Paul Iacono's Coming Out Interview

Categories: Gaaaaayyyyyy

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As I mentioned here yesterday, Paul Iacono is the 23-year-old actor from MTV's The Hard Times of RJ Berger. He's also in some short plays, a new MTV show -- and he's a gay role model!

Here's our interview from earlier today in which Paul came out:


Hi, Paul! Please tell me about the plays.

I'm in Justin Sayre Is Alive and Well ... Writing, which is sort of absurdist sketch comedy. Justin's got this unique voice and it's vignettes from his perspective. He's sort of this Quentin Crisp character. I play a lollipop-sucking fourth-grade slut. A homeless turn-of-the-century match girl. A pregnant bunny. A politically active parakeet. And a drunk Tinker Bell at the bar complaining about how her boyfriend Peter Pan is an asshole. I shit myself with glitter and throw it into the audience. Fun for the whole family!

Absolutely. And your upcoming MTV show?

It's called Kenzie's Scale. I play Cole, Kenzie's boyfriend. It's about a high school sweetheart couple who move to New York for college. He has this gay awakening when they get there. So they continue living together more as friends than lovers. It's like a radical young Will & Grace. It explores the sexual spectrum from a millennial, ambiguous generation [point of view]. 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.

Speaking of which, you're openly gay now?

Yes. I'm rolling with the punches here. I was asked if I was comfortable doing gay press. I said, "Of course." I didn't think I'd be coming out. But why not now? I think it's the right time to say something. It's not about me; it's about change and the work.

Is part of it to inspire the gay youth out there?

Of course. 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.

Were you out from the start?

God, no. I grew up in a really old-school Italian traditional family in New Jersey. I tried coming out a couple of times as a kid, from 13-14 on, and was always squashed on. I went to the Professional Performing Arts school in Manhattan. My father found an email correspondence of me planning a date with another male student, very innocent. I had to deny it.

I was just coming to terms with the fact that I was bisexual, which culturally I do identify with as a gay man -- I am attracted to girls, I'm just attracted to guys much more. My father quickly stomped that. He wanted to pull me from the school. I had to feign heterosexuality for a couple of years. It messed with my head. It took me a longer time to be OK with it. It was not until I was 18 that I came out with my mom and 20 with my dad. I was older and able to address it from a different perspective.


Paul's conclusion:

"All these litte homos need to stop killing themselves because it does get better!"

Yay! Love this guy a lot.



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22 comments
latenitebump
latenitebump

does he prefer top or bottom? enqueering minds want to know.

M Danial
M Danial

I'm a 65 year old role model. I graduated with honors in '04 from Metropolitan State Universityin Minnesota (Double major: Theater/Screen writing.) There was a time when gay culture was present but submerged. Not much social Media back then and a great deal for any of us to loose. So, as you put this show together don't forget that it is people such as I who cleared the way. When you were born was not the beginning of the battle. There were many battles in this secret and unnamed war and I shared many a fox hole on the front lines of this war with many brave men and women. Of course, I view the HIV/AIDS epidemic as the greatest battle of all still. M Danial Brewer

LIMEN !
LIMEN !

I guess that Iwas truly blessed.When I was born Icame out. I recall that in junior high school, I had a real bitch public speaking class. And she just loved to set me up for a hell of a day. See it was second class. Just after gym class, my favorite class. Well this day as many,she asked me to do an impromptu speech. Well I wasn't just mouthy, I was down right mind-blowing. My speech started at on my belief that for the first 2 years of junior high that boys should dress as girls, and girls should dress as boys. Well the voice of the pincipal came over the public sound system. Which warmed the cockles of my heart. You could hear the whole high school gasp. See it would set the tone of the principal's blood pressure for the rest of the day.And I with a smile on my face, and three hard swats on my fanny perpendicular. But well over 60, Istill believe that. And I came to school many a day dressed in some way to antagonize and shock the living hell out of those yahoos. And to this day Ilaugh, and many recall. But the best part is that the principal stil lives up the road from me and he is 93 years old, and he adores me. See I helped him get through 2 years of cancer. And Quentin Crisp was my dear friend and my idol! Every gay child should be taught about  Quentin Crisp. He was true to him self. He had guts!

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

Good for him! So positive and he sounds like he's having a great time.

As to David Ehrenstein's fondness for Joseph Losey's spy spoof, "Modesty Blaise," I totally agree! A Day-Glo Swinging Sixties romp, with comic book colors (it was based on a comic strip), fantastic, outre costumes, dizzy design, musical numbers punctuated by gunfire and three of the sexiest leads in any movie of that era: Dirk Bogarde as the campy villain (his turquoise drink had a goldfish swimming in it, didn't it?) Monica Vitti in the black leather-clad title role and hunky monkey Terence Stamp!

Theme song:"She'll strike you down with just a single glanceOr just a single glancing blow.Exactly why she slays so many menNo man alive will ever know.Modestyyyyyyy!Modesty!"

Musto
Musto

This blog has been picked up on HuffPo, TMZ, Us, Queerty, Towleroad, and so on. Very major.

EGenova03
EGenova03

Pauls the man. Great actor & friend. Good for him!

sam
sam

Wow! I'm confuse i always saw paul out with hot chicks.  He actally dated one for at least 2 years?  Go bisexuality.

Peter Saxe
Peter Saxe

I've known and worked with Paul as his vocal coach since he was 12 or 13.  He is a terrific guy, multi-talented, and I am so proud of him for doing this..   Yayy!!

Mavro Arni
Mavro Arni

He seems like a good kid. Glad he's in a decent space in his life now. You were right, of course, Michael. We could all have done better with more (or, indeed, any) out role models when we were younger. I'm so glad the kids today have a great degree of freedom. Thanks for this!

Musto
Musto

He also talked about admiring Sayre and director Ben Rimalower as comfortably out gays and being inspired enough to feel they could "Pass the torch!" (I.e., Paul felt he could be the next in line to be an out gay theater person.)

Pokey
Pokey

"I am attracted to girls, I'm just attracted to guys much more." Been there!

Musto
Musto

PS: Paul also told me about the fun he had playing in "Mame" at Paper Mill Playhouse opposite Christine Ebersole, and also appearing in a staged concert version of "Sail Away" with Elaine Stritch, who was crusty and funny and lovable, as expected.

LePenguin
LePenguin

$100 says none of that ever happened.

Musto
Musto

I adore Monica Vitti (especially in that movie). To me, she's like the Italian Streisand.

Chris
Chris

So happy to hear this. I am a fan of his and loved his old show on MTV. It was brave and hilarious. Paul was adorable in it too. I think his coming out will help many young gays because while he is enormously talented as an actor he also has a very regular- guy quality about him. I would have been much less "angst filled" if I had a role model like him when I was younger. I look forward to his new show. Any ideas when it will air?

Movielover
Movielover

But Sam, what choice did he have, really?

Oysters
Oysters

Well, he talks in the interview about pretending to be hetero to please his father. He also says he's bi, but is more attracted to men than women.

alguien
alguien

 my role model was mrs. farthingale from "modesty blaise."

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