If you haven’t seen Queer Eye, it is a reality TV show where five experts go in to help someone adjust their life to overcome challenges they face.
The choice of the five experts is perfect and they help the subject of show with tact and sensitivity. Antoni (food), Tan (fashion), Karamo (relationships), and Bobby (design) are all gay and Jonathan (personal grooming) is just Jonathan!
The people they help are usually those considered outsiders by society in some way and you almost always start the show very aware of the differences and the unhappiness they cause. By the end though you always come back to the shared humanity that has been hidden by prejudice and judgement.
As I get older I am increasingly convinced that the idea of “normal” is one of the most widespread, pernicious, and damaging of our shared cultural inheritance. I love that the show blows the idea apart.
A couple if days ago we started watching the new series and the second one, about a trans woman called Angel, had me in floods of tears. She was so smart, so pretty and so happy as a woman but her dad had never come to terms with her decision to transition from the sporty boy he had thought he was bringing up. The moment when they were reconciled and hugged each other sobbing was what got me and tipped me over the edge.
Culture burdens us with rules about how we should be in the world and it takes real courage to step away from them. Often we don’t even know who we really are outside of this inherited baggage of ideas.
Seeing two people who really loved each other having the courage to let those rules fall away to reveal their shared humanity was so powerful and moving.
Like I said, I love Queer Eye.