“The Hard Times of RJ Berger” star Paul Iacono took to Twitter on Wednesday to open up about his personal life, announcing to the Internet that he is gay.
“Yes I’m gay,” he tweeted. “And yes, it does get better. #YOLO.” (#YOLO is short for “You Only Live Once.”)
Iacono opened up about his decision to come out in an interview with The Village Voice, noting that while he does identify himself as gay, he believes that sexuality isn’t all that black and white.
Yes I’m gay. And yes, it does get better. #YOLO
— Paul Iacono (@paul_icon) April 11, 2012
“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,” he explained in the interview, adding that his sexuality wasn’t always something he was comfortable talking about.
“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,” he recalled, before noting that it then took years for him to open up to his family about 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. I had to feign heterosexuality for a couple of years,” the 23-year-old explained. “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.”
He now wants to explore those themes on his new show, “Kenzie’s Scale,” which is not only the name of a character on the show, but also a reference to the famed Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale designed by Dr. Alfred Kinsey that places a person’s sexuality on a scale of one to six.
“The whole reason we came up with ‘Kenzie’s Scale’ is to give young gays characters to look up to. … I didn’t have much to look up to as a kid,” he explained to The Village Voice. “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.”
The show follows a young couple, Cole (Iacono) and Kenzie, who continue to live together as roommates in New York City after Cole realizes he’s gay. Iacono described the show as a “radical young ‘Will Grace.’ ”