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'RJ Berger' Actor Paul Iacono: I'm Gay

Iacono

Paul Iacono, the 23-year-old star of MTV's The Hard Times of RJ Berger, has come out of the closet in an interview with the Village Voice's Michael Musto. Iacono, who's starring in a new play at NYC's Ars Nova called Justin Sayre Is Alive And Well...Writing and a new MTV show called Kenzie's Scale, tells Musto, "I think it's the right time to say something."

Iacono says he grew up in a traditional Italian family and pretended he was straight after his dad found an email he had written to a male date, but came out to them a few years later. His character in Kenzie's Scale realizes he's gay after moving to NYC to attend college. He tells Musto:

The whole reason we came up with Kenzie's Scale is to give young gays characters to look up to. It's great that we have Chris Colfer, but we need more characters. I was so moved by your comment on Facebook that 'If I'd grown up with gay TV icons that were out, I'd have been so much better off.' I didn't have much to look up to as a kid. I had to search to find like-minded images. I'm happy to be that person so kids won't have to grow up and be afraid of their sexuality and this won't be an issue.

Adds Iacono:

I believe that in 100 years, none of us will be having to identify ourselves as gay, straight, bi, or otherwise. Sexuality will be a more fluid thing. The show is a progressive outlet of that idea.

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Comments

  1. I was probably one of the few people who watched his show. It was very funny and edgy, but only lasted 2 seasons. Glad to hear he is out and happy. I will be looking out for his new show.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Apr 11, 2012 2:27:29 PM


  2. Brian in Texas: I liked his show too. It's not coming back? He's adorable and smart. And VERY talented.

    Posted by: JimmyD | Apr 11, 2012 2:36:03 PM


  3. I always smile a little when people say "someday we'll move beyond labels, nobody will have to identify and gay, lesbian, straight, whatever". I remember a classmate from a LGBT literature class many many years ago (at the extremely Jesuit Boston College, of all places) who -- as all us bright-eyed young things expressed the same hope and dream -- exclaimed with some dismay "But if nobody identifies themselves as straight or gay, how am I going to know who I can date?"

    I think its well and good to move beyond pigeonholes and stereotypes, but at some point your sexual orientation is going to manifest in conversation, even if its just to turn down some unhappy soul who asks you out!

    Posted by: NaughtyLola | Apr 11, 2012 2:37:56 PM


  4. @ JimmyD

    MTV canceled it last year.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Apr 11, 2012 2:39:46 PM


  5. what we're eventually going to be at, as a culture, is a place where heterosexuality is no longer Assumed.

    no more "straight until proven gay", but families who are wholly open to allowing their children to develop and find themselves without social pressures to be one way or the other.

    :D

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 11, 2012 2:54:25 PM


  6. Never saw the show but looking at some quick pics on the web, little doubt he was gay. Kudos to him coming out though.

    Posted by: Sam | Apr 11, 2012 3:04:53 PM


  7. Sexuality becomes more fluid? So is human sexuality innate or is it based on prevailing social winds of the time? Lol
    Glad you're out....now shut up and just act (same goes for most celebs).

    Posted by: kenny | Apr 11, 2012 3:48:35 PM


  8. Both seasons are available for download via iTunes. Ironically, it was his nemesis on the show that winds up being outed (but only to him). I was also disappointed that the show was cancelled, as season 2 ended with an unresolved cliffhanger. Nothing short of typical for most cancelled series nowadays.

    Posted by: JoesBrat67 | Apr 11, 2012 5:07:19 PM


  9. Congrats, you're gay. Kind of gay. I've never heard of this canceled show and who watches MTV?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 11, 2012 5:17:16 PM


  10. If human sexual orientation ain't a "fluid" thing now, it ain't never gonna be.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Apr 11, 2012 5:42:41 PM


  11. Interesting how the main character only comes out when he moves To NYC. As much as we need good gay role models on TV, we need ones that live in reality; characters who live in podunkt towns and who aren't victimized because of it.

    Posted by: TommyOC | Apr 11, 2012 8:06:18 PM


  12. I think by "fluid" he means no resistance. "I am straight, you are gay and we are totally equal in the world" instead of the situation we have now which is decidedly and starkly NOT equal. And to that I say .. from his lips to where ever these things go to get done and made whole.

    Posted by: Wil in Minneapolis | Apr 11, 2012 8:30:21 PM


  13. Isn't it time we stop using the outdated phrase "came out of the closet"? Esp. for a 25-yr. old who isn't widely known? He is simply acknowledging a part of his biography as he's entering the public eye, not divulging some deep, dark truth that he's kept secret from an inquiring public for years.

    Posted by: Pat | Apr 11, 2012 8:32:25 PM


  14. my my my, some very critical grown adults we have on here, eh?

    ten bucks says y'all didn' come out when you were his age, at the level of visibility he has, and will have.

    very easy to scoff when you yourself hide in the shadows. just keepin' it real. ;-)

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 11, 2012 8:42:50 PM


  15. Kiwi - You just lost your $10. I "came out" in high school in the 1976. The next year in college I was active in the gay student alliance, and my best friend and I had a "protest" hobby in that as competition disco dancers we would dance together at all the nicer straight clubs in DC, Baltimore, and Ocean City.

    Posted by: David Hearn | Apr 11, 2012 10:07:24 PM


  16. I really enjoyed RJ Berger. Was unfortunate it was canceled, especially when it ended on a cliffhanger. Wish they'd at least give it a TV movie to wrap things up.

    Congrats to him for coming out.

    Posted by: Mike | Apr 12, 2012 6:34:05 AM


  17. I may be young, but what is "MTV?" And I freaking love labels. Labels, especially when used to self-identify and build community are useful and sticking around. It's the crap that comes with people requiring others to use them (some folks label with fluidity) and having that label attached to something overly simplistic or incomplete that matters more. Our lust for simplicity often keeps us appearing simple. I'm not and we aren't.

    Posted by: Mrs. Sippi | Apr 12, 2012 9:27:58 AM


  18. TommyOC, the character didn't come out, the actor who played the main character did, and for those of you who are some what cynical about this young man's timing, he has effectively hobbled his career. For every Neil Patrick Harris there are literally hundreds of actors whose careers have died at even a hint of homosexuality.. Sadly, many casting agents ( many who are themselves gay ) believe that a gay actor will turn audiences off.

    Posted by: RD | Apr 15, 2012 3:00:16 AM


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