‘RJ Berger’ Actor Paul Iacono: I’m Gay


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.


  1. Brian in Texas says

    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.

  2. JimmyD says

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

  3. NaughtyLola says

    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!

  4. says

    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.


  5. Sam says

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

  6. kenny says

    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).

  7. JoesBrat67 says

    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.

  8. ratbastard says

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

  9. TommyOC says

    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.

  10. Wil in Minneapolis says

    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.

  11. Pat says

    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.

  12. says

    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. 😉

  13. David Hearn says

    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.

  14. Mike says

    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.

  15. Mrs. Sippi says

    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.

  16. RD says

    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.