why tinker with perfection

      • Justin

        Exactly! right on!

      • mark

        I agree, but it was hilarious a few weeks back when the girl was hitting on him. His naivete in interpersonal relationships can be played up for a long time without getting old.

    • Elizabeth

      Sheldon is just being Sheldon… I like Chuck’s option and I think he’s interesting enough the way he is. He barely has any use for people in the first place, do we really think he would waste his time compromising in a relationship.

      Bazinga!!

      • Mells

        @Elizabeth – I agree with you. Leave open Sheldon’s possibilities and refrain from labeling him. Sheldon is just Sheldon – and he’s perfect!!

    • Strepsi

      Agreed, but I would like to see RAJ come out of the closet and get a geek boyfriend. Raj is seriously hot.

      • Yourmum

        He’s hot, but he’s… not gay… xD as much as some people would like to believe.

      • Jess

        I agree! I don’t know about the poster above me, but I think Raj is pretty obviously not-straight. I’d love for that to be explored more.

      • Cam

        Oh, I so agree. Raj would be utterly adorable if he got a geeky boyfriend! :)

    • Tess

      I don’t know if Sheldon is gay, but does anyone know if Jim Parsons is?

      • Yourmum

        As far as I know, he’s not… but that’s only because the statistics are in favour of him being straight.
        I wish it’d be stated truthfully somewhere.
        He does SEEM pretty damn camp sometimes, but that could just be what he’s like.

      • Robert

        I’m pretty sure I heard somewhere (likely in one of Ausiello’s zillion posts on him) that he’s straight and married.

        He sets of my gaydar, but whatever floats his cute little boat.

      • LindsayLoo

        I did some investigating a while back and I found some pictures of him and a guy and a couple of different websites that say he is gay. I don’t remember what sites they were but one had an article that said to his friends and family, he is out, but he doesn’t go around promoting it or anything. But hey, thats just from the internet and its hard to believe a lot of the stuff found on here.

      • Mandy

        I am fairly sure I read somewhere that Jim Parsons is gay, he just doesn’t make a big deal out of it.

      • maya

        I think he’s gay, I saw pictures of him with his boyfriend

    • skiiboski

      Agree. Ausiello, leave labels for soupcans. Trite, I know. But fitting.

    • Lizabeth

      Totally agree. I love Sheldon, just as he is!

    • PiratesDaughter

      He so very much is perfect the way he is. No labels really needed.

      Nope, he isn’t gay. Sorry gay folks however as consolation you can have Tila Tequila outright. WOOO! I mean…we hertero’s will mourn her loss.

      • Kyle

        If you say there are no labels needed, then say “nope, he isn’t gay,” you’re being hypocritical. You can’t say you won’t label him, then talk about what labels don’t apply to him. What does Tila have to do with this anyway?

      • Rob J.

        I like to think of him as “Agnostisexual.” He’s just completely oblivious.
        .
        — Rob

    • whatever

      I agree he is fine the way he is, why does everything have to end up being about sex anyway.

      • You aren’t too bright

        Why do you assume that homosexuality is just about sex?

      • miribella

        @You aren’t too bright
        I don’t think he/she was assuming homosexuality is all about sex. The original question was whether Sheldon’s sexual preference -homosexual or heterosexual – should be made known. Relationships are usually about sex at some level, regardless of gender.

    • Sue1

      Agree 100 %.

    • Allen

      He is what he is ,immersed in his field of work. NOW is not the time for a relationship of any kind. He’s fine.

    • harry

      yes he is!!!

    • Amanda

      Not every person on earth needs or wants intimate relationships. The fact that he hardly cares for his “friends” shows he’s best left to his love of science.

    • amj

      I absolutely agree with you Emy. I love this show and love Sheldon and never has it occurred to me to ask if he is gay or straight. Feels like blasphemy to even have this conversation. He is fine the way he is. And to me he just needs a little love not necessarily a relationship that entails having a true partner.

    • levelheaded

      I concur. People’s romantic relationships aren’t the only, and many time, not the most important things in their lives. I like that Sheldon creates his own norms.

    • Kaye

      I think of Sheldon as being on the autistic spectrum, or Asberger’s… he does not NEED hugs and romance. It’s totally realistic!

      • david

        Sheldon is DEFINITELY Aspergers! In his case, his brain does not comprehend relationships. He would not be sexually attracted to either gender, it would make no sense to him, so he is non-sexual. Not all Aspys are non-sexual. Oh, the lilt in Sheldons voice, very typical Aspergers.

    • TDB

      AGREE TOTALLY!!! SHELDON IS SHELDON. HE IS ALL SCIENCETIST AND NOTHING ELSE INTERESTS HIM. LEAVE HIM AS IS. AMY IS A GOOD MATCH FOR HIM TOO.

    • Kimberly

      Agreed! Leave as is…Sheldon is unique and I have never laughed more, nor so outloud, than I have at this character-Parsons is brilliant. Don’t ruin the show, we label TOO much already…

  • Chelsea

    No he isn’t. Please don’t kill my Penny/Sheldon dreams! :(

    • Tom

      The two of them do have a unique chemistry that works out and makes me laugh every time they have time together. Ba-zing-ga!!

    • Ian

      Wow, Chelsea must really hate this show to want it destroyed so badly. You’d be jumping the shark AND killing the most important relationship on the show )Leonard & Sheldon’s friendship) in one fell swoop.

