Bobby Berk. (Rich Fury/Getty)
Queer Eye star Bobby Berk has revealed the moving reason he agreed to transform a church volunteer in Georgia, US, as part of the Netflix show’s season two premiere.
Since bookmarked by viewers as a fan favourite, the episode saw Berk and the Fab Five drive up to rural Georgia in their black Escalade to help churchgoer Tammye Hicks.
But Berk candidly told Attitude for the publication’s July issue that he “threatened to walk” from being involved in the episode after finding out it would involve a place of worship, being that he was raised in rusty Bible-belt Missouri.
Queer Eye‘s design expert ‘threatened to walk’ after being asked to makeover church volunteer.
Berk slept in his car as a teenager after leaving his confining, hostile Christian home, and as filming began for season two of Queer Eye, for Berk, his religious background seemed far removed from his life today.
But in 2018, he grated with producers after being asked to give a makeover to a church leader.
He said: “In my first meeting with the producers, I said: ‘Never ask me to talk about religion. Never ask me to go into a church’.
“The Mama Tammye episode was kind of an accident. She wasn’t supposed to be the hero originally.
“It was so hard for me to do that episode. They told me it was a ‘community centre’. They f**king knew I wouldn’t do a church!
“I threatened to walk. I refused.”
“It emotionally killed me. It opened up so many wounds [that] I couldn’t even acknowledge were there.
“I’d buried them so deep, that to let them out meant I wouldn’t be able to put myself back together.”
Bobby continued: “The producer called me and said: ‘Don’t do it for the church, do it for all the little Bobbys who are still sitting in those churches.
“‘Do it for them in the hope that the church won’t do to them what it did to you’.
“And so I said I’d do it for the kids who are still being taught self-hate.”
Bobby Berk: ‘The only time I’d heard about [being] gay was in church, and that was that those people have horns.’
Berk also recalled his experience as a gay man growing up in a conservative, evangelical household.
He recounted: “The only time I’d heard about [being] gay was in church, and that was that those people have horns.
“They’re the devil. They’re an abomination
“I couldn’t come out, but I couldn’t not come out. I was at a point where I was thinking about life or not life.
“If I had to wear that mask for one more day, I didn’t know how much longer I could hold on.
He continued: “It was bad. Bad enough I had to leave. There wasn’t one person in the world who knew who I was.”