Tan France’s mother thought Queer Eye was a ‘gay conversion’ show
Queer Eye‘s resident fashion expert Tan France has opened up about his family and how the show has helped change his relationship with his mother.
The Netflix makeover show recently dropped its second season – and has sashayed into our hearts once again with a new host of heartwarming episodes.
France, best known for his love of clean tailoring and patterned shirts, recently appeared on fellow Fab 5 member Jonathan Van Ness’ “Getting Curious” podcast.
On the podcast, France opened up about his family and their relationship with the show, telling Van Ness that his mother and siblings had originally refused to watch Queer Eye.
“They thought it was a gay conversion program,” he said. “They thought I was going around the country and encouraging people to be homosexual.
“But when they finally watched the show, they said ‘Oh my gosh it’s so much better than we ever expected. You made us so proud. You’re just who you are.'”
“I think their worry was that I was going to be someone else or different in my personal life.”
He added: “They saw me doing what I do, but also as the exact same person they’ve known their entire lives.”
France then revealed that prior to December of last year, he had not been able to talk to his family about his husband of ten years Robin France.
The fashion expert said that at times, his family did not even want to know Robin’s name and did not attend their wedding.
He then said: “Only when the show was about to come out, I told my family, ‘you’re going to see what my life is’
“‘I’m not going to stop doing this, this is the life that I’ve chosen, and you either accept this or I’m not a part of your lives.’”
However, France said he has now become much closer with his mother and siblings since Queer Eye aired.
“Our relationship has changed so much,” he said.
“Every time we Skype now, they ask about Robin. For 10 years, they’ve literally never said his name. It’s a very strange process.”
The reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy has branched out – featuring women and LGBT men in need of help as well as the eponymous ‘straight guys.’
Episode five of the second season featured transgender man Skyler, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
The episode was praised as a learning experience by France – and many members of the audience, who flooded to social media afterwards to praise the episode.
In a heart to heart chat with Skyler, France admitted that he did not know much about trans identity, having previously said he’d never knowingly met a trans person.
France said: “Quite honestly, I hate to admit it, but I’m not immersed in the gay community, and therefore I’m ignorant. I don’t know the correct pronouns.
“I feel f**king stupid, quite honestly. I feel stupid because I always looked at trans people and thought, ‘it costs so much and it can be really painful, why are you putting yourself through that?’
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“It just seems such a traumatic experience, and truly didn’t understand what that meant to actually have the surgery done and feel that change.”
He added: “When I saw that video of you when you woke up [from surgery]… that just shows how f**king raw that was, when you open your eyes and look down and go to reach for your chest. That changed it for me, and I thought, ‘oh, f**k, this is what it means!’
“I’m annoyed at myself, thinking, why didn’t you get more involved in the gay community? You then would have maybe understood the trans community.
“There are so many people out there like me who are ignorant and don’t understand.”