Pass the tissues…
When Netlfix released a rebooted Queer Eye for the Straight Guy earlier this year, nobody was expecting it to become the cultural phenomenon that it did. The Fab Five have become icons in their own right, and so have the “heroes” that they make over. There are a few things that each Queer Eye episode is never short of. First being a printed shirt styled perfectly in a French tuck. The second is some sort of avocado recipe. And the third would be a stream of tears caused by the inspiring moments on the show. Here are eight moments from the first two seasons of Queer Eye that had us reaching for the tissue box.
8- Tom being taught about how harmful stereotypes can be and actually learning from it
Tom was the fab five’s first make-better and he was one of the most memorable heroes of the first series. His confession that he was still in love with his ex-wife was adorable, and the fact that they ended up together is proof that there is still some good in this cruel, dark world. Towards the opening of the series, and this specific episode, Tom playfully asks interior designer Bobby Berk who in his marriage was the husband, and who was the wife. Grooming expert Jonathan steps in right away and explains to Tom that everybody has both masculine, and feminine energy, and how hurtful making jokes based on stereotypes can be for the LGBTQ+ community. Tom understood, and tried really hard with all of the tips the fab five gave him. Tom gave us all hope that even old white men from the southern United States of America could embrace positive change, and that is a beautiful thing.
7- Mama Tamye’s son Myles rediscovering his love of singing
(Season 2, Episode 1)
There was so much to emotionally unpack from the season two opening episode. The star of this particular moment wasn’t even the episode’s hero. When it was revealed that Mama Tamye of Gay, Georgia, had a gay son, I knew that this episode was going to take a very emotional turn. Bobby took an immediate understanding of young Myles who had just moved back home from the big city. Both had felt excluded from their religious communities after coming out. After the Fab 5 learned that Myles was not only a talented singer, but he previously enjoyed singing in the church choir, Both Bobby, and Karamo took Myles on an excursion to join a LGBTQ+ choir where he could feel included and loved while still singing the hymns he loved.
6- AJ’s emotional coming out to his step mom
(Season 1, Episode 4)
AJ was one of the most interesting make-betters that the show has had because his apartment was already amazing, and he already looked pretty good. AJ confessed that he was “Atlanta’s straightest gay guy” and that he had not yet come out to his family, including his step-mom. After his transformation was complete, AJ took his step mom aside in a quiet room to read her a coming-out letter he had written to his now-deceased father. The two cried, and embraced, and it was at this very moment that I knew this show was something that was so much more than something to watch on Netflix. Queer Eye brings everybody together.
5- William’s proposal
(Season 2, Episode 2)
Hot off the trails of Mama Tamye (more on that episode later), we were introduced to William and Shannan. The couple was very in love, and lived in a remodeled trailer. William and the Fab Five decided that the big event that they would be working towards for the week would be an epic proposal. It was planned perfectly, and the proposal took place at an outdoor movie theatre complete with a white tuxedo, and a pre-recorded video. In the proposal video William shared that he needed a word to explain how he felt, and that “love” was simply not good enough. He settled on “I Shannan you” which is just about the most adorable, and purest thing I’ve ever witnessed, either in real life, or on a screen.
4- Karamo vs. the cops
(Season 1, Episode 3)
Episode 3 opened with the Fab Five driving down the street just like any other episode. Suddenly a cop pulls the group over and Karamo (who was driving) gets very nervous. Jonathan pulls his phone out to start recording and both Antoni, and Tan start to get nervous as well. It is revealed that the cop that pulled the group over was actually the hero’s nominator. This moment opened up an important conversation later on in the episode between the hero Corey, and Karamo about the relationship between cops and coloured folks in America. It ended with them agreeing that both just wanting to be understood by the other. That’s what makes Queer Eye so incredible. It allows people that wouldn’t normally get to have progressive conversations, the chance to talk and connect.
3- Skylar getting fitted for a custom suit
(Season 2, Episode 5)
There were a lot of moments during Skylar’s episode that had me ugly crying. From getting his drivers license changed, to meeting his hero Todrick Hall, to teaching Tan about issues trans people face daily, there was no shortage of tug-on-your-heartstring moments in this episode. However the moment that Tan took Skylar to get a suit custom made to fit his body perfectly was emotional, because we could see how important that gesture was to Skylar. Skylar was the first trans-person that the team made over, proving that this version of Queer Eye isn’t just for the straight guy. It’s inclusive for everybody.
2- Bobby Camp’s goodbye speech
(Season 1, Episode 5)
It was during this episode that we first learn about interior Bobby Berk’s past in a religious community in the south. Both Bobby Camp, and Bobby Berk end up having a deep conversation while planting a garden. Fab Five Bobby opened up about growing up in a religious community, and how big of a part religion played in his youth. Makeover Bobby listened to every word he had to say and told him that his version of religion is inclusive. At the end of the episode, Bobby gave a thank you speech to the Fab Five. He told them that he knows a lot of communities aren’t accepting of them, but that they were always welcomed, and loved in the Camp family. Cue the tears!
1- Mama Tamye
(Season 2, Episode 1)
There is nothing Mama Tamye could say that wouldn’t bring tears to our eyes. Her words were always full of passion, acceptance, and love. This episode was so emotional that I couldn’t choose just one for this list. However, her goodbye speech was so emotional that even food expert Antoni couldn’t stop crying. She had a personal message for each of the Fab Five, and with every tribute, her words got even more emotional. Her message was so inspiring that she became the breakout star of the second season, and she continues to use her platform to spread her message of love and acceptance all over America. We love Queen Tamye!
I don’t think anybody would have ever thought a rebooted makeover show would have made the impact that it has, but Queer Eye is so much more than a makeover show. It’s a reminder that even in today’s dark political environment, people love to see that people from different backgrounds, cultures, and political parties can connect on some level, and see where the other is coming from. It’s a reminder that there is still hope left in this dark, dark world. I can’t wait to see what next season will bring, and how many French tucks we’ll see.
Pass the tissues…