Alan Ball, the creator of the HBO supernatural series True Blood, came out late in life and says his mother freaked out when he told her.

Ball is leaving the show after five seasons.

“I feel like the show is in very good hands, and I look forward to watching it next year,” Ball told NPR's All Things Considered. “I just look forward to not working as hard.”

Ball called the show's parallels to the gay rights movement “window-dressing that makes it contemporary.”

“I feel like if the show was 50 years ago, it would be civil rights; if it was 100 years ago, it would be women's rights.”

On coming out, Ball said he knew he was gay in his early 20s but hesitated telling his mother until he was 33.

She “grabbed her head like it was going to fly off her body,” then pleaded, “'Oh, God has dealt me some blows in this life. Please don't tell anybody in my family until I'm dead, which won't be much longer now.'”

“I've got to giver her credit,” he added. “She was born in 1913, and it's difficult for somebody born in 1913 to, I think, immediately embrace their child. It may not have been immediate, but she definitely did embrace me. Telling her was the single best, most positive step I took toward mental and emotional well-being, and I've never regretted it.”