Entertainment

Karamo Brown Brings His Jamaican-Cuban Energy To Every Episode Of “Queer Eye”

If you don’t know who Karamo Brown is, prepare yourself for your next celebrity heartthrob. He first graced our televisions when he was just 23 years old on “The Real World: Philadelphia.” After a decade out of the spotlight, he’s back in our homes as one fifth of the Fab Five, in Netflix’s rebooted “Queer Eye.”

He’s hands down one of the most interesting, studliest, and sweetest of the Fab Five.

1. He’s Jamaican & Cuban.

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

Karamo was born in Houston, Texas, but has lived all over.

In a recent podcast with Johnathan Van Ness (AKA JVN), Brown opened up about his family history. His mother is Jamaican and his father is half Cuban, half Jamaican.

2. He’s the first openly gay black man to star on a reality TV show.

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

This was back in 2004, so it was a lot tougher to be openly gay. But Karamo slayed in “The Real World: Philadelphia,” and says that it was one of the hardest things he ever did.

The real gold: watching himself on TV and how he reacted to conflict. He says it changed him as a person.

3. After his MTV stint, he worked as a social worker for 10 years.

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

It wasn’t until one of his kids he was working with asked him if he’s following his dreams, that he realized he wasn’t. He decided to spend half his time in social work, and the other getting back into the public sphere.

His first job back out there? With Oprah. Casual.

4. He went from TV Host to Fab 5 of “Queer Eye.”

CREDIT: @queereye / Instagram

Each of the Fab Five carries expertise in either fashion, grooming, cooking, interior design, or culture. Karamo is known for working on the “inside job” of their clients, helping them find their confidence through aerial art, or getting through to a cop on why Black Lives Matter. Basically, you’re always crying happy tears when you’re watching this show.

Karamo’s dedication to his own inside job is inspo for all of us. His backstory is pretty incredible…

5. He watched his father destroy his family.

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

Brown grew up middle class, but when his father decided to quit accounting and become a DJ, they lost everything. In his own words, “Life went from nice, middle class, immigrant family, to like extremely poor, moving out in the middle of the night.”

6. “My drive comes from watching the decline and seeing my mother build us back up.”

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

He says that watching his father abuse his mother gave him this drive to be better, and be the best man he can be. He’s conscience of what he’s inherited from his father, like shutting down during conflict, and tries to change it.

7. Brown went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

When his parents got divorced, his dad made him move from Texas. He said the one thing he did right was find the cheapest apartment in the school zone that would land him at Stoneman.

Caption: “The raised/ clenched fist is a salute to express unity, strength & resistance among oppressed people against any person or entity that would try to destroy the very fabric of human equality, respect & love. I raise & clench my fist to #Trump #Racism#SexualPredators #Misogynist and many more! You shall not win!”

8. “That school made me an activist.”

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

In his own words, “When the shooting happened, I wasn’t surprised that these students were like, “Enough is enough”, because activism is engrained in you from the first period of the first day of 9th grade.”

9. Karamo came out when he was 15 or 16 years old.

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

Caribbean culture, especially Jamaican culture is extremely homophobic, so his father had a hard time reconciling his religious beliefs with his son’s sexuality.

10. In 2007, he found out he’s a father!

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

Brown met Stephanie when he was 15 and they quickly became best friends…who also lost their virginity to each other. Over ten years later, he was served documents asking for child support. I mean, of course, Karamo stepped up and is a loving father. He later adopted his biological son’s half brother.

11. On May 10th, Karamo got engaged!

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

Caption: “Last night, in front of family & friends, I asked my best friend and the love of my life, “will you marry me?” He said YESSS!!!! I’m engaged!”

12. Karamo has been writing for The Advocate since 2014.

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

Can you tell he’s a huge advocate for the gays? Check him out with Stephanie Beatriz and Laith Ashley de la Cruz at Pride this year. You cute, boo.

13. This year, he won the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award!

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. On Top. 27 June 2018.

“As an out and proud gay man, Karamo Brown is using his incredible talent and public visibility to raise awareness and find solutions to the unique challenges LGBTQ people face,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a news release.

14. He even cofounded the nonprofit 6in10.

CREDIT: “Fist” Digital Image. Advocate. 28 June 2018.

As in 6 in every 10 gay or bisexual black men will test positive for HIV. 6in10 aims to reduce the stigma associated with HIV, and offer mental health resources for the LGBT community.

15. Oh, and he’s a low-key animal activist, too.

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

Caption: “Spending my morning cleaning, feeding & playing w/ rescued & humanely cared for elephants. #PleaseStopRidingThem????#ElephantsAreNotBuses #Thailand????????#WorldTraveler”

16. Karamo is the youngest of four sisters.

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

And with “Queer Eye,” he’s found himself another set of fabulous men that are like sisters to him.

 17. Karamo & JVN would have been prom King & Queen in high school…

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

According to themselves in JVN’s podcast episode, “Who gave you permission to be so cute? featuring Karamo Brown.” Karamo was a football player and JVN was a cheerleader and you *know* they would be cutest couple. For now, they’re the cutest best friends and I’m here for it.

18. As serious as he is about making changes in the world, he’s also a joker.

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

After Antoni posted a legit serious picture of himself in a bathrobe wearing non-prescription glasses with a cup of tea, every single one of the Fab Five posted their version mocking him.

