Paul Iacono, the 23-year-old actor best known for starring in MTV's teen comedy The Hard Times of RJ Berger, has said it took him a long time to feel comfortable enough to publicly come out gay.

Iacono came out gay last week in an interview with the Village Voice.

In a video interview with MTV News, Iacono revealed he came out to family and friends 5 years ago.

“I've been out with my friends and family for, you know, like 5 years,” Iacono said. “But coming out in a public forum like that is inspiring, you know, to myself and hopefully to other people.”

“I think at the moment we need to have gay pride, because there are so many people who don't feel as comfortable as I do, and it's taken me a very long time to get to a comfortable position about it.”

“I'm gay, it's cool,” he added.

MTV canceled The Hard Times of RJ Berger after two seasons. The show ended with all-American jock Max, who endlessly bullied RJ, caught making out with another male student.

In MTV's upcoming series Kenzie's Scale, Iacono plays a college student who discovers he's gay after he and his girlfriend move to New York. The show follows the pair as they remain friends.