‘Queer Eye’s’ Karamo Brown Wants To Retire One Way We Describe The ‘Coming Out’ Process

"Do not tolerate disrespect, because you deserve only the best."

As anyone who has ever done it can attest, the coming out process for members of the LGBTQ+ community can be a trying one. Often it's fraught with fear that our communities and loved ones will reject us and our truth. However, it doesn't have to be that way. Karamo Brown, star of Netflix's new Queer Eye reboot, recently sat with NowThis to offer his unique perspective on coming out and why he feels it might be time to rethink the term "coming out" entirely.

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For Brown, instead of using the term "coming out," he prefers to say he's "inviting them in." "For me, 'coming out' gives the power to the other person to accept or deny you," he told Upworthy. "When you're 'inviting them in,' you have the power." In the NowThis video, he further explained with a bit of sage advice from his grandmother.

"My grandmother said this and I loved the way she put it: Imagine if somebody came to your house and knocked on your door, and you said, 'Hey, come into my fabulous home. It represents me.' And they were like, 'I don't like it.' You're not gonna cry. You're gonna close your door and feel comforted because you're in your house," he recalled. "And that was the same way [with] me. When I was letting people into my life, if they didn't want to come into my life, I knew that was OK because I still had my home. I felt safe about myself."

While this is what works best for him, Brown in no way discredits those more comfortable with using "coming out" instead. However, his unique outlook could be helpful to those who might be in fear of revealing their truth. He was also sure to give a few pointers to those who are not fully out, suggesting that they should find allies and a community that love and support them fully. Lastly, he offered that everyone might not be as accepting as one would like at first and that it was OK. 

"If they do not want to come into your life immediately, that has nothing to do with you — they are on their own journey," Brown said. "Do not tolerate disrespect, because you deserve only the best."

Of course, this is a shift from when audiences first met Brown as a cast member of the seminal reality show The Real World when it was filmed in Philadelphia in 2004. As the show's  — and reality television's — first openly gay African American male, he was thrust into the spotlight and the world watched his growing pains as he dealt with his sexuality in sometimes controversial ways. However, in the years since, the now-father of two has matured and his worldview has evolved accordingly. 

"It was hard for me to watch, because that guy is not who I see in my head. But clearly, this is what the rest of the world is seeing," he told The Advocate in a 2015 interview. However, he looked back on his time on the show as a learning experience, saying, "Those experiences made me the man I am today. They were lessons I needed."

(H/T: Upworthy)

Cover image: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

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