"This is who I am. Like it or lump it."
Tan France told Insider that he “never” felt he had the space to be himself before becoming a co-host and the fashion expert on Netflix’s hit reality series Queer Eye.
Tan, who was raised by Pakistani Muslim immigrant parents, said that he feels like England is behind when it comes to representing people with his identities, including queer people.
When he moved to the US almost 15 years ago, he started to see how “massively behind” his home country was with representation.
But it wasn’t until he landed his first Netflix hosting gig that he began to embrace his queerness in a way he never had before.
Speaking about working with his co-hosts Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Antoni Porowski, Tan said:
“We get to be our queer selves, unabashedly. I’ve never felt like I’ve had a space like that before where I can be 100% comfortable to say: This is who I am. Like it or lump it.”
Although Queer Eye has given Tan a surge of confidence related to his queer identity, he’s never lacked the assertiveness needed to reject any stereotypes he might encounter as a Desi entertainer in Hollywood.
He said: “If anybody ever asked if I would play a terrorist, a taxicab driver, or a grocery store owner, the answer is, ‘Go f*** yourself’
“I would like to believe I’m very, very kind, but if you insult me, I will be the first one to tell you: ‘Go f*** yourself.'”
Though Queer Eye has given Tan permission to be his full self and opened new doors for him, he is worried about the future of LGBTQ rights in the US.
While discussing pending anti-trans legislation and ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bills, Tan said: “I don’t understand how we got here.
“It does worry me seeing just how hard people are fighting to take rights away from people when they’re just minding their own business.
“They’re just trying to live their lives. They’re not doing anything to anyone. It is wildly frustrating.”
In his role as an entertainer and host, Tan will continue to be unapologetically himself and lead by example for the queer community:
“I don’t understand a filter, or I don’t care about a filter.”
“I don’t do small talk. But I like to balance it out by truly caring about people and truly wanting to discover who they are and why they behave the way they behave.”
Tan France will soon be seen in Next In Fashion as a co-host alongside Gigi Hadid. He was last seen in the Selling Sunset reunion episode in May 2022.