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”?