Tan France has opened up about how his appearance on Netflix makeover show Queer Eye has improved his relationship with his family.
The British-born fashion expert told his co-star Jonathan Van Ness’ Getting Curious podcast that he didn’t feel like he could’ve come out to his Pakistani father before his death when Tan was 13.
“[My father] was a lot more cultural and I was a lot more westernised,” he said.
“If my dad was still around, I definitely wouldn’t be living the life I do now. Or, if I were to, it wouldn’t be as peaceful as it is now.
“I probably wouldn’t have any contact with my family. They would have disowned me, I’m almost positive.”
Up until December last year, France said he never talked about his 10-year marriage with husband Rob with his family.
“They all knew, I had told them I was getting married, but they said, ‘That’s all we need to hear.’
“They didn’t want to know his name. They didn’t come [to the wedding].
“Only when the show was about to come out, I told my family, ‘You’re going to see what my life is.’
“‘I’m not going to stop doing this, this is the life that I’ve chosen, and you either accept this or I’m not a part of your lives.'”
Tan said his mother and siblings didn’t want to watch Queer Eye because “they thought it was a gay conversion programme.”
“They thought I was going around the country and encouraging people to be homosexual, which is a great idea for a TV show,” he laughed.
“But when they finally watched the show, they said “Oh my gosh it’s so much better than we expected. You made us so proud. You’re just who you are”.
“I think their worry was that I was going to be someone else or different in my personal life.
“That I was going to be, I don’t know, super sexualised or flamboyant?
“I think that they were so concerned that I wasn’t going to be who they knew and who they loved, so I think watching the show gave them an opportunity to see me doing what I do but being exactly the same person they’ve known their whole lives.
“Our relationship has changed so much the last few months. Now they ask about Rob every time we Skype, and they’d literally never said his name before.”
The second series of Queer Eye was released to Netflix earlier this month.
The Fab 5 recently visited Australia to promote the new series, and were crowned literal “Yass Queens” by the mayor of the New South Wales country town of Yass.