Andrew Rannells is a ‘Purebred’ Gay



NY Mag's Vulture caught up with Andrew Rannells at the Cinema Society screening this week and asked him if he's ever, like his gay character Elijah will in Girls, experimented with a woman.

Said Rannells:

I personally have never had sex with a woman. I'm more of what you call gold-star gay. I'm purebred. So I knew it wasn't my thing, so I was like, Why do that? So I didn't.

Vulture seemed startled by the word 'purebred'. Added Rannells:

In my circle of friends, it's used. Like, "Andrew, he's a purebred." Yeah…I feel like I'm in the minority for a lot of gay men. Most of my friends have tried [having sex with a woman] at some point….Although, I have a lot of friends who, actually, after they've realized they're gay, they feel empowered in a way that they do some things that they didn't think they would do, like explore some things because they're a little more comfortable with who they are.

Anybody have any other names for 'purebred' or 'gold-star' gay?


  1. Zach says

    I was a c -section baby so I consider myself platinum star gay. Though I am now an Obgyn so I lose points for that.

  2. MammaBear says

    My husband likes to say: “The only woman I’ve been inside is the Statue of Liberty”.

  3. enough already says

    ‘Rude’comes to mind.
    Those of us who have no never had sex with women are sometimes referred to as Kinsey 6.

  4. JCT says

    Strict or lifelong vaginatarian, with stress on first syllable, to rhyme with Madge. A bit counterintuitive (should describe straight guys), but it works for me.

  5. Lymis says

    I pretty much always went with “gay.”

    Experimenting with women, or feeling forced by the closet into pretending to be straight doesn’t make anyone any less gay.

    And for a lot of people, that sort of experience cements their identity for them in ways that it might not have done if they hadn’t had the experience.

    I’ve never had sex with a woman, but that’s because I never wanted to, not because of some sort of purity idea.

    I’m also perfectly aware that there are bisexual people in the world and that it all falls on a spectrum. If someone happens to actually have “a touch of the bi” that’s simply a fact about them, not a value judgement.

    At the same time, unless Rannells feels that there is a value judgement involved, I don’t see the need to get worked up about his use of the word. He strikes me as playful, and its the sort of phrase that would reflect that.

  6. says

    All brothers, all boys schools, never with women…….
    But I don’t like “purebred”….it’s elitist;
    “gold-star” is out for the same reason;
    “Kinsey 6″…..doesn’t quite do it;
    “7-Up” is obscure;
    I’ve been searching my brain but found nothing in there !!!!!!!

  7. says

    I don’t think Andrew Rannells is making a value judgement, I hope he’s not ……he’s just being descriptive.
    There’s such an enormous range of “experienced” gays out there that the spectrum is of full colour, from the married with children to those of us who have never been near a woman.

  8. Prof Sancho Panza says

    In Ethan Mordden’s “How’s Your Romance?”, published back in 2005, he has a character say something similar:
    “Ken doesn’t like straights, you know. He’s pure Chelsea. He’s never had sex with a woman; we call that a ‘thoroughbred'”.

    Of course, “thoroughbreds” are horses and “purebreds” are dogs ….

  9. Stefan says

    It’s a funny term to describe his own experience, and I’m not sure how anyone could hear it and think it’s trying to be elitist, much less get offended.

    Also, I think sometimes there is a value judgment to be made, when an adult man knows he is gay (not bi or curious but gay) and is still having sex with women, dating women, marrying a woman, etc. At that point you’re choosing to let your own weakness trump the welfare of other people, and that’s not cool.

  10. Henry Holland says

    I had sex with my best friend’s sister when I was 18 because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I spent the entire time fantasizing about the baseball player Steve Garvey just to stay hard, so while I might have a * in my sexual history, I’m 100% homosexual, don’t find women sexually appealing in the slightest.

  11. Jumper says

    Gld star gay = never had sex with a girl
    Platinum Gay = never had sex with a girl and born C-section, so never touched a va-jay-jay

  12. says

    He was on Anderson Cooper yesterday and I like him very much. Anderson is so much more comfortable with other gays then he is with heterosexuals. Marlon Wayans was the co-host – an odd choice for Anderson who rarely has straight men on as co-hosts but it went well. Anderson turned on his ‘professional’ side with Marlon altho at one point Marlon had Anderson roaring with real laughter (he is very funny) but when Andrew came on you could see Anderson’s demeanor change and become more comfortable. The show is doing a lot to open Anderson up to becoming more of a complete and real person. Coming out of the closet was the best thing he’s ever done.

    My husband was straight (or thought he was, and had been married for six years to his college girlfriend) before we met. Sometimes I catch him looking at a pretty women. So I’ll ask if he misses being with a women and he crinkles up his forehead, winces and says “God no”. I too look at pretty women because, well, some can be very pretty but I can ogle a gorgeous man. I was born gay and thankful for that.

    @Zach – your post was very funny. You lose lotsa points for sticking your hand up some women’s vagina but you are forgiven. After all, you are a lady doctor as Andrew says when describing his own husband on The New Normal. :-)

  13. Caliban says

    Not really related to “purebred” or “gold-star” gays (even though I am one), but years ago I heard my favorite euphemism for “gay” and since then it’s become an in-joke for me and my friends.

