In a recent interview with UK LGBT
glossy Attitude, Bobby Berk, Queer Eye's design guy,
said that the show's church makeover episode opened up old wounds
from his childhood.
At 15, Berk became homeless after
running away from the conservative Christian home he grew up in.
“The only time I'd heard about gay
was in church, and that was that those people have horns,” Berk
said. “They're the devil. They're an abomination.”
“I couldn't come out, but I couldn't
not come out,” he said. “It was bad. Bad enough I had to leave.
There wasn't one person in the world who knew who I was.”
In the show's second season, the Fab
Five met Tammye, a devout Christian who wants them to complete her
church's community center rather than redoing her own house. The
cancer survivor also has a gay son who had recently moved back to
small-town Gay, Georgia, population 89.
“In my first meeting with the
producers, I said, 'Never ask me to talk about religion. Never ask me
to go into a church,'” Berk
to premiere Queer Eye season five next month.)
Berk said that he threatened to walk
when he learned about the episode.
“The Mama Tammye episode was kind of
an accident. She wasn't supposed to be the hero originally. It was so
hard for me to do that episode. They told me it was a 'community
center.' They fucking knew I wouldn't do a church!”
“It emotionally killed me. It opened
up so many wounds [that] I couldn't even acknowledge were there,”
Berk said. “I'd buried them so deep, that to let them out meant I
wouldn't be able to put myself back together.”
Berk said that he agreed to do the
episode for “the kids who are still being taught self-hate.”
Berk added that he had reconciled with
his family “years ago.”
“They just needed some time to figure
out what they believed without the church,” he said.