Their relationship was fractured after the Queer Eye star came out as gay as a teenager

By Christina Dugan and Aurelie Corinthios
October 22, 2019 11:42 AM
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Karamo Brown and his dad recently entered a new phase of their relationship.

On Monday night’s episode of Dancing with the Stars, the Queer Eye culture expert delivered an emotional performance in honor of his father to celebrate their mended relationship, which was fractured for years after Brown, 38, came out as gay as a teenager.

Brown invited his Jamaican father to visit California for the first time to watch him perform, and the two had a touching heart-to-heart chat on-camera.

Speaking to reporters after the show, Brown, still reeling from the emotion of the night, said watching his formerly estranged father interact with his fiancé, Ian Jordan, for the first time was particularly special.

“My fiancé was scared, I’m going to be honest with you,” Brown said. “He was like, ‘I don’t know if I want this to happen.’ We didn’t know what was going to happen, this is a new thing. But it was kind and cordial and to see them laughing and talking I was like, ‘What is going on? What parallel universe am I in?'”

“It’s nice, because the 17-year-old little boy who identified as gay wanted his father to see him and love him and respect him,” he continued. “It took until I was 38 for that to happen and I’m hopeful that someone else out there can see my father and say to themselves, ‘I haven’t been respecting or loving my child because of how they identify, and maybe I can change to.'”

Brown explained that after he came out as a teen, he and his father “didn’t really start speaking again” until his sister’s wedding “a couple months ago.”

“Almost 18 years. There’s been little moments in between where I got sick, and he helped me out in the hospital,” Brown said. “But he’s never been to California, never been apart of my life, never seen me on TV. This is his first time. This is brand new.”

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Brown admitted his father was “skeptical at first” when he asked him to come on the show, as their mended relationship is only “brand new.”

“He was like, ‘Is this some set up? Are these producers trying to make me the bad guy?'” Brown said. “I was like, ‘No Dad, they’re showing our truth.’ We had a great relationship as kids and then when I told you I was gay, it ended. And now that’s building back up and they want to show that. He was like, ‘Well, I trust you and I love you, so I’ll come.'”

“It worked out exactly like that,” Brown continued. “For him to be sitting next to my son — there’s generational trauma that’s ending right there, but also being next to my fiancé. It blows my mind.”

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.