When Queer Eye for the Straight Guy premiered in 2003, it was an instant hit. With the premise of five openly gay style experts hijacking a schlubby straight dude to give his lifestyle a reboot, the show was as entertaining as it was helpful. What wasn’t there to like about Ted, Carson, Thom, Kyan, and Jai? They were funny, they had chemistry, and they gave straight women everywhere the hope that their cavemen could be transformed using a few “hip tips.”
But Queer Eye was more than just a fun show — it was also ground-breaking. So, when the Fab Five sit down with Bravo’s Andy Cohen for the show’s 10-year reunion tonight, in addition to celebrating the fabulousness of Queer Eye, it’s also a chance to examine how this little makeover show ended up making over the mainstream media’s representation of gay men.
For the Fab Five, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (the titled was shortened to Queer Eye after season 3), was just another gig, not a vehicle for social change. “That was sort of the least, the last thing on my mind,” said grooming guru Kyan Douglas. “I think I was nervous about being on TV because I had never done that before. I think I was nervous about how this show would be received because we had five openly gay cast members that were not playing characters — that were being themselves. We were just real-life dudes that were on TV.”
“I don’t think any of us involved in the show realized the impact it would have when we were doing it,” said fashion savant Carson Kressley. “All I wanted to do was get rid of mullets and pleated khakis.” He added, “We never had a political agenda.”
EW interviewed a number of media experts and LBGT educators to find out whether they think the Bravo series had a social impact beyond the sartorial advice and fun catchphrases. READ FULL STORY