“Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown is opening up about some of the discrimination he faced while filming the sixth season of the reality series.
The 40-year-old TV personality serves as the pop culture expert along with four other queer lifestyle professionals who specialize in food, fashion and grooming. Every season, the “Fab Five” travel to different locations to enhance the lives of others with their expertise. For the upcoming season of “Queer Eye,” the crew is filming in Texas, a location where Brown said people were “vocal” about their hatred.
“This is real conversations of coming across people who are very blatant about ‘I don’t interact with Black folks, I don’t interact with brown folks, I don’t interact with ya’ll gays.’ ” Brown said on the People everyday podcast Wednesday.
Production for the upcoming season was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, but filming started back up this spring, the show announced April 23 on Twitter. Brown said because of the pandemic and political climate, Texas “needed” the team there.
Texas, known for being conservative, lacks statewide nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ people in virtually all areas, including employment, housing, education, adoption, state employees, and more, 24/7 Wall St. reported last June in reviewing the best and worst states for LGBTQ people.
The report also notes that the capital of Texas, Austin, is considered one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in America. Several other major Texas cities – including Dallas, San Antonio, and El Paso – protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
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Still, Brown said “this was the first time I’ve ever had people tell me after ‘I hated you.’ “
“It’s because no one has ever challenged them when it comes to their emotional or mental health. These individuals have never been challenged by someone who is Black.”
Despite facing adversity in the Lone Star state, Brown and his team have been having fun during Pride Month.
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He and his co-stars Bobby Berk and Antoni Porowski recently made a video on Instagram carrying a Texas flag redesigned to resemble the Pride flag.
“When it’s pride month but you’re in a conservative state. #TurnTheTexasFlagQueer,” he wrote.
Texan fans of the show commented on the post with support.
“For this Texan, Y’all means ALL!! 💜🏳️🌈🌈 Happy Pride!!,” one user wrote.
Another one chimed in: “Ummm this Texan NEEDS that flag stat!!!!”
Season 6 of “Queer Eye” will stream on Netflix. No premiere date has been set.