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Episode 35 of 133

Bobby Berk 😘

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Life is Short with Justin Long
Duration: 01:32:31
Bobby Berk (Queer Eye) talks to Justin about how rewarding it is to change people’s lives in such an impactful way on his show. Justin and Bobby end the interview with an impromptu song.
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Bobby Berk (Queer Eye) talks to Justin about how rewarding it is to change people’s lives in such an impactful way on his show. Justin and Bobby end the interview with an impromptu song.
Snippet Transcripts
No, I'm I'm I'm married. My husband's Vietnamese. 16 years E. I mean, it took years for me to get him to open up. Its is culturally very different. Especially from somebody like I grew up in Midwest in the South. Like take nothing for us to open up, you know, yelling scream. And then, you know, five minutes later, we're good. Yeah, well, yeah, but as a gay man, it must have been very hard to come to come out. And, yeah, I left home at 15. You know, I didn't come out. I left because I knew that coming out my hometown wasn't an option. I mean, it was just too dangerous. Literally. Yeah. I mean, there's one kid that came out and some guys were running off the road. One I tried to kill him, so just it wasn't an option. But I also I also knew that it wasn't an option to stay there in the closet because I probably would have just ended it. Yeah, moving away from home at 50. You were raised in a very Christian, very religious family. Very religious, religious town. Why are they still, um, they still live in that town, but they're definitely I mean, I've I've changed their views. Uh huh, I'm sure. Well, when someone they love, yeah, when they you know, when you one actually knows a real life person, you know, like that's one of the reasons why being on the show is so important Because visibility, like people seeing us as real people and not just this caricature that they think of in their mind. Absolutely no. And so, being around me, seeing me like hearing a difference of opinion because when you when you live in those places in America, like the only opinions, you hear our opinions exactly like your own, like everybody just has the same opinion. No one echo China like in Japan, you know, it's everyone is the same. You only you know, it's actually very comparative to compare, like Middle America, culture to the culture in Japan, where everything you you're just supposed to be the same. There's a lot of people that are different, like me, like Jonathan were the ones that are tormented because we're different eso with my parents, you know, like my dad. Recently, it was like, Oh, you know, he's like almost 80 year old cowboy. He's like, you know, where's do do he calls my husband and my husband's name is Do we call them Do Dio, where Studio can't figure out if that's affectionate Petroleo. And so he was like, Oh, where is he? Because I was. I remember where I was. I wasn't home, though. He's like, Is he with you? I'm like, No, no, no, he's e think he was working in New York and he's like, Oh, well, you know, I just I really like him. You've got You've got a good one. He's like, make sure that he comes home with you when you come home in December. And I mean, if you were around 20 years ago, I would have, Yeah, imagine that coming out of dad's mouth right. And now you're able to have that effect not only on your immediate family. You're on strangers across the world and you know we get those stories all the time. I I got a had a pastor slide into my diem's and number. Alright, first on the show. Anyway, Right now, Andi, he had said that he had always been taught growing up that being gay was an abomination. It was bad. You were going to hell and gave were horrible people. And in turn, he had taught that in his church. And he's like, after watching your particular story talked about how every single day you were in the church, you were a leader in the church. You, you know, lead, praise and worship. You were at Bible study and prayer meeting every single morning before school. And, like, I would literally cry and bawl every day for God not to make me gay. He's like to hear that you begged for gotten to make you straight and yeah, you still aren't. He's like, for the first time made me realize that being gay is not a choice, that it is natural that you were born that way. And he's like, I will never teach that hate in my church again. Uh, we've got You're doing it, you're doing it again. But this is the stories like that over and over. There is a podcast from Netflix called because I watched on one of the episodes is me reading the story of ah, young woman from Venezuela. She was so close to her father she was definitely a daddy's girl. She wasn't really close to her mother, and all of a sudden she was thrown into having to try to be close with her mother because her father passed. Um, she tells a story about wow when she was a young teen, she went to a e. Think it was, uh, I think it was a quinceanera. Onda there was this boy there who had on, like, pink shoes and a matching pink bow tie was dancing with all the girls. And, you know, as an adult, I'm reading the story and I'm like, Oh, he was gay But you know, as like a 13 year old girl, she didn't think of that. She just I forget his name, But let's see Ricardo. She's like, I just thought of Ricardo was this fabulous guy that I really was like one of the girls and that I loved. And she's like, but my mom, who had always been supportive of any friend I had instantly said, I don't like that boy. He's weird. They had a conversation as a no older woman in life that talking about gays adopting kids, and her mom said, That's weird and she was like, There's that word again And she's like that moment I realized what my mom had meant, you know, a decade ago about Ricardo that Oh, it was she had a problem with him being gay, and that's the only problem she had, she said to her mom, She's like Mom. But with all the homeless issues with Children, don't you think it would be better for kids to be raised by parents loving parents? No matter what sex, sexual orientation they are than to be homeless? And her mom goes, I think it's better than a child be homeless than to be raised by gays. And so years later, queer I came out and one of the few things her mom and her had connected over the years was with reality television. And so she reluctantly told her mom about queer and she's Mom, Mom, it's It's a makeover show. She played down the fact that it was about gay guys on she just like, Oh, Mom, it's a makeover show. You like it and she's like I didn't think my mom would watch it, but she did hmm. And it completely changed their relationship, and she said her mom called her, which her and her mom never spoke on the phone like it was always text, but they never spoke. And so when she saw her mom calling, she's like thought something was wrong. But the first thing she said, it was like I watched Queer Eye and oh, my God, there's so amazing and she's like and through the conversation, she said, It made me realize that gays would be amazing. Parents toe watch how kind they were, especially to people who are going through hard times and heart issues and to see how loving and compassionate they are. It makes me realize that gays should be parents. Gays would make amazing parents. And from watching that she's now has no problem with gay people. She's expected gay people, and it's also now opened up doors for her and her mother to talk about other things, like abortion and a woman's right to choose where before, like that was not especially, You know, Venezuela. It's very Catholic, you know, it's you just like in Japan. You just don't talk about those things. And so it's completely changed her mother and her relationship. It's amazing that This is after years of indoctrinating, being indoctrinated, to think a different way. So I have compassion for her. I you know, because and and for people in my life that were raised similarly, I mean, I I grew up in the middle of the type of environment and very conservative Christian environment. I grew up hating myself because I was taught to hate gay people. So, in fact, if you're gay and you're taught to hate that type of person, you hate yourself. So I can I don't judge or hate the people that feel that way because I know why they do. And just like my parents, they were programmed to feel that way. But then when they were shown a different opinion, they were actually shown truth. They were actually sown gay people in real life. It opens their minds. When they realized that Oh, the way I was thinking was wrong. But I just I didn't think for myself
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