The final season of 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' ran in 2007.
Everett Collection

An instant ratings success and critical hit upon its premiere on Bravo in 2003, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy shaped representation for gay men on reality TV at a shaky time for LGBTQ rights, and in an era of rampant casual homophobia. Ted Allen, Carson Kressley, Jai Rodriguez, Thom Filicia, and Kyan Douglas, five incredibly likeable and charismatic gay men, brought their expertise in fashion, culture, food, and more to give makeovers to heterosexual American dudes. For its time, the show felt radical. Straight guys learned the value of self-care and, more importantly, the richness of hanging out with people they might not otherwise get to know. Though later seasons declined slightly in ratings, and the show faced criticism for perpetuating gay stereotypes and offering a narrow view of gay life by centering privileged white men, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s central tenet—that every person deserves to access their most fabulous self—carries on. A Netflix reboot, launched in 2018, revived the brand, with a more diverse crew helping all types of people, not just straight guys, find themselves. —Mahita Gajanan


More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at

The Apprentice
Jersey Shore
The Bachelorette
The Masked Singer
Selling Sunset
5 stories