Queer Eye’s Antoni opens up about fear of discussing his sexuality on TV: ‘I was so afraid’

Antoni Porowski

Queer Eye’s resident food and wine expert Antoni Porowski has revealed that he was initially hesitant about taking his place as one of the Fab Five on the Netflix reality show.

Chatting to diver Tom Daley on the Olympic gold medalist’s Made With Love podcast, Porowski explained that he was fearful about taking on the Queer Eye role because he would have to discuss his sexuality and personal life publicly.

Porowski, 39, said that a friend had heard Queer Eye was being rebooted by Netflix, but the new show would have more of a focus on the Fab Five’s lives, as well as the people getting a life makeover.

“I just got like a chill down my spine because… it was talking about my personal life and sexuality,” Porowski shared. “It wasn’t anything that I wanted to share with the public, but I was so afraid.”

While the Canadian star has previously referred to his relationships as “gay relationships”, he has also stated that his sexuality is “a little more fluid along the spectrum“.

In November 2022, Porowski revealed that he is engaged to his partner, advertising executive Kevin Harrington

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Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski stands with fiance Kevin Harrington at the 2023/2024 Paris Fashion Week.
Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski with fiancé Kevin Harrington. (Getty/ Stephane Cardinale – Corbis)

Despite having an “adverse response” to the idea of being on Queer Eye, Porowski explained that his mentor Klaus told him he had to audition for it.

“[Klaus] said: ‘Well, if you don’t get it, you’re going to live in regret, but if you try it and you don’t get it, at least you’ll know you tried… You’re already thinking about it anyway, so you might as well just lean into the fear.’

“I’ve tried to remember that with everything that I approach,” Porowski added. “I’m constantly met with fear on a daily basis, but I try not to be ashamed about it, and I try to lean into it.”

Antoni Porowski stars alongside Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Karamo Brown, and Bobby Berk in the Netflix reality series, which sees people from a range of backgrounds, including LGBTQ+ folks, supported to change their wardrobe, diet, and lifestyle.

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The stars of Netflix’s Queer Eye. (Queer Eye/Netflix)

The series was rebooted in 2018, with the original series running from 2003 to 2007 on network Bravo.

RuPaul’s Drag Race judge and fashion designer Carson Kressley, who was one of the original members of the Fab Five, recently revealed that the show almost never made it to air.

“I didn’t really think anybody was gonna see it,” Kressley revealed. “There was some trepidation from other networks; they’re like, ‘oh, no, the name is too aggressive’.

“Bravo from the get-go was very supportive about it. The producers and the creators of the show were very adamant that it be called Queer Eye because it was… reclaiming that word, and putting a positive spin on it… it’s not something derogatory.”

Porowski also revealed on Tom Daley’s podcast that while a new season of Queer Eye is “coming”, he has “no idea” when it will be released.

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