Doogie Howser wasn't outed, he was "lanced."
That's a new term to describe celebrities who have been forced to reveal they're gay, said Reichen Lehmkuhl, boyfriend of 'N Sync star Lance Bass.
"It's to be outed by someone in the public media and to a celebrity, and Neil Patrick Harris, I understand, has been ‘lanced,'" Lehmkuhl told AP Radio News in a recent interview. The term was coined, he said, after Bass revealed earlier this year that he is gay.
"They're calling it a ‘lancing.' It's to be ‘lanced,'" Lehmkuhl said of Harris, who said last week he is "a very content gay man living my life to the fullest."
Harris, who played the namesake doctor on the TV series "Doogie Howser, M.D." as a teen, made the disclosure weeks after Perez Hilton, the self-proclaimed "Queen of All Media," posted an item on his Web site, PerezHilton.com, pleading with the 33-year-old actor to come out. Bass, one of Hilton's favorite subjects, disclosed his sexuality in July.
Bass, 27, said he had decided to "speak my mind" because rumors about his sexuality were starting to affect his daily life. The singer also said he was in a "very stable" relationship with Lehmkuhl, 32, a former Air Force captain and winner of season four of CBS' "Amazing Race."
"People should be able to come out on their own," Lehmkuhl told AP Radio. "I don't know so much that it helps gay equality if a celebrity is outed by someone else and it shows that they're forced out."
"It seems like it just continues the vilification of homosexuality in the media in this country," he said.
Lehmkuhl is promoting his book, "Here's What We'll Say," which recounts his time keeping his sexual orientation a secret from Air Force colleagues.