If you, like me, crave even more Queer Eye content than the world has delivered on, I have good news for you. Another Queer Eye makeover happened while none of us were looking, and the story is so sweet. In an interview with Bustle, Karamo Brown, one of the show's Fab Five, let me in on a little secret — he had a mini heart-to-heart with someone totally unexpected, and it left said person feeling like a totally new man.
In the middle of AJ's Queer Eye journey in Episode 4, audiences briefly meet Sean, an employee at Treetop Quest, a ropes and zipline obstacle course. Karamo brought AJ there so that he could very symbolically face his fears by leaping from trees blindfolded. It seemed to help, because by the end of the episode, AJ came out to his stepmother, prompting tears all around. (Watching Queer Eye is more "Netflix and cry" than "Netflix and chill.")
But apparently I wasn't the only one watching who wanted production to stop in the middle of AJ's episode so Sean and his beard could get their own Queer Eye makeover moment.
"Oh my god," Karamo says when I mention that I wanted him to go back for Sean after he was finished with AJ. "I did! I’m not even joking with you."
"I literally was like, ‘Baby, come here, let me talk to you really quickly," Karamo continues. "I was like, ‘Look, let’s just talk about what’s going on here."
In a separate interview with Bustle, Sean says that since the show dropped on Netflix, people have recognized him out and about at places like Whole Foods, and his friends have reached out to tell him they loved seeing him on TV. Sean says he loved being on the show, too. "[AJ] was a great dude. He was really nice and really open and ready to experience what we had in store for him," Sean says. Little did Sean know what Karamo had in store for him.
Karamo says that the two of them discussed Sean's beard and long hair. Sean revealed to him that when he first started working at the ropes course he felt like he wasn't "manly" enough, so he changed his appearance to fit in more. "He was like, ‘But no one ever asked me that.’ And he just started like literally getting emotional with me," Karamo continues. "He was like, ‘I want to be myself, but like I feel like I don’t fit in.'"
"What [Karamo] said really, kind of helped me think about ... who I was."
After their chat, Karamo told Sean, "'Honey, let it go. Be yourself,'" and it seems like Sean took his words to heart. Here's how he remembers his encounter with Karamo:
"We talked about how I kind of felt like I had fallen into a character almost with the job, 'cause I was like 'the beard guy,'" Sean says. "People had come to know me by my look," he says, adding that he felt like he owed it to them as "part of the experience" of being in a nature setting like Treetop Quest to look the part.
"What [Karamo] said really kind of helped me think about ... who I was." Sean adds that he had been letting what other people thought affect how he was thinking of himself, and that Karamo helped break him out of that and embrace the ability to change. "[I was] letting my ... what I thought of others' expectations affect my decisions," he says. "[Karamo] illuminated to me how my own opinion didn’t change of others when they changed things like [their look]," and that it would be equally OK if he didn't want to be "the beard guy."
These days Sean no longer works at Treetop Quest. He says he's working on getting his own tree course off the ground and finding himself in that. And, this time, he's not letting anybody's perceptions distract from who he wants to be.