Karamo Brown has had quite the career trajectory from his days on Real World Philadelphia. He has served as the inspirational hype man on the Queer Eye revival on Netflix and also appeared on Dancing with the Stars – and GLAAD has been on this journey with him. Now, Brown is using his people skills and charisma on his new talk show Karamo.
It only makes sense that Brown become a talk show considering he has guest hosted Maury multiple times. Since the Maury ended Karamo has filled that void that the show has left behind. They may share similarities, but Karamo sets itself apart as it addresses a wide range of topics including infidelity, race, parenting, and complex family dynamics.
“I was so thankful that they allowed me to guest host Maury, which is what led me to getting my own show,” Brown told Anthony Allen Ramos. He points out that the shows are different, but the commonality is that they talk to real people.
He continued, “My guests come on and we have real conversations and it doesn’t matter if they might get heated. I don’t allow anybody to scream on my show and no one’s running off.” He said points out there are some time when you are talking to someone and you get so aggravated that you can’t help but be heated in the moment – but Brown said it doesn’t make you a bad person.
“It means that your vulnerability is showing your pain, and luckily I’m there and able to help them through that and give them real tools to move on,” Brown explained. “It’s been working out so well… I’m just blown away that people are resonating with the fact that I really want to help them and that’s my only intention.”
“Queen of Bounce” Big Freedia was a guest on the show and they talked about gender identity and Brown told Ramos that LGBT stories and representation has always been on the forefront of his mind.
“I think about about ‘90s talk shows… like LGBT stories were always salacious,” he said. He reflects on the episode with Big Freedia and how there was a trans man as a guest and their partner, who identified as gay, would not accept them for transitioning.
“For somebody else on daytime TV that would be like, ‘whoa what?!’”and for me it’s like, no, this is a real story where this person is experiencing internalized, homophobia and they can’t accept a member of the community because they can’t accept themselves and that’s why they’re having a problem,” he said. “I was able to identify that quickly and help them through it.”
These types of stories and awareness of the queer community and feed into Spirit Day on October 20, the biggest anti-LGBTQ youth bullying day of the year. For Brown, it’s important to shine light on bullying in the LGBTQ community and he has used his platform and own experiences to help bolster anti-bullying.
“We all experienced people who want to tell us that who we are authentically is not enough, and I think sometimes we think it’s just about kids, but we forget that as adults, we receive the same bullying; you receive microaggressions,” he said. “We’re put into stereotypes that can be hurtful, painful — that can be detrimental and what I love about [Spirit Day] is it reminds us that we all deserve love and respect and that we have to be advocates and allies — true allies to speak up to educate ourselves for those who are experiencing bullying.
Brown said he will be donning purple on his show for Spirit Day and he wants to make sure that his audience is aware that this day is important. He added, “It let’s you know so many members of the LGBT community know that they are enough and they don’t deserve to ever be treated any differently than anyone else.”
Karamo competed on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2019 and says he is loving seeing Shangela compete on the series this year, making this the first time two men are dancing together on the US version.”I’m just so amazed by Shangela…I am literally using every vote every week for Shangela, and I keep encouraging people, to vote, vote, vote because I think people underestimate what Shangela is doing sometimes, like people underestimate that Dancing with the Stars is middle America that may not ever be exposed to the beauty and creativity of A Shangela,” he said.
Karamo will widen the reach of Brown’s audience and, in turn, it will allow many people to see others from all different walks of life, including the LGBT community for the very first time. Brown hopes that it encourages people to continue to grown and learn. On top of that, he, along with his fellow Queer Eye cohorts are working their magic in New Orleans for the upcoming season. Brown is also excited to release his children’s book “I Am Okay To Feel”, which he wrote with his son Jason “Rachel” Brown. The book is set to be released on November 8 and it is a super important project for Brown.
“It’s great because my son identifies as pansexual and so the fact that we are two black members of the LGBT community writing a book telling parents that it’s okay to talk to their kids about how they’re feeling — I’m thankful that someone has given me the opportunity to do this and I’m hoping that it opens a door for more of these stories and more people to tell their authentic stories,” he said. “I’m just proud of Jason for writing it; proud of us for working together as a father and son; and I’m proud that people are gonna get tools to really know how to teach their kids [and] to let them know it’s okay to feel…It’s okay to express your feelings because that vulnerability is where you’re through true authenticity and light shines.”