When I was growing up, the only gay people I knew were hairdressers and manicurists mom’s trips to the salon. And for the longest time, gay people were relegated to that corner, only being tolerated because they were good at what they did: making the world a prettier place. In a way, the original Queer Eye reflected what those times were about: tolerance. But things are a bit different now, and you can find openly gay people in pretty much every industry, which is a good thing. But there’s still quite a ways to go to really claim our place in the world. The 2018 reboot by Netflix , which features Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown as the new Fab Five, does that and then some, tackling topics like racial profiling, growing up in extremely religious and homophobic communities, being afraid of being too effeminate — and the list goes on.
I’ll admit that I didn’t get to see the original series, and I had to find out about the new Queer Eye from a straight guy of all people. But I’m glad that this year’s version proves that being gay doesn’t mean being boxed into industries concerned with our outward appearance. It took me until college to realize that being gay doesn’t mean you’re all into the same things, and that being gay just means being who you are. The 2018 Queer Eye gets this across to an even wider audience. As fashion guru Tan says in the first episode, “The original show was fighting for tolerance. Our fight is for acceptance.”
One episode that stood out to me was “To Gay or Not Too Gay,” which featured AJ, a gay guy who has more of a conservative personal style and is afraid of being perceived as too gay or effeminate because of his job.