The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons has reflected on coming out as gay at the height of his Emmy-winning sitcom's success.

Though Parsons's friends and family knew he had been in a relationship with partner Todd Spiewak for many years, the actor discussed his sexuality publicly for the first time in 2012 after playing an HIV-AIDS advocate in The Normal Heart.

In a wide-ranging discussion on the new series of ‎David Tennant Does a Podcast With…, Parsons told the former Doctor Who star that his upbringing in the Bible Belt influenced him to separate his personal and professional lives for years

"I knew, having grown up in Texas, and I don't mean to throw my mother under the bus, I love her and she was a wonderful woman. If anything, she'd just be worried for me," he explained.

"I knew that was a concern of hers. I mean, I could feel it off her, and maybe she even said it to different degrees, of like, 'How would it work to be a successful actor… pay your bills with it, and be gay?'

"Once I came out to myself, and admitted it to myself, the only people [left] were my family, sadly, but that's kinda the way it goes.

Everybody else I worked with knew, but I was doing theatre and I was still in school… It was lowkey, it was out of the public eye. There were no high stakes.

"There was no interview. Nobody was asking to talk with me about my work, or whatever, so no personal questions were coming up. There was no cost to it in any way."