Entertainment

21 Fab Facts About Queer Eye’s Fab 5, Yass Queen! 

One of the biggest success stories in the world of entertainment for 2018 is the relaunch of the “Queer Eye.” The iconic reality show features five gay men giving life and style advice to individuals who might have forgotten to pamper themselves. Instead of focusing only on straight male contestants like the 2000s iteration, Netflix’s “Queer Eye” has had gay men, transgender men and women among its participants.

The shows stars Antoni Porowski (food and wine expert), Tan France (fashion expert), Karamo Brown (culture expert), Bobby Berk (design expert) and Jonathan Van Ness (grooming expert) quickly became social media celebrities and pop culture icons. Their candor and genuine care for the participants translated into a worldwide audience. The casting crew have also been more inclusive than the original show. A black man and a Pakistani are the two people in color in the team, but participants have included all sorts of ethnicities, including a cute Mexican dadbod dude.

Here’s 21 amazing facts about our fave TV quintet.

1. Karamo Brown has Caribbean blood: viva Cuba!

Credit: Queer Eye. Netflix.

Brown is one of our favorites. His casting upped the inclusivity quota of the show by 100 percent. He is proud of his heritage: his parents are Jamaican, but his father is actually half Cuban.

2. Brown also founded 6in10.org, an NGO that supports the fight against HIV stigma in the black LGBT community

Credit: Logo. Digital image. 6in10.org

Brown puts his actions where his words are. He not only provides advice and compassion to the participants in the show, he extends that to his personal life and his advocacy efforts. Good on him! With so much on we wonder how Karamo doesn’t struggs to func!

3. Brown is engaged to Ian Jordan, a TV producer

 Credit: Instagram. @TheIanJordan

And by the looks of it they are good friends with Ultra Latina Queen Jennifer Lopez herself! Dream BFFs! Basically the guests one would have in a dream dinner party. Shamazing!

4. Talking about hubbies, Tan France is married to illustrator Rob France

Credit: Instagram. @TanFrance

Who drew this amazing illustration of TanGorge!

5. France did a cameo in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

Credit: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Netflix.

Tan France played Fett Regoso, a fashionista inspired by real-life mogul Calvin Klein. French tucks are world famous now thanks to Tan!

6. France had to overcome a discriminatory culture

Credit: Instagram. @tanfrance

Tan grew up in a Pakistani family in the United Kingdom. Homosexuality was frowned upon in his cultural environment, which makes it even more impressive how he stands up for who he is.

7. Antoni Porowski grew up trilingual

Credit: Instagram. @Antoni.

He was born in Montreal from Polish parents, so he grew up speaking English, Polish and Quebec French. Very impressive. He is the whole package it seems (even though his cooking skills are a bit limited, tbh).

8. Porowski walked the Pride March with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Credit: dla6fl-v4aadbob.jpg-large. Digital image.

Antoni has become one of the most visible queer figures in Canada. Here you can see him with awesome PM Justin Trudeau, who is famous for being one of the most inclusive statesmen today. You gotta keep on serving you realness!

9. And he is a psychologist!

Credit: Instagram. @Antoni.

Yes, he finished a degree in psychology at the prestigious Concordia University in his native Montreal. We could echar el chal with him anytime!

10. Interior designer Bobby Berk has un chingo of interior beauty

Credit: Instagram. @bobbyberk.

Berk had to fight his religious upbringing to come out and be true to himself. He knows what it is like to suffer and so he supports those in need and supports issues such as immigrant rights.

11. Berk left home at just 15 and really struggled

Credit: Instagram. @bobbyberk.

He slept on cars, worked as many shifts as he could and was homeless. He could not bear to remain caged in conservatism and fought for his true self.

12. Jonathan Van Ness was the first male cheerleader in his high school

Credit: Instagram. @jvn

He is slim, he is fast, he is flexible, he is fabulous! Zhuzh it up, gorg prince!

13. Van Ness was nominated for an Emmy…

Credit: Gay of Thrones. JVN.

For his satire show “Gay of Thrones,” a recap show for the epic HBO extravaganza “Game of Thrones.” In this show, JVN would be hilarious in dissecting the intrigues of Westeros. Yass!

14. You can listen to JVN on his podcast “Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness.”

Credit: Queer Eye. Netflix.

It is funny, quirky and provides some serious life and beaut advice. A escucharlo, chiquitines! 

