The two hosts say they were empowered to tell their families they were gay right before the show debuted 10 years ago

By Andrea Billups
Updated October 18, 2013 03:00 PM
Credit: Giovanni Rufino/Bravo

Ten years ago, a handsome and gabby group of five gay lifestyle experts blazed onto the TV scene as makeover savants, opening doors to their worlds of culture, beauty, food and style – and in the process, exposing for many hopeless heteros what it’s like to live and thrive as a gay men.

On Sunday, the much-loved Queer Eye for the Straight Guy cast will return with a reunion show on Bravo, talking to Andy Cohen about their pioneering entry into reality television and how it’s changed their lives thus far, turning nearly all of the Fab 5, as they were known, into household names.

Among the show’s biggest revelations? Fashion and style guru Carson Kressley and recently engaged celeb chef Ted Allen were not out to their families when the show was about to air.

“It was for me … really ironic that it took something like a makeover show for me to actually be honest and empowered, to get over that fear that your family is not going to love you for who you are,” Kressley said, noting that he was forced to come clean to relatives literally in the weeks before the groundbreaking show, which went on to win an Emmy Award, hit the airways.

Allen, who recounted how he kept coming back repeatedly for auditions before being cast, also said it forced him to be honest with his family, a revelation that ended well.

“They were great when I came out to them. They did not like the idea of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy at all,” he said.

But the reservations of Allen’s family were short-lived. “The funny thing about being semi-famous is it sort of makes everything okay,” joked Allen, who went on to become a TV chef and current host of the Food Network’s hit show Chopped.

The Queer Eye Reunion: 10 Years Later – which also features actor and musician Jai Rodriquez, interior designer Thom Filicia and grooming expert Kyan Douglas – airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.