Matt Jacobi: Matt in the Middle
BY Brandon Voss
August 31 2009 1:55 PM ET
When Giuliana and Bill were guests on Chelsea Lately earlier this month, Chelsea Handler tried to make Bill admit that he didn't really enjoy being around you and your gayness, saying that "no straight guy could put up with that." Is there any truth there?
A lot of people have brought that up to me. I always get along with the butchest straight guys because they know there's no ulterior motive there. When it comes to Bill, there will never be drama because he's confident in who he is and I'm confident in who I am. It just works. Bill and I are never going to get into a fight because I want to take him to a gay bar and have a drink. Bill and Giuliana would come with me to a gay bar any time I wanted.
You and Bill get quizzed on Giuliana trivia in "Battle of the Husbands" videos on Style.com, but it's hard to imagine that competition being so friendly if you were straight. Would your relationship with Giuliana work so well if you weren't gay?
No, I don't think it would work if I were straight. My job is to be Giuliana's right hand 24/7, so that means I'm in the dressing room with her when she's naked. If I were a straight guy, there would always be the question of whether or not I was hitting on her or attracted to her or something. Part of what works about me being her assistant and being gay is that I don't want to kiss her [laughs].
Did you have any hesitations about being featured on the show? Because if anyone back home didn't know you were gay before, they certainly know now.
Exactly. No, I never gave it a second thought because I've been out for a very long time and I have an extremely supportive family. I never wanted to be that guy people watch on TV and say, "Oh, he's gay but just won't say it." Coming out on the cover of magazines is so 2006.
You communicate with fans through Twitter. What kind of feedback have you gotten from the gay community?
I've gotten a lot of messages from gay guys who are just happy to see another gay person on television, even if it's just a reality show. It just makes us more visible, and the more of us the better. They've thanked me for showing my relationship with Giuliana and with Bill, who is very straight. It just shows that my sexuality is really no big deal.
Do you feel a responsibility to represent the community respectfully and be a positive role model for younger gay viewers?
I'm just going to be who I am on the show and in life. I don't even think about the label of being gay because this is the life I've lived for so long. So what people see on TV is what they're going to get. But I'd never want to put down or disrespect the gay community by making fun of any gay situations.
Have you gotten any hot dates out of the show's exposure?
Well, I'm actually in a relationship. We did long distance for over a year, and he just moved to L.A. recently, but he doesn't really want to be on camera.