“Queer Eye” hero, producers speak at Student Union viewing party

The impact of the “Queer Eye” episode ‘Sky’s the Limit’ is all the more realized when watched with a crowd.

Roars of laughter erupted in the Student Union theater when Jonathan Van Ness let out one of his signature quips, and the room fell into silence when the episode’s hero, Skyler Jay, shared some of the struggles he faced during his transition from female to male.

The episode burst from the screen and onto the stage when Skyler himself walked into the Student Union theater Monday.

The Kansas City Center for Inclusion and UMKC Pride Alliance teamed up to bring Skyler, as well as “Queer Eye” producers Rachelle Mendez and Jennifer Lane, to campus on Sept. 24.

The event was held to celebrate the show filming it’s third season in Kansas City, as well as to discuss the importance of LGBT+ visibility.

“I think ‘Queer Eye’ coming to Kansas City is a huge step,” said UMKC Pride Alliance President Dakota Allen. “They are putting themselves in an area that really needs this kind of outreach and is right there on the cusp of inclusion, but not quite there yet. This is going to bring a wave of support, and Kansas City can be that launching pad for support across all the small communities around here and then across the Midwest.”

The need for awareness was also discussed by the guests, who said one of the show’s goals of is to reveal aspects of life people don’t normally think about, such as the gender on a license plate or familial support, and how those often overlooked details pose challenges for members of the LGBT community.

“We still got a lot of work to do, people,” said Lane.

During the Q&A that took place after the show, many audience members asked questions about what goes on behind the scenes.

For the producers, each episode must be tailored to the hero, with whom the show’s five stars form strong bonds both an and off camera.

Jay confessed to the audience that many scenes were cut from his episode, including Antoni treating him to some sushi and the Fab Five trying on the binders Skyler wore during his transition.

“We spend so much time with these guys,” Jay said. “There’s so much that y’all don’t get to see.”

The third season of Queer Eye will premiere on Netflix in 2019.

 

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