Karamo Brown

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Karamo Brown
Karamo Brown in 2019.jpg
Brown in 2019
Born (1980-11-02) November 2, 1980 (age 40)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Alma materFlorida A&M University
OccupationTV personality, activist
Partner(s)Ian Jordan (2010–2020)
Chris Salvatore (2021–present)

Karamo Brown (born November 2, 1980)[1] is an American television host, reality television personality, author, actor, and activist.[2] Brown began his career in 2004 on the MTV reality show The Real World: Philadelphia becoming the first openly gay black man cast on a reality show.[3] He currently stars as the culture expert in the Netflix series Queer Eye.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Brown was born in Houston, Texas and has three older sisters.[5] He is of Jamaican and Cuban descent. He came out as gay at age 16.[6] Brown grew up in Coral Springs, Florida and graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in 1999.[7][8] Following the shooting at the school in 2018, Brown became an active member of the Never Again MSD movement started by the students, advocating for new gun control legislation. He graduated from Florida A&M University, a historically black university, and worked as a social worker for nearly a decade after The Real World.[9]

In 2007, Brown was notified that he was the father of a ten-year-old boy, Jason, receiving custody of him that year. Brown adopted Jason's half-brother Chris in 2010. Brown moved to Los Angeles with his two sons in 2011 where they currently reside.[10] In May 2018, Brown became engaged to his partner of eight years, director Ian Jordan.[11] They split amicably around June 2020.[12] On February 14, 2021, Brown confirmed that he was dating actor Chris Salvatore.[13][14]


Brown on MTV International in 2019.

Karamo appeared as a contestant on a 2003 episode of The 5th Wheel, a heterosexual reality dating game show. He and another male contestant went on a joint date with three female contestants, with Karamo giving no indication that he is gay even though he came out when he was 16. Karamo was most known for his television debut on the MTV reality series The Real World: Philadelphia in 2004, becoming the first out gay black man on reality TV.[3] He later competed in the Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno II, where he was eliminated in episode six. Brown made a return to reality television on TV One's The Next 15 in 2016, which followed him and five other reality stars.[15] Brown was a contributing host on HLN's Dr. Drew On Call, YouTube's The Young Turks,[10] served as host and producer of HuffPost Live for Huffington Post and as a recurring guest host of Access Hollywood Live. In 2014, Brown became a host and segment producer for the Own Show.[16]

Brown hosted MTV's Are You The One: Second Chances.[17] Brown is the culture expert in the Netflix revival of Queer Eye. The first season was released on Netflix in February 2018.[4]

Brown published a memoir in March 2019 titled Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope.[18] In June 2019, Brown appeared in Taylor Swift's "You Need to Calm Down" music video.[19]

In 2019 Brown competed on the 28th season of celebrity dance competition Dancing with the Stars. He was paired with professional dancer Jenna Johnson. Brown and Johnson were the fourth couple eliminated. Another competitor on the show was former Trump White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who was seen as a divisive and controversial choice.[20] Brown publicly came to "defend" him "calling him 'a good guy' and 'a friend.' He even said that he 'was proud of him.' " Brown was criticized by many, including author Roxane Gay for normalizing Spicer and his work in the White House.[21] Brown said he did not appreciate Spicer serving as a mouthpiece for many lies in service of Trump.[22] His trailer at DWTS shared a wall with him; Brown strategically had transgender friends over, and invited Spicer to socialize.[22] Later he would tell Spicer how the actions and policies against LGBTQ rights affect those people.[22] Brown explained he felt he could connect with Spicer as “he has the capacity to find out where others are coming from and to help them become more open-minded and educated."[23][24]

Starting in 2018, Brown shared some of his best advice about promoting self-esteem to students at multiple universities.[25][26][27][28]

In November 2019, Brown's children's book, I Am Perfectly Designed, written with Jason "Rachel" Brown and illustrated by Anoosha Syed, was published by Henry Holt.[29] Jason said that the title of the book stemmed from Brown always saying it to Jason growing up.[30]

In 2020, Karamo Brown teamed up with Honest Company alumni to create MANTL, a premium personal care brand for bald and or balding men.[31]

In 2020, Brown was named to the Ebony Power 100 List.[32]


In 2014, Brown partnered with the pharmaceutical company Janssen as part of the Positively Fearless campaign to empower the gay and bisexual community.[33]

In 2015, Brown co-founded 6in10.org, an organization that works to combat HIV stigma and provides mental health support and HIV education to the black LGBT community.[17] Karamo volunteers as a youth counselor at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.[10] Brown has also partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Black Justice Coalition as their health and wellness ambassador.[15] It was primarily focused on the Black LGBTQ community due to the fact that Brown felt as if that community specifically got overlooked most of the time. Their mission was to eradicate the 6 in10 HIV statistic plaguing black gay and bisexual black men by providing tailored mental health support.[34]

