Jai Rodriguez, the culture guide from
Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, revealed in a recent
podcast that he remains estranged from his mother.
In 2018, Netflix retooled the reality
makeover show, giving its new cast a mission to dive deeper into the
personal stories of their “heroes.” The new series also allows
the cast to reveal more about their own struggles.
During a recent episode of the
Spectacle: An Unscripted History of Reality TV podcast,
Rodriguez compared the Queer Eye cast from 2003 with today's
“It's a very different vibe,”
said. “You know, there's a lot of pieces of my story that I
fudged when I was on Queer Eye. Like, I had no relationship
with my mother. Basically, I was disconnected because of her
inability to kind of embrace who I am as a queer man. And that never
“But what did I do during Queer
Eye? I was filled with such shame during that era to say this
happened. I didn’t want people digging up her business and her
having a hard time. So we literally made amends for that time. I put
her through hair and makeup and would bring her to an event or two.
We both played our parts.”
“[Bobby Berk] shares very intimately
about his journey with his own mother. I felt so much of that. And
I'm so proud of him for being on [a] streaming platform that is
global. And sharing a very important story about families that have
become disconnected from their children who happen to be LGBTQ+,”
he said, referring to the current show's designer.
Rodriguez added that the stereotype of
a gay man in the 90s was intrinsically linked to AIDS.
“That's where you are going and why
would you do that?” he rhetorically asked.
Rodriguez recently appeared in the HBO
Max limited series Equal.