Karamo Brown, the culture guy from Netflix's Queer Eye, has some words for the LGBTQ community. During an interview with Gay Times Magazine, Brown, who's married with two kids, shared his opinions on dating apps, Pride parades, and the over-sexualization of today's youth.
"I think they’re the worst. I think they’re horrible. I do not own an app and never have. I think dating apps are keeping us apart. It’s also over-sexualising the community," he said. "It’s great for hooking up, but I can’t tell you the last time I met a couple who said, 'I met on Grindr or Scruff, and I’m in a long-term relationship.' It just does not happen."
"We’re in a culture now where, if I don’t like you, I don’t have to get to know you, I just have to swipe left. How horrible is that? I don’t think my grandparents or parents would have met if they had these apps. So I say, get off the apps and go to the club. Meet people. It’s much more fun. If you want to hook up and just get your nut off then go on apps."
He goes on to say that over-sexualization is one of the biggest challenge facing today's LGBT youth. "It’s so sad. You think about Pride celebrations; I’ve never been able to bring my own children—except for maybe once or twice—or the youth I used to work with to Pride celebrations, because for them to be walking down the street to be learning what it is to be a proud member of this community, and then see dicks out...that’s just not healthy for a 15-year-old."
"What image does that send out about what you have to do? It affects your body image, it affects your view of the world. I’m by no means—because I love a shirtless selfie—taking away from someone’s right to do that. But as a community, we’ve forgotten that there’s a generation behind us that are watching. That are mimicking what we do and what we say."
Brown begins comparing gay Pride festivals to African American celebrations. "I don’t remember a Black Pride festival where people were naked. It’s always about honouring our ancestors and being proud of the accomplishments they’ve made, and wearing African-inspired garbs. No-one’s walking around naked. But for some reason, in the LGBTQ community, that’s our moment to be free and the most naked we can be. I’m with it, because I’m an adult, but there’s kids watching."
"I can no longer bring my kids who are 21 and 17 because I don’t want them to think that this is what represents the community. I get embarrassed."
Brown believes those images feed into the stereotype that gay people are "sexual deviants."
"I can only equate it to the African American community where we’d be putting out images ourselves of violent crime movies. It doesn’t mean that crime doesn’t happen in every community, but that’s perpetuating a stereotype that’s already there. To a degree, we have images that show gay men, lesbians and trans people in a positive light, but I think the Pride celebration is something we could work on. Especially if we’re talking about it in the context of youth, who are like, 'Oh this is what it’s like to be part of the community.' It’s not boo-boo. This is one day that you’re letting your hair down. What it means to be part of this community is so much bigger, brighter, better and beautiful."