He reflected carefully on the issue and asked gay friends for their honest opinions.
Now he has issued a gracious, well-thought-out apology, not only explaining the source of the remarks but also recognizing that he was using the word "gay" because of the "silly generalization that real men don’t do gentle, refined things...thereby suggesting that effeminate and gay were synonymous."
He points out that it's not a case of being overly sensitive, but rather recognizing that "young men and women whose behaviors, choices or attitudes are not deemed 'man enough' or 'normal' are being subjected to all kinds of abuse from verbal to physical to societal. They are being demeaned and threatened because they don’t fit the group’s idea of what a 'real man' or a 'real woman' is supposed to look like, act like, and feel like."
And finally owning up to the fact that as an actor, he should have known better:
"My daily life is filled with gay men and women, both socially and professionally. I am profoundly aware of the challenges these friends of mine face and I have openly advocated on their behalf. Plus, in my own small way, I have lived some of their experience. Growing up in the ‘70s in a town that revered its school sports and athletes, I was quite the outsider listening to my musical theater albums, studying voice and dance, and spending all my free time on the stage. Many of the same taunts and jeers and attitudes leveled at young gay men and women were thrown at me and on occasion I too was met with violence or the threat of violence."
I encourage you to read his full apology statement here. Alexander's apology is a class act and much more self-reflective, thoughtful, and convincing than his former colleague Michael Richards' efforts to apologize after his racist rant.