15. Tom Jackson, the dude from “You Can’t Fix Ugly,” got married!

Credit: Twitter @TomJack2017630616.

Yes, the adorable older gentleman from the Season 1 Episode 1 eloped and got married to the love of his life, Abby! AW, QUE ROMANTICO!

16. “AJ” Brown embraced his gay and got engaged!

Credit: sub-buzz-17565-1520014671-9. Digital image. Buzzfeed.

“To Gay or not Too Gay” was one of the most heartbreaking and heartwarming episodes of Season 1. In it, DJ, a lovely black gay man, struggled to come out of the closet to his family and friends. The Fab 5 were key in this transformative event. So much, that now he is engaged to his boyfriend Andre.

17. The show inspired the awesome “queer eye out of context” Twitter account. Do yourself a favor and follow it like, yesterday

Credit: Twitter. @queereyecontext

This account has almost 100,000 followers and posts screen grabs from the show. Hilarity ensues as the captions make for some amazing comedy. Follow it on @queereyecontext

18. Nailed it, queen! You can’t miss this crossover!

Credit: Nailed it!. Netflix.

Besides “Queer Eye,” Netflix launched another cult reality show in 2018, “Nailed It!,” where contestants make fools of themselves recreating elaborate baked goods without previous experience in the dark arts of desert-making. There is one crossover episode that you just can’t miss! Does Antoni really know how to cook?

19. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship

Credit: Queer Eye. Netflix

The Fab Five go well beyond their duty and sometimes keep in touch with contestants. After all, they have a huge responsibility for changing these people’s lives! Bobby has remained a close friend with Skyler Jay, the trans man from Season 2. Perhaps their struggles to be themselves were similar and they find solace in each other’s experiences.

20. Porowski is working in two movies with James Franco. Dreamboats!

Credit: Blood Surf. Dark Rabbit Productions.

Porowski has the looks of a matinee idol and no one can deny it. He has caught the eye of Hollywood power players, including James Franco, a queer icon in his own right. You will be able to see them side by side in “Blood Surf,” a horror flick that will be released in 2019. They will also appear together in “The Pretenders.” 

21. JVN, France and Porowski are BFFs with Justin Theroux

Credit: Instagram. @justintheroux

That’s right, the actor, director and Jennifer Aniston’s ex is mates with three of the Fab Five. And we can see why: they are all as cool as F. We can only dream how fun and enlightening hanging out with these four would be!

Puerto Rico’s LGBTQ Community Is Under Attack And The Government Is Doing Little To Help

Things That Matter

Puerto Rico’s LGBTQ Community Is Under Attack And The Government Is Doing Little To Help

Gabriella Baez

The Coronavirus has shaken Puerto Rico as it’s faced more than 2,000 cases and 114 deaths. And this health pandemic has come amid the island’s ongoing recovery from a string of earthquakes and Hurricane Maria. But the island is also suffering from an epidemic of anti-LGBTQ violence.

In 2020 alone, there have been more than 10 murders of LGBTQ individuals – five of them have been trans women and authorities have solved only three of them. For many in the community, it’s a shock to see that the island is right back where they were ten years ago when the island suffered another rash of LGBTQ-targeted killings.

Hate crimes have risen amid the island’s struggle to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: Gabriella Baez / Getty

Puerto Rico has been hit by an “epidemic of violence” with five transgender murders in two months.

Opposition lawmakers and campaigners called on the government to publicly acknowledge and investigate the violence, after the bodies of two trans women were found inside a charred car last week and another trans woman was killed in February. 

“Trans people are living in fear, they are terrified,” said Pedro Julio Serrano, spokesman for the Broad Committee for the Search for Equality, an LGBT+ rights advocacy group. 

“It’s as if they’ve opened hunting season against the LGBT+ community, and they’re hunting us, they’re looking for us and they are killing us,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Trans women have been particularly targeted in several gruesome attacks.

Out of the 10 deaths affecting the LGBTQ community, five of them have been trans women.

One woman was killed after being placed in a men’s prison after authorities refused to admit her to a women’s prison. There, she was beaten, tortured, raped and hanged. Her attackers have since been arrested and convicted.

Two trans women were shot and then burned alive in their vehicle. And then another trans women, Alexa, was brutally attacked after being followed by groups of social media trolls

”The killing of a person believed to be a transgender woman that has shocked and angered many in Puerto Rico is likely a hate crime,” Gov. Wanda Vázquez said Tuesday.

