It’s time to celebrate Pride Month with “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” which aired a “Reunion Road Trip” special on E! over the weekend that’s now streaming on Peacock.
WTOP caught up with Thom Filicia, one of the original members of the “Fab Five.”
“We are actually still really good friends,” Filicia told WTOP. “We were thinking of getting together for Jai’s birthday. … We used to haze him for being our little brother, tie him to chairs, lock him in the car. So when he was turning the big 4-0, we thought we’d all get together and have a dinner, and it just turned into this opportunity to do a reunion.”
The birthday boy, Jai Rodriguez, is known as the “Culture Vulture.”
“He’s a Broadway actor,” Filicia said. “Theater is his life. Being out in front of people is what he loves the most. So bringing people out into culture, bringing people out into the city, bringing people into what’s happening in pop culture — that is literally what he is all about. He loves that. His oxygen is just that, so he was amazing. He was our little brother.”
Ted Allen is the “Food and Wine Connoisseur.”
“Ted Allen is hilarious, dry sense of humor, a lot of fun,” Filicia said. “He’s very analytical, so he’s really great at looking at something, analyzing it and coming up with what makes it what it is, how it could be great, how it could be better, or what makes it not delicious.”
Kyan Douglas is the “Grooming Guru.”
“Kyan Douglas is a total hair diva,” Filicia said. “He loves hair. He’s playing with his hair all the time. … He is really spiritual and he is really a sweet soul. What makes him great is that he not only connects with people trying to figure out the best hairstyle for them, but he connects with what makes them happy and brings them a little peace.”
Carson Kressley is the “Fashion Savant.”
“Carson Kressley is unbelievably hilarious,” Filicia said. “He’s so much fun. He’s super smart. What makes him so great at what he does is his personality. He has such a big personality and he brings so much personality to what he does with clothing. He really tries to bring the personality of the person out through the way he styles them.”
And of course, Thom himself is the “Design Doctor.”
“I have a degree in design, I’ve worked for really amazing designers, I have my own design firm, I have my product lines, I have my showrooms, all the designers that work for me, and I work on projects all over the U.S. and outside the U.S., so I’m really saturated in the world of design,” Filicia said. “Design is for people. I love demystifying it for people.”
Together, they changed the conversation on LGBTQ+ rights in 2003.
“We were part of making that conversation happen and making people comfortable,” Filicia said. “We were certainly the first gay men that were playing ourselves as gay men on television. … We didn’t realize at the time how important what we were doing was. We were having so much fun doing it.”
Still, their lasting legacy might just be on the fashion front.
“We may have saved the world from pleated pants,” Filicia joked.