'Queer Eye' host Tan France says he 'never' had a space to be his full self before hosting Netflix series

·3 min read
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Photo of Tan France on rainbow background lead 2x1
Tan France spoke to Insider about cohosting Netflix's "Queer Eye" and how it inspired him to embrace his queerness in a new way.Jason Kempin/Getty Images; Rachel Mendelson/Insider
  • In Insider's June cover story, Tan France said he "never" found the space to be his full self before "Queer Eye."

  • "We get to be our queer selves, unabashedly," he said of himself and his cohosts on the hit show.

  • France isn't afraid to fight negative stereotypes of South Asian people in Hollywood.

Tan France told Insider's JP Mangalindan in our June cover story that he "never" felt he had the space to be himself before becoming a cohost and the fashion expert on Netflix's hit reality series, "Queer Eye."

France, who was raised by Pakistani Muslim immigrant parents in South Yorkshire, England, said that he feels like England is behind when it comes to representing people with his identities, including queer people.

When he came to the US almost 15 years ago, he started to see how "massively behind" his home country was with representation. But it wasn't until he landed his first Netflix hosting gig that he began to embrace his queerness in a way he never had before.

"We get to be our queer selves, unabashedly," France said of working with his cohosts Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Antoni Porowski. "I've never felt like I've had a space like that before where I can be 100% comfortable to say: This is who I am. Like it or lump it."

Although "Queer Eye" has given France a surge of confidence related to his queer identity, he's never lacked the assertiveness needed to reject any negative stereotypes he might encounter as a brown South Asian entertainer in Hollywood.

"If anybody ever asked if I would play a terrorist, a taxicab driver, or a grocery store owner, the answer is, 'Go fuck yourself,'" he said. "I would like to believe I'm very, very kind, but if you insult me, I will be the first one to tell you: 'Go fuck yourself.'"

Tan France playfully eats cake, surrounded by cakes, in a white bed with brown backboard.
Tan France wears burgundy CDLP silk shirt and pants.Martin Schoeller for Insider

France is worried about the future of LGBTQ rights in the US

Though "Queer Eye" has given France permission to be his full self and opened new doors for him that he said he would never get in England, he is worried about the future of LGBTQ rights in the US.

While discussing pending anti-trans legislation and so-called "Don't Say Gay" bills, France said,  "I don't understand how we got here."

"It does worry me seeing just how hard people are fighting to take rights away from people when they're just minding their own business," he continued. "They're just trying to live their lives. They're not doing anything to anyone. It is wildly frustrating."

In his role as an entertainer and host, France will continue to be unapologetically himself and lead by example for the queer community.

It's what makes him so good at his jobs, which include hosting the competition show "Next In Fashion" with his friend Gigi Hadid and the "Selling Sunset" reunion in May.

"I don't understand a filter, or I don't care about a filter," he admitted. "I don't do small talk. But I like to balance it out by truly caring about people and truly wanting to discover who they are and why they behave the way they behave."

Click here to read France's full cover story written by JP Mangalindan, featuring exclusive photos by Martin Schoeller. Then check out "We/Us/Ours," an Insider series about LGBTQ communities and spaces that inspire queer unity.


Read the original article on Insider