He was invited by the Obama Administration to work with the White House to create policies and legislations that helped with supporting the aspiring LGBTQ youth and their community along with their allies after school hours. He worked directly with President Barack Obama to support the president Obama Foundation and the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.[35]

In April 2018, he joined Creative Coalition members in traveling to Capitol Hill to petition legislators and the office of Second Lady Karen Pence for increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.[36] He is also a national co-chair for Health Care Voter.[37] Brown's activism does not remain local, he travels around the country to speak and host focus groups with HIV organizations, churches, and schools to address the issues the LGBTQ is facing.[38]

Awards and honors[edit]


Television and web[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2003 The 5th Wheel Himself 1 episode
2004-2005 The Real World: Philadelphia Himself 26 episodes
2005 Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno II Himself 6 episodes
2007 The DL Chronicles Agent #1 Episode: "Robert"
2012-2013 Bethenny Himself – Panelist/Correspondent 4 episodes
2013-2014 Where the Bears Are! Ronnie Bishop/Reporter 7 episodes
2014-2016 Dr. Drew on Call Himself – Host/Correspondent/Panelist 54 episodes
2015 Huffpost Live Himself – Host 8 episodes
2015 Steam Room Stories Karamo 4 episodes
2015 Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood Himself Episode: "Out in Hip Hop"
2016 Access Hollywood Live Himself - Host 7 episodes
2016 The Next :15 Himself 7 episodes
2017 Are You the One: Second Chances Himself - Host 10 episodes
2018 The Real Princess Diaries: From Diana to Meghan Himself TV Movie documentary
2018–present Queer Eye Himself 47 episodes
2018 Nailed It! Himself Episode: "Bonus: 3, 2, 1, Ya Not Done!!"
2018 GMA Digital "Take it from Karamo Brown: Own who you are" Himself
2018 ELLE "Queer Eye's Karamo Brown Insta-Stalks the Fab Five" Himself
2019 Lip Sync Battle Himself Season 5, Episode 1
2019 Dancing with the Stars Himself Season 28 contestant
2019 The Daily Show With Trevor Noah "The Popularity of Queer Eye & Embracing Growth in Karamo" Himself
2019 MTV "Karamo Brown Reacts to The Real World: Philadelphia" Himself
2019 Yahoo Lifestyle "It was love at first sight for Queer Eye star Karamo Brown" Himself
2019 Good Morning America "Karamo Brown motivates and inspires with his new memoir" Himself
2019 Broadly "Queer Eye's Karamo Brown Gives Sex Advice: Broadly Hotline" Himself
2019 Big Mouth Himself (voice) Season 3
2019 The Wendy Williams Show[41] Himself "Karamo on Fatherhood"
2020 Miss Americana Himself Himself
2020 The Thing About Harry Paul Freeform Movie
2020 Raven's Home Miguel Harris "Slammed"
2020 Selling Sunset Himself "Himself"
2021 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Himself 2 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2001 The Princess Diaries School Drummer Film
2014 Lean Karamo Short film
2018 Visible: The LGBTQ Caribbean Diaspora Himself


