Karamo Says Filming Queer Eye in Texas was the 'First Time' He Experienced 'Blatant' Hatred
Karamo revealed his personal struggles with migraines and the hate he received while filming season 6 of Queer Eye
On the latest episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast, the 40-year-old Queer Eye star discussed the upcoming season of the Emmy-winning Netflix series and his personal migraine struggle for Migraine Awareness Month.
Karamo, Queer Eye's popular culture expert, is currently halfway done with production of the show's sixth season in Texas, which was temporarily postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. He said that doing this season in Texas was important because of the political climate in the state, noting that "they needed us five queers" there - referring to his costars Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France and Bobby Berk.
But what he didn't expect was the racism and homophobia he experienced in the southern state, revealing that he came across people "who are very blatant about like, 'I don't interact with Black folks. I don't interact with brown folks. I don't interact with y'all gays. You're in a dress. I don't understand this,' Vocal. Vocal. Vocal," he explained.
"To be very honest with you, this is the first time I've ever had people tell me after, 'I hated you.' Literally have said that twice now. And it's because no one has ever challenged them when it comes to their emotional or mental health," he continued. "And then on top of that, and this is just me, I think that a lot of times these individuals have never been challenged by someone who is Black. And so you now have someone who's Black making you open up and talk about your feelings."
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Karamo continued by discussing a lot of the prejudices that are present across the country, saying that those individuals' experiences on Queer Eye always ended on a positive note and that his "biggest gift" has always been his vulnerability because it's allowed him to connect with so many people.
During the podcast, the reality television star explained that his willingness to be open has also allowed him to share his own struggles with those closest to him, specifically his migraines, which he called "one of the most debilitating" experiences.
Karamo said he's dealt with severe migraines since high school and because of a lot of the misinformation surrounding it, he was often told he's being dramatic and that taking a pill would be an easy fix.
"It was one of these moments where I felt so dehumanized, undervalued, because I was like, 'I know what I'm experiencing, but yet you're telling me that I'm wrong,'" he said. "It wasn't until I got into college that I really started to learn and got the education and information of what migraine is, that I started being like, "Oh my gosh, I'm not alone".
He added that once he became educated, he was able to open up to and inform his friends and family, leading to a better experience coping with his migraines. Karamo specifically called himself lucky for having such supportive and loving Queer Eye costars.
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