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'Queer Eye' Fab Five Open Up About the People Who Changed Their Lives

'Queer Eye' Fab Five Open Up About the People Who Changed Their Lives

The Queer Eye guys strike a pose in their shoot for Bustle, online now.

Here’s what the guys – Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, and Antoni Porowski – had to share about the people who shaped their lives:

Antoni on his mentor: “A dear friend of mine and mentor, his name is Klaus Biesenbach, he used to run MoMA in New York…He told me during my audition process for Queer Eye that the one thing you have to do is stay cool…He used to joke that what he loved about our friendship was that I was his one, non-famous friend. And he was with me for this process of booking Queer Eye and seeing my life change so drastically. Klaus helps remind me of all the things that are really important. He continuously reminds me to just stay cool, stay present, and remember to be yourself.”

Tan on how an ex helped him become the best version of himself: “It was my first relationship — my ex-boyfriend. He was the first person that really gave me an opportunity to explore my queerness and allowed me to be exactly who I am…He allowed me to explore things I would have never considered doing. Like, I had never been to a club before then. I had never been to gay pride before then. Looking back at that relationship, I was taught so much and the most important thing I was allowed to do was just be whatever version of myself I wanted to be and there was no shame in that. I’m a version of myself that I’m very proud of.”

Jonathan on how a friend and hair client changed his life: “I had just moved to Los Angeles. It was August of 2009. I really just wanted to be a self-sufficient adult, raise my cat, and didn’t want to ever need to borrow money from my parents again. I started doing Erin’s hair color on the low, because like I was a stylist assistant and I wasn’t supposed to be doing color for her, because she was my boss’ haircutting client. She created [Gay of Thrones], and kind of just let me come along for the ride. I learned how to produce, create — she’s just totally changed my life.”

Click inside to see what the other Queer Eye guys had to say…

Bobby on meeting his soulmate at 21: “I was 21 or 22. I was living in New York. I was working at a furniture store in New York. Really no direction at all in my life. That’s where I was — super young and stupid. And then I met my husband Dewey [Do]. There was definitely a spark. Did I know this was going to be the person I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with? No, that’s not what I was looking for. But lo and behold, that’s what I found. The first few years I think he barely said like 3 words. He was very shy, he was in med school, and so I brought him out of his shell and he helped me calm down a little bit…Now, we’ve been together for 15 years.”

Karamo on how one stranger’s kind words meant everything to him: “There were a lot of messages that were coming to me, that told me because my parents were immigrants, because I self-identified as gay and I wouldn’t tell anyone, that I was never going to achieve anything…There was a lady at the 7-Eleven where I used to go every day after school. She didn’t know me, she didn’t know my family, but just that little bit of encouragement from a complete stranger made me believe I could do greatness. She told me, ‘You’re going to be great someday. You’re amazing.’ I’ll never forget it. She said it to me every single day.”

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Photos: Tommy Garcia/Bustle
Posted to: Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Queer Eye, Tan France

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