Queer Eye season 7 has fans sobbing over devastating second episode

Queer Eye season seven

The Fab Five have returned to Netflix with the seventh season of acclaimed lifestyle makeover show Queer Eye – and episode two is breaking fans’ hearts

An update of the original – and groundbreaking – 2003 Bravo show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Netflix’s Queer Eye isn’t just about making over the lives of straight men.

It’s more contemporary and inclusive, and the five experts turn their attention to people of all genders and sexual identities. 

Starring Karamo Brown (culture expert), Tan France (fashion expert), Jonathan Van Ness (grooming expert), Antoni Porowski (food and wine expert) and Bobby Berk (design expert), season seven of the feel-good show is set in New Orleans and dropped on Netflix on Friday (12 May).

Episode one saw the Fab Five enter the Lambda Chi Alpha frat house and gag (not the good kind) over the living conditions of the fraternity brothers. Brown brought the group of young men to tears by encouraging them to open up and truly engage in listening to and supporting one another. 

But it was fans who were weeping when they watched episode two, with social media reporting an abundance of “gay tears”.

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The second episode centres around sports superfan Stephanie Williams, who was nominated by her girlfriend Rachael.

The pair had lived with Williams’ father for four years while they saved to buy their own house. Heartbreakingly, there wasn’t a single photograph of the couple on display, as Williams didn’t want her father to “have to explain” his daughter’s identity as a lesbian. 

Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski and Tan France doing a ‘big gay gasp’ in episode two. (Iiana Panich-Linsman/Netflix)

The episode sees Stephanie explore her struggle with internalised homophobia and how she ‘hid’ behind her identity as a sports aficionado, as the couple move into their new home. 

In an interview with Today on Friday (12 May), the Fab Five explained why Williams’ episode was so special, with hairstylist, author and comedian Van Ness calling it one of the best of the season. 

British-American fashion designer France opened up about identifying with Williams’ difficulties celebrating her sexuality. 

He said: “I understood her story because when I was younger, I felt that internalised homophobia so strongly up until probably 15 years ago, and so hearing those thoughts that she had just took me right back.”

France praised Williams’ bravery and said he hoped the episode would show viewers that internalised homophobia can be “so damaging for your mental health and just your well being in general”. 

Jonathan Van Ness revolutionised Stephanie Williams’ hair in episode two. (Courtesy Of Netflix)

Interior designer and author Berk agreed, saying Williams’ struggle was something that many young LGBTQ+ folks could relate to. “We dull our shine,” he told Today.

“We dull our personalities to make other people comfortable. I really hope that (the world) and all the queer people who still do that realise they don’t have to do that. They need to live for themselves.”

Van Ness said that the episode is a perfect example of what Queer Eye‘s mission is all about – redefining joy.

“Joy doesn’t always have to be saccharine and wins,” the grooming expert added. “You can be winning, but you also can be experiencing that when (facing) a really hard thing that happened in your life.

“I do think that Stephanie’s episode is one of the most exciting, like it made me clutch my pearls, gay gasp, fun fun fun. But also there’s some hardness (to) her story.” 

Fans have not been shy about sharing how much the episode affected them emotionally, with one social media user writing: “Queer Eye you’ve done it again! I’m only two episodes in and I’m balling [sic] my eyes out.”

One queer fan shared a beautiful story about how the episode had opened her mum’s eyes, writing on Twitter: “So my mom ordered me Pride shirts today completely of her own free will. I thought it was weird but brushed it off.

“Tonight she told me she watched a new episode of Queer Eye with Stephanie and how she feels the same way I do about being a lesbian in a place that doesn’t quite accept me and she said she never really understood what I meant until she saw that episode.

“She told me that she just wants to do everything in her power to make sure that I feel comfortable with who I am – wherever I am and I am sobbing.”

The seventh season of Queer Eye is now streaming on Netflix.

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