    • JM

      Do all TV shows have to have relationships. This isn’t high school and Penny is with Leonard. Get over it!

    • Patti

      you think penny and sheldon should warm up together too? Penny is definately charming enough to win his heart!

  • Billiam

    I think it would be fun to eventually seem him fall for someone. Because he would hate the feeling and wouldn’t know how to handle it.

    • Sara-Kate

      Now THIS would be interesting to see! But I do doubt that we’ll see it happen.

    • JC

      Honestly, that would be the only reason I’d want to see Sheldon have romantic feelings for anyone. The comedy that would ensue from him trying to figure out what was wrong with him and trying to get rid of it would be astounding.

  • Bryan

    I say “Other”. It really doesn’t matter though. The dude frakkin HILARIOUS. As long as I keep laughing, I could care less.

    • AD

      Sorry for the nitpicking, but you said “I could care less”. Don’t you mean that you couldn’t care less. If you could care less, then you think you care too much.

      • BazingaBabe

        Sheldon would be so proud…..

      • Mike

        man…this seems to be the biggest pet peeve all over EW.com these days. It is funny though how much I hear people saying it the wrong way now that I’m aware of it though lol

        Although, I still prefer nitpicking on people who use YOUR instead of YOU’RE and referring back to Ross on Friends every time I do it! LOL

      • Amanda

        or they’re, their and there. Learn which one is which!!

  • Bobby’s Robot

    Sheldon’s a unique character. Why make him conform and be just like every other sitcom character. Keep him asexual.

  • erica

    I don’t think Sheldon should be labeled. In fact, keeping him from sexual entanglements frees the character to observe the absurdities in his friend’s relationships – to our delight! His puzzlement is childlike and direct – a wonderful foil to the other characters. He needs to be kept as is.

  • Entertainment2u-Twitter

    Easy — he’d be gay if he WAS sexual — but since not, he’s totally asexual.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

    • Kate

      just out of curiosity, why would he be gay if he was sexual? I haven’t seen any indication this would be the case.

      • Brian

        Go make a gay friend, Kate.

      • Kate

        Hey Brian, thanks I have lots of gay friends. None of them act a lick like Sheldon. Just wondering what SPECIFIC traits of his people consider to be “gay.” All I see is OCD, narcissism, perfectionism, rigidity, lack of skills or interest in social interaction – none of these are indicative of homosexuality. So I was curious what traits people are considering evidence that he would be gay (apart from a complete lack of interest in women, which fits perfectly with an asexual person anyway).

      • The other Nathan

        Kate, of those traits I believe it’s the narcissism and also possibly the perfectionism that people construe as traits of homosexuality. But you’re correct that those aren’t actual indicators of his sexuality; just a form of prejudice. I’ve never seen the show though, so don’t ask me.

  • Doug

    I love you, Michael, but wasn’t this discussed like six months ago? There’s no new information here.

  • Daniela

    Sheldon it’s not gay. He’s a cyborg! =D

    • K13

      Or even better he’s the sixth origional cylon!! :)

  • Rob

    So what if we never see him in a relationship. Like you said the main focus is the Nobel Prize and to a lesser extent to control things with his mind. He is one of the top 5 characters on TV today.

  • Tessa

    Sheldon can’t be gay. That would be completely illogical and completely defeat the purpose of the evolution of two genders!

    • Kate

      HAHA! Brilliant! That is totally how he would approach it.

    • crispy

      Sheldon can be gay. That would be a completely logical genetic variant that evolved to curb unsustainable population growth.

      • ger

        Woo hoo!

    • carolyn

      Not to mention completely shift the paradigm of existing evidence to support the theory of evolution, based upon statistical data to support Darwin’s theory of evolution and besides, he’s too advanced to risk diluting the chances for genetic superiority.

    • RachelA

      I feel the need to point out that you are talking about sex, not gender. Gender is a word used to describe social characteristics, patterns of dress, speech, general self presentation and behavior. Sex is a biological concept which can encompass various physical characteristics such as hormones, chromosomes, reproductive viability and reproductive organ formation both internal and external. The two things are NOT mutually congruent. (Sorry, I have a BA in Women/Gender studies and this conflating of sex and gender REALLY bothers me)
      Also, although our culture only has two recognized genders, there have been a number of cultures though out history that have recognized 3rd and 4th genders. Similarly it is arguable that there are only two sexes, given that you can have bodies that are XY chromosomaly, but which are completely ‘immune’ to androgens (the hormones which cause masculinized features of which testosterone is one). This particular collection of sexual characteristics produces a body formation which appears completely female externally, but which is reproductively non-viable and which is still chromosomally ‘male.’ (and this is just one example of many I could give)

      Culture produces gender, and evolution has produced a multitude of possible human body formations, the two most statistically common of which are known as male and female.

      I’d like to think Sheldon might argue the point in this way were he to experience any same-gender desire. :)

  • sarahp

    Other. And please, please, please no Sheldon and Penny. It would make NO sense for either character.

    • Lizabeth

      I do not want to see Sheldon and Penny together either. I like the way TBBT has taken the dynamic relationship of Penny/Sheldon and made it platonic while still giving us romance with Leonard and Penny.

  • tracy

    *~ sheldon/science 4 eva!!! ~* <3 <3

  • kevin

    it would be an interesting/funny storyline to see Sheldon finally fall for someone. But I think he is fine just the way he is, it just works.

  • BeachGal

    I vote for other. He would be befuddled with any feelings of love. He doesn’t approach life that way.

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