  1. ^ Chase's Calendar of Events 2020: The Ultimate Go-to Guide for Special Days, Weeks and Months. Lanham, MA: Rowman and Littlefield. 2019. p. 541. ISBN 9781641433167.
  2. ^ "Curtis Brown". www.curtisbrown.co.uk. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Anderson-Minshall, Jacob (July 24, 2017). "How Did Karamo Brown find his way back to Hollywood?". Plus. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Hall, Gerrad (December 8, 2017). "Meet the new Queer Eye Fab 5 in this first look". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  5. ^ Martens, Joel (October 13, 2014). "Karamo Brown- OWNing your life". Rage Monthly. Archived from the original on July 28, 2018. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  6. ^ "To Gay or Not Too Gay". Queer Eye. Season 1. Episode 4. February 7, 2018. Netflix.
  7. ^ Epstein, Rachel (April 3, 2018). "Karamo Brown Is More Than Just a Culture Expert". Marie Claire. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Wright, John (April 2, 2018). "Houston Native, Marjory Stoneman Grad and 'Queer Eye' Star Karamo Brown Headlines HRC Gala". OutSmart.
  9. ^ Pardee, Lauren. "'Queer Eye' Star Karamo Brown Opens Up About Discovering He Had a 10-Year-Old Son".
  10. ^ a b c Reynolds, Daniel (January 29, 2015). "A Gay Real World Star's Unexpected Journey to Fatherhood". The Advocate. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  11. ^ Falcone, Dana Rose (May 9, 2018). "Queer Eye's Karamo Brown Is Engaged to Director Ian Jordan". People. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  12. ^ The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Season 17, Episode 199, 9/25-2020. Karamo interview by Stephen “Twitch” Boss
  13. ^ https://www.instagram.com/p/CLSQ8ein8GE/
  14. ^ https://www.instagram.com/p/CLSmV9dlLIa/
  15. ^ a b Smith, Rob (February 10, 2016). "'The Next 15' Star Karamo Brown Talks Being A Gay Dad, Reality TV Drama, and 'Crazy-Ass' New York". Queerty. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  16. ^ Pardee, Lauren (2018). "'Queer Eye' Star Karamo Brown Opens Up About Discovering He Had a 10-Year-Old Son". Parents. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Scott, Sydney (March 30, 2017). "Karamo Brown Has Come A Long Way Since 'The Real World' And There's More Up His Sleeve". Essence. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  18. ^ "Karamo Brown On 'Queer Eye' & 'Embracing Purpose'". NPR.org. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  19. ^ TaylorSwiftVEVO (June 17, 2019), Taylor Swift - You Need To Calm Down, retrieved June 17, 2019
  20. ^ Hanrahan, Laura (January 9, 2020). "ABC President Says She Stands By Controversial Decision to Cast Season Spicer In 'DWTS'". Woman's Day. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  21. ^ Mosbergen, Dominique (August 22, 2019). "'Queer Eye' Star Karamo Brown Offers Surprise Defense Of 'Sweet Guy' Sean Spicer". HuffPost. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  22. ^ a b c McBee, Thomas Page. "Karamo From Queer Eye Was "Cancelled" After Calling Sean Spicer a Friend, But He Said He Had a Good Reason". Teen Vogue. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
  23. ^ Miller, Zoe Luderman (February 28, 2020). "Facing the deeper side of ourselves: Star of Queer Eye Karamo Brown speaks at UW". The Daily. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  24. ^ Tran, Amberly (January 26, 2020). "Karamo Brown returns to Tallahassee to celebrate MLK day". FSU News. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  25. ^ "Queer Eye's Karamo Brown Gives John Jay Students His Best Life Advice." John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 27 June 2019, www.jjay.cuny.edu/news/queer-eye’s-karamo-brown-gives-john-jay-students-his-best-life-advice
  26. ^ 'We are all perfectly designed': Karamo Brown's advice for Duke students - The Chronicle
  27. ^ http://www.dailyuw.com/arts_and_leisure/article_aec3a8b0-5a5c-11ea-9850-e741eb0b8c7b.html.
  28. ^ The Northerner | Karamo Brown wows SU crowd with message of love, self-esteem
  29. ^ "I Am Perfectly Designed: Book review". Publishers Weekly. August 15, 2019. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  30. ^ TheAdvocateMag. "Karamo Felt 'Betrayed' By His Son's Coming Out - And Then He Evolved." ADVOCATE, 24 Sept. 2019, www.advocate.com/exclusives/2019/9/24/karamo-felt-betrayed-his-sons-coming-out-and-then-he-evolved.
  31. ^ "Karamo Brown And Honest Company Alumni Launch MANTL, A Personal Care Brand For Bald Men." AP NEWS, Associated Press, 6 Feb. 2020, apnews.com/231607f7cc9fd29e26ff50d8e5d9e346.
  32. ^ #teamEBONY (February 26, 2020). "2020 EBONY POWER 100 LIST". EBONY. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  33. ^ Walden, Tiffany (September 14, 2016). "Positively Fearless: Fighting HIV stigma". The Miami Times. ProQuest 1825375380.
  34. ^ https://aumag.org/2018/02/01/karamo-brown-cover-story/
  35. ^ Karamo Brown - ICM Speakers
  36. ^ Adrienne Wichard-Edds (April 30, 2018). "Tim Daly, Richard Schiff Stump for Arts Funding on Capitol Hill". The Hollywood Reporter.
  37. ^ "I've gone without health care because I thought it was a privilege, not a right. Our kids deserve better". NBC News. November 3, 2018.
  38. ^ Karamo Brown On New Gig And Activism - Essence
  39. ^ HRC to Honor Karamo Brown of Netflix's "Queer Eye" at Houston Gala | Human Rights Campaign
  40. ^ https://www.emmys.com/awards/nominees-winners/2020/outstanding-host-for-a-reality-or-reality-competition-program. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  41. ^ Karamo on Fatherhood - YouTube

External links[edit]