Neil Patrick Harris And David Burtka: 'We Don't Go Out Of The Way To Stand On A Soapbox'

11/19/2011 07:46 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Bright, charming, charismatic, and out of the closet -- what better characteristics for a gay role model?

While Neil Patrick Harris might possess all of those qualities, he recently revealed that he isn't exactly comfortable with being positioned as someone others look to for leadership.

At the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's 40th anniversary gala last week, where he and partner David Burtka were honored, he told E!'s Marc Malkin, "I sort of go out of my way not to be Soap Box Johnny."

Harris noted, "We're super happy to lead by example, but even to define ourselves in any kind of leadership position I think is awkward... I cringe when I hear people say they consider themselves role models."

Burtka feels similarily. "We really don't do anything," he said. "We take care of our kids. We're in a relationship. We love each other, but we don't go out of the way to stand on a soapbox."

This isn't the first time that Harris has spoken out about his reluctancy to be labeled a role model. When asked about being an advocate for the LGBT community during a 2008 Out magazine interview he responded:

"My job is jester -- not advocate... I'm striving to be an example of normalcy. Because I'm noticed as an actor, people are aware of what's happening in my life, and that I can't change, and if I tried to, it'd be an uphill battle. I'd be angry and bitter."