Queer Eye’s Carson Kressley, Thom Filicia Reflect on Show’s Legacy

20 years of pride Carson Kressley Thom FiliciaWe are celebrating two decades of the original Queer Eye series — and they still can’t believe how much the show means to longtime fans.

Filicia (53), joked exclusively when she was asked about the importance being role models in the LGBTQ+ community. Us Weekly, “That’s why I switched to a light beer, so I could be a smaller role model.”

Kressley, 52 was also lighthearted. “You know, we’re coming up on the 20th anniversary of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which is incredible ’cause we’re only 19,” he teased. “But I think, you know, none of us really thought we were gonna be role models. I just wanted to get rid mullets, pleated khakis and mullets. … [But] reality TV — especially places where you’re visible and you’re just being who you are and doing your job and moving through the world the way that you move through the world — can be very impactful.”

Thom Filicia, Carson Kressley
Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/Shutterstock

Bravo’s 2003 hit made the duo a household name. Along with Kressley and Filicia, whose expertise were in fashion and interior design, respectively, the original “Fab Five” included food guru Ted AllenPro hair, styling and grooming Kyan Douglas and “culture vulture” Jai Rodriguez. The reality series aired for five seasons. It inspired a hugely popular Netflix revival that premiered in 2018.

Pride Month is a good time to do this. Celebrity Big BrotherAlums are well aware of the importance of representation to their families. “People watched as a family. Young people could have discussions and say, ‘Oh, what is gay?’ [or] ‘Oh, I didn’t know any gay people before I saw them on the show,’ and ‘Of course they should have the same rights as us, of course they should be able to get married or adopt,’” Kressley told Use. “It wound up being way more powerful than we realized, but the power is really just in being yourself and being your authentic person and showing other people out there that it’s OK to be exactly who you are.”

Filicia, for his part, reflected on being out and proud on TV in a much different era than this generation’s “Fab Five,” adding, “We were one part of a bigger wheel [of change]That was happening right at that moment. And I think we had a great hand in sort of helping move that forward.”

The American Beauty author continued, “I think what’s really important is also [being] approachable. … It’s just amazing to me the stories that we’ve heard along the way with [how] young people are now … and they tell us about their journey and how important we were to them. … It’s like opening that door and leaving it open for the next person.”

Next year will officially mark the 20th anniversary of the premiere of Bravo’s Queer Eye — and planning is already underway to celebrate the milestone. “We’ll put it out into the ether and the universe that we would love to do something … and we’ll see what it is,” Kressley teased. “We might just all get together at Shady Pines and push Ted around.”

Reminiscing about their past is a great way to get back in touch with them. Book a Room stars are teaming up with Polywood this summer, showing off the brand’s all-weather outdoor furniture made from ocean-bound and landfill-bound plastic. “This is truly most authentic, sustainable story that I’ve seen of a product,” Filicia raved. “There is this sustainable component, there’s the madeIn America component. There’s also the American dream of starting this [company] in [a] garage. So there’s so many amazing story lines. … It’s cute and good for the planet.”

Christina Garibaldi reports

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