“Who would’ve thought a bunch of gays would come to Gay, Georgia and build a community center for a church?” The producers of Queer Eye, silly! For the second season premiere of the feel-good Netflix hit, the Fab 5 meets their first female subject, a church-going Southern mom named Tammye. (“We’re doin’ a lady!” announces Bobby. “I haven’t done a lady in years,” Antoni replies.)
Of course, no episode of Queer Eye is ever just about the makeover. While the boys work to take Tammye from “hot mess to Sunday best” and help renovate her church’s new community center, they also experience a deep emotional catharsis of their own.
In a tearful conversation, Bobby, who was rejected by his church after coming out as gay, tells Tammye that he couldn’t bring himself to step foot inside her house of worship. When she grabbed his hand in response and whispered, “You’re God’s son,” I had to pause everything and catch my breath. Antoni, meanwhile, weeps after hearing Tammye’s story of coming to terms with her own son’s homosexuality, and ultimately asking for his forgiveness. “She thought her faith told her to judge somebody who was gay,” he says, tears streaming down his face. “But she chose to see past that.”
In truth, the one working the real magic this episode is Tammye herself. Like a modern-day Dorothy saying goodbye to her new friends in Oz, she addresses each of the Fab 5 at the community-center reveal, letting them know, one by one, how very special they are. To Tan: “You add beauty to the world.” To Jonathan: “Your spirit is so, so pure.” Oh Lord… can we take a break? Antoni and I need a minute.
God above “knew you guys would wind up together,” Tammye tells Antoni, Tan, Bobby, Karamo, and Jonathan. “Even before you were formed in your mother’s womb.” Whatever your religious beliefs (or lack thereof), by the end of this episode, you’ll be yelling “Amen!” through your tears. B+
Queer Eye season 2 premieres Friday, June 15 on Netflix.