Karamo Brown Says His Relationship with His Father 'Ended' for 10 Years After He Came Out as Gay
Karamo Brown is giving thanks for an answered prayer.
On Monday’s episode of Dancing with the Stars, the Queer Eye star danced in honor of his father while celebrating their mended relationship, which was fractured for a decade after Brown, 38, came out as gay as a teenager.
“Last week’s performance was in tribute to my sons got me crying. It brought up a lot of emotions in me and what it is like to be a father and then also my relationship with my father,” Brown told pro partner Jenna Johnson during rehearsals.
Of being emotional during Disney week, the father of two said, “There’s something about my kids that brings it out of me, but it’s also because of the relationship that I have with my father.”
Brown went on to explain that at the age of 17, he came out as gay to his father, and their “relationship ended” for a 10-year span as a result.
“Growing up, my father was my hero. He called me his champion son. But then, as I started to discover who I am, things changed dramatically. When I was 17 going on 18, I told him that I was gay. Our relationship ended. It split the family apart and we didn’t speak for 10 years,” he said.
Despite the strain in their relationship, Brown remained hopeful that they would one day reunite.
“I just prayed everyday that one day, we could actually get back to being a family again,” he said.
Thankfully, “that day came,” when his father “reached out to me and was looking to apologize for what had happened. And we really just started to reconcile our relationship.”
For their dance during Monday’s episode, Brown and Johnson performed an emotional contemporary number. And to witness the performance, Brown invited his Jamaican father to visit California for the first time.
“I’m not gonna lie, I’m nervous because us mending is really new, but we’re healing the generational scars that has been happening for so long,” said Brown.
But if Brown had any nerves during the performance, they weren’t evident to audiences and judges.
After the couple performed the touching routine, Brown embraced his father on the dance floor before he earned a score of 25/30 from judges.
Prior to the performance, Brown admitted to his dad during a heart-to-heart chat that him accepting the invite to come to DWTS “just means the world to me.”
“When I was younger, I wanted to walk like you, talk like you, be like you,” he told the family patriarch. “And the relationship I have with you has been a driving force in every single part of who I am.”
His dad replied, “Ever since birth, I’ve always wanted for you to be successful.” And when Brown said that he was dedicating the dance to his father, his dad was filled with gratitude: “I’m grateful.”
Of making the trip to the west coast and being in attendance at DWTS, Brown said of his father, “It’s showing that he wants to be in my life again and it’s nice.”
“Why not,” Brown’s father said of meeting the Queer Eye star’s future husband.
Looking to the future, Brown said that he only expects one thing of his father as they continue to make positive strides in their relationship.
“If there’s anything I expect from my father, it’s just learning how to love me unconditionally,” said Brown.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.