I’m gonna be completely honest, I already knew that I would gravitate toward Karamo Brown when filming my Queer Eye episode.
I just knew we’d be tight. And we built our bond throughout the week of filming. We’re two Black men coming from different areas but both have experience seeking acceptance. Karamo wasn’t hesitant to express himself, but he did it in a calm and comforting way. We connected over topics like being a father, being open-minded, and facing adversity.
As Karamo shared his personal story and background, he told me that he knew where I was coming from in my journey to acceptance. He actively looked for ways to find things that we had in common. Karamo said he came from the same Black community I came from. And he shared his struggles to find acceptance as a Black gay man in that community. Karamo’s honesty was powerful.
One of the things that I liked most about Karamo was that he kept everything real. I mean, he shared his experience willingly and openly. And I appreciated that. There was no shell that you had to crack with him. Our easy interaction made me feel comfortable and more confident about opening up myself.
My day with Karamo began with a long car ride around KC. We got deep into conversation about life. Then the conversation took a drastic turn. We started talking about the day I got shot. Since Netflix kept the Maurice meeting a secret, I didn’t truly know where we were going. But I could read between the lines that it was something big. And I just knew it would be something I hadn’t done before.
When Karamo and I entered the café where we met Maurice, I was nervous and overwhelmed. But I felt more and more of these positive vibes as the night went on. I think a lot of that was Karamo. He didn’t talk much, but with his background in counseling, he was a great mediator. Karamo truly guided my conversation with Maurice. We talked about accountability and even reconciliation. And that day, Karamo empowered me to be FREE.
I don’t think I would have been able to face my demons if Karamo hadn’t made me feel like talking about my life and my struggles was so easy. Yeah, there were times when the conversations were tough. But I knew Karamo had my back. When looking back at what happened, it was even more incredible than it originally felt. I mean, Maurice and I were two Black men being vulnerable and gettin’ real with each other while being guided in conversation by a talented, insightful gay Black man. Talk about impact!
Karamo, You’re my guy. All these things from our time together empowered me to truly accept myself at a level I never have before. I owned up to my responsibility from the day I was shot, and I rejected an apology from the person who changed my life forever. And having that awareness and empowerment would not have been possible without your help. You were so open, and that gave me the ability to be open in a way I hadn’t been before. And now I plan to pay it forward. Thank you.
Images courtesy of Netflix
Edited by Writing Help KC