Caption: “Well since you all asked what I was doing… ironically the same thing as @antoni @jvn & @bobbyberk Just relaxing at home with glasses that aren’t prescription, a tea mug that is empty, junk food and a plant in my bed.”

19. Ya boy’s a Scorpio–born on November 2nd.

CREDIT: @KaramoBrown / Twitter

Caption: “Thought I’d do a #ThrowbackThursday of my senior yearbook pic. I was 18 years old here. If I could tell my younger self one thing it would be “Stop letting people’s limited perspectives cause you to doubt yourself… you have a bright future ahead of you kid, just believe.””

20. He’s also an American Express Ambassador.

CREDIT: @karamobrown / Instagram

Ok, so it’s the least interesting thing about him, but now I want an AmEx to be even a little bit more like him.

Follow him @karamobrown on Twitter and Instagram for all the emotional support you’ll need in your life. ❤️ ???? ???? ???? ???? ????

Queer People Are Shouting Their Gratitude For Naya Rivera’s Trailblazing Character Santana Lopez

Entertainment

Queer People Are Shouting Their Gratitude For Naya Rivera’s Trailblazing Character Santana Lopez

Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

There are few queer characters the people can point to in the past as being someone that changed their lives. Santana Lopez, Naya Rivera’s character on “Glee,” is one of them. Even if you’ve never watched “Glee,” Rivera’s character touched you because of how that representation is so important and empowering.

Naya Rivera’s place in LGBTQ+ media representation will be her long-lasting legacy.

Rivera brought us Santana Lopez, a queer Latina navigating the world of high school in a small town. For many, this kind of representation was so rare and often poorly done that Rivera’s command of the role was impactful. You didn’t have to be an avid viewer of the show to understand and appreciate the magnitude of Santana Lopez.

Rivera brought our experience directly to the mainstream and forced our own classmates to think about the way they saw queer people.

Rivera’s ability to capture the awkwardness and terror of being a closeted queer student in high school still resonates. It is a piece of nostalgia that is so deeply ingrained in queer people that it’s hard not to be emotional about Rivera’s sudden and tragic death.

Who can forget the moment Santana used “Landslide” to tell Brittany that she loved her.

The emotion of a love that is not easy to confess and live authentically is real. Ask any queer person you know about coming to terms with her sexuality in high school and you will hear about the fear and excitement. You will hear about the strategic allyships that epitomize the constant battle between being open and staying safe.

Rivera was more than an actress, she was an ally and advocate during her time on “Glee.”

Season 2, when Rivera’s feelings for Brittany (played by Heather Morris) grew, aired from 2010 to 2011. It was a time when marriage equality was not nationwide. Some states still barred same-sex couples from adopting children. Yet, queer high school and college students had a chance to see their experience mirrored because of Rivera’s insistence.

Rivera’s death is a major loss for the queer community that got our strength and courage from her.

Knowing that all of the “Glee” fans were rooting for and falling in love with Santana Lopez gave us a chance to breathe and feel accepted. Adding her Latina heritage was so important. Queer people of color, who have faced increased scrutiny from their own families, had someone representing them completely and sincerely.

Demi Lovato paid tribute by remembering the time she played Santana Lopez’s girlfriend.

The queer Latina love was not lost on fellow queer Latinos. Lovato herself was not out about her sexuality at the time and she admits in her post that Rivera inspired her. Rivera’s efforts to give the character an accurate and respectful storyline will forever be praised and admired as a fully realized manifestation of our experience.

Thank you for being someone we didn’t know we needed, Naya.

Our hearts are broken and our eyes are wet. We send love and hope to your loved ones. Rest in power, mija. We love you and will never forget what you did for our community.

READ: Naya Rivera’s Body Found In Lake Piru After Going Missing During Outing With Son

Solomon Ray Is One Of The Hottest Musicians On Scene Right Now And These Pics Prove It

Entertainment

Solomon Ray Is One Of The Hottest Musicians On Scene Right Now And These Pics Prove It

solomonraymusic / Instagram

Solomon Ray is one of the hottest artists in music right now. The young man is delivering music and lewks that we didn’t know we needed. Let’s take a moment to admire the artist who si giving us some new music.

This is Solomon Ray and he is not shy about showing off who he is.

One of the most iconic quotes from Juan Gabriel and it still rings true today. How many times has someone in your family asked about your sexuality? Like, obviously it is what you suspect it to be so why the third-degree, tía?

He’s a Britney stan, which is still so very important.

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OH, BABY! BABY!

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She might have one of the most bizarre Instagram accounts ever created, but that’s just part of her. Britney is an American treasure and should be protected and honored at all times no matter what. It’s a good thing that Ray understands the importance of loving the pop icon.

He knows how to give you all of those rancho vibes.

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No puedo decidir. La primera foto o la segunda?

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Those chains against the hairy chest are really just everything. Honestly, we should be thanking him for being able to serve us such diverse lewks. We should aspire to have a man that can do both.

Ray even does the thing when he is at work.

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🎶 🎼 🎵

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Just like mami always said, “You can never be overdressed.” Mom instilled in us the importance of always being well put together no matter what. We dress up to hang out in the living room to hang out when the family comes over. Seems like Ray would be the perfect man to bring around.

Look at him being all chill with Mariah Carey.

Like, we get it. You have famous friends and know people who are just incredibly awesome. Well, if you do know Mariah Carey, let’s go ahead and plan a dinner date. You know, for networking.

READ: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Guatemalan Son Is Becoming A Bodybuilder And He Is Definitely A Thirst Trap