    At the time I owned a book store and one of my older straight male customers was gossiping about the doings among the local “worthies.” I don’t think he knew I was gay. Anyway, talking about the adult son of a local power-couple, movers and shakers in politics, charity, the arts, etc, he leaned in whispered “He doesn’t *bother* girls,” with a slight emphasis on “bother” that indicates some deeper meaning is intended.

    So that’s my go-to term for discussing the sexuality of others. “I don’t think he *bothers* girls.”

  14. Caliban says

    @Casey, “virgin” hardly seems to fit if you are not AT ALL a virgin in your given sexuality. I mean would you call a fisting pig-bottom a “virgin” just because he’d never been with a woman? You could, I suppose, but I’d hope you’d at least roll your eyes when you do it.

    That’s a little bit like girls who say they’re “virgins” because they’ve only had anal and oral sex. It might satisfy the literal interpretation but it’s miles away from the spirit of it!

  15. DB says

    I have never heard a term for the (relatively few) gay people who have never had sex with someone of the opposite sex. My husband is one though. The most he has done is finger the vagina of transgender man, but that probably does not count as having sex with a woman. Like most gay men who did not come out till after undergrad, I had sex with quite a few women years before first having sex with a man.

  16. Will says

    I would be more impressed if Mr. Rannells treated this questions with the disdain and offense it deserves.

    It is not ‘normal’ or ‘ok’ to demand proof of homosexuality, to doubt a gay person’s experiences, to force them to have to justify who they’ve been intimate with so as to make others comfortable. The questions of past, non-gay experiences serves only to denigrate and malign gays. It serves no purpose but to support theories of ‘choice’ about sexuality. I’m a gold-star not because I haven’t tried, but because vaginas are gross to me.

  17. Geronimo says

    My ex used to call me a “golden boy” for never having had sex with a woman. Though, my ex is NOW a woman, so I’m not so sure about my “golden boy” status. 😉

  18. Derrick from Philly says


    Thank you. What a great posting to read on Friday evening…LOL!!!!! Thanks.

  19. BobN says

    “I mean would you call a fisting pig-bottom a “virgin” just because he’d never been with a woman?”

    Well, I wouldn’t, but the Pope would (any generic pope) and so would quite a few legal jurisdictions.

  20. says

    Have not sampled the meat curtains as well, but `Purebred` has a slightly dodgy undertone to it. So I will stick with just plain Orthodix. TYVM

  21. Diogenes Arktos says

    Quite some years ago, I was told I couldn’t possibly know I was gay because I hadn’t had sex with a woman and decided which I preferred.

    I remember recently hearing a different term about C-section men who are virgins with women – like me – than any on this post.

    @DB: relatively few???

  22. Steve says

    Gold star.

    And it’s harmless fun. They’re the silly little badges of honor given out by 2nd-grade teachers.

  23. andrew says

    I’ve used “pedigree poof” for some time.
    And being a Harry Potter fan I do love BryGuy’s use of “mudbloods” for the tainted ones.

  24. rrrrr says

    I’m a lesbian – many friends who have never slept with a guy say they are “gold star lesbians”

  25. Perkin Warbeck says

    Up until 2007 (and 45yrs of age) I was the total gold star gay – never been in a vagina either for birthing or f*cking.

    One thing I have wondered, on a technicality, if in royal circles the definition of a consummation of a marriage was the penis not only penetrating a (usually virgin) vagina but ejaculating inside and if the marriage was annulled because there had been no ejaculation inside the vagina, could a gold star gay boy claim the same “virgin” status by saying, “I stuck my cock in, jigged it about, nothing happened.” Well, that’s me. Have stuck it in, jigged it about, nothing happened.

    (And, dear god, don’t ask me about oral… no way Jose! Ever!)

  26. Gabe R L says

    I’m a gold-star all the way, though i hate these classifications and the heterophobia, misandry, and misogyny they evoke. I love looking at lovely ladies, but have little to no desire to bed with them.

  27. kelehe says

    Who needs a special name for never having had sex with a woman? Someone who is insecure enough that they need to find another way to be better than someone else.

  28. Gary47290 says

    Back in the early 80s, I remember a couple of T-shirts available by mail order:

    “I’m Kinsey 6 – Perfect Score”


    “I’m a Kinsey 5 – hey, nobody’s perfect”

  29. Caliban says

    I never wanted to, so I never did. I did decide I didn’t want to miss my Prom so I asked a “little Catholic girl” to go with me. How did the the rumor get started that little Catholic girls are repressed and innocent? It’s a damn lie! Still shudder thinking about her and her little cat-tongue! Comedy ensued, with the gay boy having to defend his virtue, and I was by no means a virgin in the gay sense. It wasn’t pretty. Funny, maybe, but not pretty!

    I did like Andrew Rannells in The New Normal, though I didn’t care much for the show itself. I hope we see more of him.