When Queer Eye premiered on Netflix in February, it had some key differences from its predecessor: a more diverse Fab Five, for one, and a shorter title, for two. But dropping “for the Straight Guy” from the title was purposeful. In Season 1, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness also gave a “make better” (because they say they don’t give makeovers, just “make betters”) to a gay man named AJ. Now that the series is back for a second season, it’s focusing even more on inclusivity.
Netflix announced that Queer Eye will return for its second season on June 15, which falls right in the middle of Pride Month. Perfect! Even better, the streaming giant announced that the new season will feature Queer Eye’s first female hero (their name for the people they make better) and its first transgender hero. This is a really cool step forward for the series, and we’re excited about it!
Things keep getting better ✨🙌🌟 pic.twitter.com/pKBMk0BjkK
— Queer Eye (@QueerEye) March 26, 2018
According to Entertainment Weekly, the first Season 2 episode features Tammye, the series’ first female hero. Tammye is a schoolteacher and cancer survivor who’s planning her church’s homecoming. Apparently, we need to have tissues at the ready — this season already sounds like just as much an emotional roller coaster as Season 1.
“The coming home service in African-American culture is big,” culture expert Brown told EW. “I love going to church. I have a great relationship with Christ. I have a great relationship with the church. And so, for me, I was excited.”
As we learned in Season 1, not everyone in the Fab Five has such a solid relationship with religion. Interior design expert Berk, who talked about his religious upbringing and how hard it was for him to come out in a Season 1 episode, said, “[Tammye’s] episode was very, very hard for me honestly. I almost refused to do it. One of the things I said to producers and creators when I first got cast, was, ‘I’ll pretty much do anything, just never ask me to go into a church.’ I grew up very religious. Religion was my entire life. And then when I came out, religion completely turned their back on me. And I’ve never really gotten over that.”
However, Berk’s Fab Five cohorts saw this as an opportunity for education and growth. Fashion expert Tan France said that he, Brown and Berk had a “really heated” conversation during filming and that he and Brown ultimately sought to show Berk that “people turned their back” on him, and that Tammye wasn’t one of those people.
“There are times even we need to educate each other. … It’s not just the audience we like to impact, it’s each other,” France said. Berk praised Tammye for being “so loving and accepting and open,” and just reading these quotes is already making us teary-eyed.
Season 2 also introduces Queer Eye’s first transgender hero, Skyler, in Episode 5. Hair and makeup expert Van Ness said, “One of my closest friends is a trans man who is incredible. And a lot of my clients are trans women. So I am really hoping that we can do right by our trans brothers and sisters. [Skyler] is going through so much, so [it was important to be] gentle and respectful and not to be a queenie know-it-all dum-dum when you’re trying to be a loving person.”
France agreed, adding, “I think that LGBTQ people are lumped into a group, and many people assume that I’m in the struggle with everybody else in my group,” but that’s not often the case. He admitted to not being as prepared for Skyler’s episode as he was for others, but that he hopes they did the episode respectfully and appropriately.
Featuring heroes that are more diverse is such a great step for Queer Eye as the series continues to receive praise from fans all over the world. We cried our eyes out watching the Fab Five transform lives in Season 1 — and kept following subjects’ stories, like Tom and Abby, a divorced couple who reunited on the series and then got married again in May — and we can’t wait to do it all over again.