Queer Eye's Fab Five on the Pop Culture That Made Them Gay: Hot Dogs, Calvin Klein, Bowflex

Illustration for article titled Queer Eye's Fab Five on the Pop Culture That Made Them Gay: Hot Dogs, Calvin Klein, Bowflex
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Vulture’s E. Alex Jung took the Queer Eye Fab Five—avocado baby Antoni Porowski, interior designer Bobby Berk, groom-y guy Jonathan Van Ness, stylist Tan France and (cry) culture specialist Karamo Brown—out to dinner in the name of journalism. This is noteworthy not because it stings my full-form with the bitter bite of jealousy, but because the conversation is great, covering such territory as furthering the advancement of all marginalized people and fucking dudes for the first time.

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A true highlight hits around the middle of the transcript, when Jung asks the boys to name the piece of pop culture that “made them gay.” It’s gold:

Jonathan Van Ness: The thing you remember back to where you’re like “Ooh, I want to hump a pillow to a man.”

Bobby Berk: Hot dogs at Yankee Stadium. Mark Wahlberg! That Calvin Klein ad!

Jonathan Van Ness: Any Bowflex commercial before 1993.

Antoni Porowski: My oldest sister’s Bruce Weber collection of photographs.

Bobby Berk: My mom’s bodybuilding magazines when I was like, 6. She was into lifting weights.

Jonathan Van Ness: Oh, I was like, is your mom rubbing one out to bodybuilder magazines, too?

Tan France: Ew! The thought of your mom!

Bobby Berk: The only thing my mom is rubbing one out to is Tan’s pillowy lips. Every time she watches an episode, she’s like, “Ah, Tan’s pillowy lips!”

Jonathan Van Ness: Okay, this is some real stuff. I think we could get a triple Axel single-foot landing out of this question. Last night, I felt like Tan and I finally got to a point in our relationship where we could break down some of these final boundaries that exist between us.

Tan France: There aren’t that many at all!

Jonathan Van Ness: I looked at him square in the eye and said, “Be real with me. Once a year, do you ever just get a teeny-tiny bit of … Restylane. Just even 1/8th, just enough to make you kind of …” [pouts lips] And he looked at me square in the eye and he also showed there’s no extra skin like there would be.

Tan France: I’d tell you! I wouldn’t want to upset you!

Antoni Porowski: They’re beautiful and lush, but they’re not ridiculous! They’re not Lisa Rinna!

Jonathan Van Ness: No, of course they’re not, that’s why I said an 1/8th of a fucking syringe, if you heard my innuendo!

Would it be the Fab Five if there wasn’t a bit of a...diversion? They bring it back:

Tan France: Okay, our [root]? I’ve got two: one real-life, one celebrity. The first time I thought, “Oh, that’s interesting,” I didn’t know it was sexual. My sister had a picture of Keanu Reeves in Point Break in her cupboard. And then in real life, I was 12 and it was summer. We were just about to break for summer, and a boy who was just a friend to me took his top off and started playing basketball, and I was like, “Ah! You’re 12?”

Jonathan Van Ness: When did you know you were a gay guy, Karamo?

Karamo Brown: I don’t know.

Jonathan Van Ness: Like, I opened my eyes outta my mom’s vagina and I was like, “I never wanna see that again.”

Can you believe? Read the full convo here. It’s worth your time, honey.

URL: Senior Writer, Jezebel. IRL: Author of the very good book 'LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS,' out now.

DISCUSSION

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Lana del ¿Qué?

Jonathan: This is truly what happened in casting. There was this email that was sent out to this group of us and they were like, “This isn’t the time to be a wallflower. We want to see how everyone gets along.” So if you could just imagine 40 gay men in a hotel ballroom mingling each other to death at seven in the morning. It was like The Hunger Games meets American Idol, plus RuPaul’s Drag Race, and America’s Next Top Model meets rebooted Queer Eye.

As an introvert this sounds like my personal hell, and also (disclaimer: I love them both) how the FUCK did Antoni or Bobby manage to make the cut under these casting circumstances?