Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown just met with Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence. The VP has been known for a long history of anti-LGBT stances, so hearing of the meeting may come as a surprise to many.
“I was just at the White House a week ago, and I met with Karen Pence and her chief of staff,” Brown tells Vulture during a video interview. “It was phenomenal to be able to go in there and discuss arts, but also to speak about LGBT issues.”
“The thing is, no matter if someone has personal feelings about my sexuality or how they view me, it’s my job to the community to show up in spaces — and all of our jobs to the community — to show up in spaces where we can say, ‘You know what, I can figure out how to try to work with you, so that we can make sure that other people, we’re helping future generations,'” Brown says.
“While I know Karen Pence supports the arts, my question for her staffers was, ‘Does she support the arts for everyone?’ And hearing ‘yes’ — without any malice or judgment — gave me a glimmer of hope in a time where this country feels so divided,” he tells the Hollywood Reporter. “If we can find common ground in the arts, what else can we find common ground on that would make us grow closer as a country?”
During his interview with Vulture, one of Karamo Brown’s Queer Eye castmates wasn’t having it, interrupting Brown’s story to make fun of the Pences and the meeting.
“They’re our biggest fans,” Jonathan Van Ness sarcastically interjected. “They watch it every night. Her and Dad like to watch it every night in their modesty outfits. And they watch it completely separate because it is improper to look at each other face-to-face while you’re watching gay men.”
Van Ness explains his intense reactions to Brown’s story: “There’s something about the Pences, honey. I just freak out. I do.” To Brown, he says, “She doesn’t like you, gurl. She don’t like us!”