Karamo Brown, renowned as a television personality, author, activist, and cultural expert on Netflix’s hit series Queer Eye, has dedicated himself to helping individuals boost their self-esteem, enhance relationships, and foster personal growth. As one of the few openly gay Black figures in the entertainment industry, he has fervently championed LGBTQ+ rights and representation. Here’s what we’ve discovered from our research:
Embracing Identity and Fatherhood
Born on November 2, 1980, in Houston, Texas, to Jamaican parents, Karamo Brown’s upbringing took place in a conservative Christian environment where homosexuality was viewed as a sin. Despite realizing his own sexual orientation at a young age, he suppressed his feelings, striving to conform to societal norms.
At the age of 16, inspired by Ellen DeGeneres’ public coming out, he courageously announced his own homosexuality. This revelation, while liberating, led to rejection and bullying from family and friends, resulting in him being expelled from his home and experiencing a period of homelessness.
To pursue his dreams of becoming a dancer and actor, he relocated to New York City. During his college years at Florida A&M University, he briefly entered a heterosexual relationship that resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. Remarkably, he didn’t discover he had a son until a decade later when he received a child support subpoena.
This revelation became a turning point in his life, compelling him to confront his drug addiction and accept responsibility for his child. In 2007, he gained full custody of his son Jason and later adopted Jason’s half-brother Christian in 2010. Raising his sons as a single gay father presented its challenges, but it also proved immensely rewarding.
Rising as a Star and Advocate
Karamo Brown’s television career commenced in 2004 when he became the first openly gay Black man to feature on MTV’s The Real World: Philadelphia. His goal was to utilize this platform to educate the public about LGBTQ+ issues and challenge stereotypes. He concurrently worked as a social worker and psychotherapist, assisting youth and families in need.
In 2014, he returned to the entertainment sphere as a host and producer for various programs, including Oprah.com’s #OWNShow and Dr. Drew On Call. His most notable role emerged in 2018 when he joined the cast of Queer Eye as the cultural expert. Working alongside Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk, and Jonathan Van Ness, the show emphasizes diversity and inclusivity while offering makeovers and guidance to individuals from diverse backgrounds.
Karamo Brown derives immense satisfaction from his role on the show, as it enables him to apply his expertise as a social worker and therapist to help people conquer their insecurities and embrace their true selves. He also engages actively in various social causes, including Black Lives Matter, HIV/AIDS awareness, mental health advocacy, and LGBTQ+ rights.
He has delivered speeches at prestigious venues such as the United Nations, the White House, TEDx, and GLAAD. Furthermore, he has penned two books: “Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope” (2019), a memoir chronicling his life journey, and “I Am Perfectly Designed” (2019), a children’s book co-authored with his son Jason.
Finding Love and Happiness
Karamo Brown’s romantic journey led him to Ian Jordan in 2010. Ian, a director and producer known for his work on shows like The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, became Karamo’s best friend and soulmate after they met at a Los Angeles nightclub. In May 2018, Karamo proposed to Ian during a surprise birthday celebration, presenting him with two rings, one adorned with diamonds and the other with sapphires.
While their wedding plans for October 2020 were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, their commitment remains unwavering, and they aspire to have their dream wedding in the future.
Karamo Brown’s life story is a testament to his resilience, authenticity, and commitment to spreading love and kindness in the world. As a television personality, advocate, and devoted father, he continues to inspire others to live confidently and authentically.