"The original show was fighting for tolerance. Our fight is for acceptance" marks the beginning of the 'Queer Eye' reboot featured on Netflix. A new set of Fab Five take Atlanta and the deep south by storm, polishing straight men in order for them to achieve anything their hearts desire. While the concept of the show was long established from the OG series, this reboot highlights an important underlying agenda: fighting ignorance with empathy. I didn't understand exactly why I loved this series much more than the original until I came to the realization that this Fab Five is vulnerable to the cameras. And that makes them so much more relatable to the audience.
Television nowadays has done a remarkable job of incorporating and embracing the LGBT community through its shows. Cartoons and other shows geared towards children, such as 'Andi Mack' and 'Legend of Korra', have alluded to multiple characters being a part of the LGBT community which instills empathy and acceptance at a young age. Except what about all the adults that live in the United States that are so completely blind to the fact that gay men and lesbian women are people too? What about the adults that grew up in the Catholic Church believes in the notion that homophobia is a sin? Do they not get to learn those same lessons that their five or six-year-old get by exposure to television? I would think that a show about adult straight men accepting gay men into the most intimate parts of their lives kind of drives home that point.
But this reboot teaches empathy in such an artful and intelligent way that even the staunchest homophobe would be forced to look at their views in an objective manner. For instance, Tom, the man who claimed that you could not fix ugly, openly asked Bobby and Jonathan about the gender roles in a gay marriage. Skillfully, Bobby diffused the awkwardness and calmly explained that gender roles are shared between partners and that it is a common misconception that one partner has to take a feminine role. For just a moment, all it was was just two guys having a meaningful conversation and breaking down stereotypes. Even for AJ, who was a gay Atlanta native, did not fit the stereotype of dressing stylishly or having massive organization skills which introduce the idea that stereotypes can have the potential to break down the chains of communication.
The Fab Five also open up and grow alongside their subjects. When Bobby tells Mama Tammie how he misses being part of the church and how he felt when he was shunned for being gay, it broke down this invisible fourth wall that showed the audience that not every queer is loud about their opinions and struggles with similar issues as other Christians. Antoni also was touched by how Mama Tammie apologized to her son for not accepting him as gay initially which opens doors for adults to accept their kids no matter what. This Fab Five hits all the right notes when it comes to pushing the envelope on forcing viewers to understand that even though people can have different sexual orientation, all people have the same heart.
I do not pretend to understand what it is like to be gay because I'm not, but even I can take away from watching this show that any major social issue in the country can start being solved simply by having the courage to ask the right questions. It is difficult for adults to admit that sometimes they are wrong or be open to another person's lifestyle. But if there is anything that is the takeaway point from this it would be that 'Queer Eye' can show any viewer how to be empathetic to another human being.