We became acquainted with Carson Kressley in 2003 on Bravo Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. With bursting personality and colorful disposition, Carson showed us a world of fashion and design, typically leveraging, well, boring straight guys with no sense of fashion or design — our favorite kind! As one of the first emerging gay television stars, Carson was a vehicle for bringing normality to the LGBT community.
Now, 15 years later, with a host of successes under his designer belt, he’s still bringing those from the margins into the fold of an accepting society. We have a lot to thank Carson Kressley for, a natural advocate for others, and here’s a glimpse into what’s happening with Carson now.
Carson Kressley and RuPaul and Michelle
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 3 is in full swing, how are you feeling about the show?
Carson Kressley: Doing Drag Race is so fun for me, and every time I go I get to wear a cute outfit, meet with Ru and Michelle, and amazing guest judges. I get to see incredible drag, I’m just like, “Someone pinch me and also don’t tell the network I’m having this much fun because they might stop paying me,” just because it’s a dream job and I love it.
You and RuPaul are two incredible symbols in the LGBT community; can you give us a glimpse into what working together is like?
CK: I’m so thrilled to be a part of the show; I’ve been so lucky to be a part of two iconic LGBT shows that have gone mainstream — Queer Eye and Drag Race. Ru and I have a similar sensibility. We’ve both been around long enough that we’re really grateful for these opportunities. We have a great time; it’s about working hard and having fun.
Carson Kressley and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
Your presence in entertainment and your fashion sense is inspiring and engaging. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy introduced us to Carson Kressley. Have you gotten a chance to see the new Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?
CK: I have! It’s the same production team who produced our show, even though it moved from Bravo! to Netflix, they’ve still been in contact with us and they reached out when they were doing the reboot.
We met some of the guys and did some prep stuff with them. About two weeks ago we all went to L.A. for the official kick-off party. We’ve been somewhat involved and I’ve gotten to see a couple of the episodes. I think the guys are doing a great job carrying on the legacy of being kind and funny, delivering heartwarming television. I think all of the former fab five wish them the best of luck with it.
You set an example for bringing those in the LGBT community in from margins, what can you say about our growth as a gay community in 2018?
CK: I do think that we have a long way to go. Gay people are on television and we’ve made great strides with gay marriage. But there are still places where homophobia is rampant. People don’t think that we deserve equal rights, and don’t think that we should be able to have kids or get married. We always have to be aware and not complacent, we have to be out there and be visible. I think that’s the most important thing.
Carson Kressley and Kristine W at Joe’s Pub in NYC and Rrazz Room in New Hope
We’re excited about your upcoming performance with Kristine W! What can you tell us about the show?
CK: Kristine and I have been friends for a long time, and we’ve always wanted to work together. Finally we just said, “Hey, we should do a night of comedy and classics.”
With today’s political climate you see incredible voices coming out of the next generation. Advocates and lobbyists are emerging from high schools. What do you suspect to come out of this next generation?
CK: There’s the old attitude that says, “Oh, kids today,” and it’s usually one in the same, but I’m so hopeful for the future generation. I think hearing these young voices, whether they’re reacting to gun violence or other tragedies and inequalities in our world, or responding to our current political climate, it’s really hopeful.
There are 13 year olds running for the governor of Vermont. These kids are enlightened and they’re energized and they’re passionate. I feel really good about our future because change generally comes from the youth.