“Everything points to this being a hate crime, and that’s how it will be treated,” she said.

Homophobic rhetoric from politicians and religious leaders may have fuelled the bloodshed. 

The current Puerto Rican government has been embroiled in scandal after scandal and much of it has revolved around it’s obvious homophobic rhetoric. The government is working to roll back hard on protections, including adoption rights, hospital visitation, and abortion rights.

Puerto Rico’s leaders have also attempted to pass a ‘religious liberty’ bill that would legalize discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

When a government gives permission to discriminate, you’ll see the spike in violence like the island is seeing. If the government isn’t going to do anything to stop the violence and the police are less likely to investigate, society feels like it can literally get away with murder.

For many, the growing violence is a shock considering Puerto Rico has been making progress against homophobia and transphobia.

Just ten years ago, Puerto Rico suffered another rash of homophobic violence after eight gay and bi men were killed in the span of a couple of months. Their murders shocked much of the country and led to the progress that many borinqueños are proud of.

While many other Caribbean islands outlaw gay sex, the U.S. territory has introduced legal reforms, legalising same-sex marriage in 2015 and allowing trans people to change their gender on birth certificates in 2018.

In fact, Puerto Rico enacted legislation and protections that secured it’s spot at number 20 among the 55 U.S. states and territories when it comes to LGBTQ protections.

Afro-Puerto Rican Trans Voguing Legend Leiomy Maldonado To Judge Voguing Competition Show

Culture

Afro-Puerto Rican Trans Voguing Legend Leiomy Maldonado To Judge Voguing Competition Show

wond3rwoman1 / Instagram

There’s no doubt that FX’s hit show “Pose” put voguing on the mainstream map. Queer people of color are the central characters of the show and the authentic and unflinching representation has changed the television landscape. So, of course, HBO is now bringing Ballroom culture to millions.

Afro-Puerto Rican voguing superstar Leiomy Maldonado is bringing Ballroom to the masses.

Trans voguing royalty Leiomy Maldonado, also known as Amazon Leiomy, will be a judge on HBOmax’s new competition show called “Legendary.” Eight houses will be competing on the show bringing Ballroom culture from underground and fiction to mainstream. The trailer for the show is already promising some gag-worthy moments as the Ballroom houses deliver incredible dancing.

Maldonado is a Ballroom veteran and house mother so her judgment on the show will hold a lot of weight.

Maldonado has been voguing in the Ballroom scene since she was a teenager. The Ballroom world gave Maldonado a chance to truly explore who she was and gave her a space to understand her trans identity.

As an Afro-Puerto Rican trans woman, Maldonado’s family had work to do to fully understand her. While Maldonado previously told mitú that it wasn’t until she was on “America’s Best Dance Crew” that they understood what her transition and dancing career meant.

Dashaun Wesley, also known as Dashaun Lanvin, will also be part of “Legendary” as the MC while Jameela Jamil will be a judge.

At first, Jamil was cast as the host and judge of “Legendary” but fans of Ballroom culture were not having it. The announcement faces instant and severe backlash and Jamil was suddenly no longer the host. It was shortly after the controversy that Jamil came out as queer and people questioner her motive for coming out.

There is so much love going to the people bringing this show to life.

This is a time of increasing representation on television. People want to see their stories and stories of the people they know and love reflected on big and small screens. HBOmax is taking the desire and offering people a chance to see their own queer identities and identities of those they love broadcast to the world.

Honestly, the name is perfectly fitting for the caliber of talent they have on the show.

Maldonado and Lanvin are among the most talked about and respected dancers in the voguing community. Maldonado is the mother of The House of Amazon, hence her nickname Amazon Leiomy. Lanvin’s own expertise in Ballroom culture landed him a spot on FX’s “Pose.” Lanvin plays Shadow Wintour in the series and serves the looks and moves to keep the show as exciting as it has ever been.

“Legendary” will be streaming on HBOmax on May 27.

Make sure you tune in to watch the various houses slay all day on that runway. They are guaranteed to give it all because that is just how voguers do. Thank you to all of the queer people of color who are putting this and other POC LGBTQ+ stories on the map one platform at a time.

READ: This Trans Puerto Rican Voguing Master Is So Iconic That Even Beyonce Imitated Her Dance Moves