Peter Marc Jacobson is 'Happily Divorced'

11.22.2012

By Andrew Villagomez

Talks about new season of the TV Land hit show, coming out to Fran Drescher, gay life and dating, and how he helped save a suicidal young girl.

Back to your relationship with Fran, what went on through your mind before you came out?

I didn’t want her to think that I didn’t ever love her. Because I always did and I still do, and I always will. I was worried people were going to think it was a business marriage, since someone wrote that it was a marriage of convenience. That wasn’t the case, I was born in the '50s and I didn’t even know what gay was. In my neighborhood, everyone got married at 20 years old and that was it, there was no choice; that was what you did.

Any feelings, you just put them away, and that’s what I did, because I loved her and thought we could have a great marriage, but eventually, I started controlling her and dealing with her instead of dealing with my own self, burying that away. That’s when the marriage fell apart, from me being controlling or as she put it, a pain in the ass. When I told her, I couldn’t even tell her I was gay, I said I was dating men. She was dating a guy much hotter than me, and 16 years younger, so it made it much easier for her to accept. She said, you have to live your authentic life and be who you are, and I appreciated that and was very touched by it. She’s a big supporter of the gay community and equal rights.

But while married, you were also open about your attraction to men?

I told her I was bisexual about half way through the marriage, but I didn’t want to act on it. Just wanted her to know who I was. She was going through her own stuff and didn’t want to be alone, and she figured I’m telling her the truth, I’m not having a double life or anything. She loved me and I loved her, and we enjoyed our marriage and went on. I guess me saying I was bisexual, I was living in a denial, and at that point I thought I was. Sexuality evolves for some people.

Happily Divorced is relatable, what has been some feedback from the public?

It’s been great, people stop me on the street and I get letters from people, such as men who are still in marriages or straight people who are still divorced and living together because of the economy. It’s a universal problem, you don’t have to be gay or straight, you just have to have been in a relationship. It's nice that if you have had love with someone along the way [but it didn’t work out], you don’t have to be enemies and you can find a way back to the love. It might not be the same, but it doesn’t always mean it is bad or worse ... Fran and my relationship now is much better than it was when we were married, much more mature. When we get uptight with one another, we know we can go to our own home. [Laughs]

As you said, you and Fran are both strong supporters of equality and LGBT rights. What organizations do you support and have been involved with?

We were just honored by GLAAD, they gave us a lovely award. We are very supportive of the HRC, and The Trevor Project. A little girl who was bisexual got in touch with me on Facebook saying she wanted to kill her self, and I immediately had to think, what do I do? I said please, please don’t do anything, I’ll give you a number to call, call them they can help ... [After couple of days] she wrote me back saying she called The Trevor Project and they really helped and [that she was] much better. It makes me so upset to think a child would think about taking their own life, but it's wonderful a place like Trevor exists.

While based on your lives, not all on Happily Divorced actually happened to you and Fran. Any parts of the show really happen to you two?

A lot of pieces exist between us, and then we evolve them into something else, Caesar and Judy are people in real life. Someone said, well Caesar is so stereotypical, because he speaks with an accent and he’s a gardener, but that is who he was. Why does that have to make someone’s story stereotypical, because he has an accent, why cant people be who they are, be different? I think it’s charming; I have an accent... Pieces like that exist through the whole show.

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