When Karamo Brown was a kid, he knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up. “I used to walk around saying I want my own daytime talk show,” says the 42-year-old Queer Eye star. “That was the dream.” 

Mission accomplished: On his show, Karamo (season 2 debuts September 18), the host helps guests navigate family drama, infidelity and a host of other issues. “We embrace the fact that life is messy,” says Karamo. “We’re amping up the mess this year!” Here, the TV personality (and father to sons Jason, 26, and Chris, 22) talks to In Touch’s Katie Bruno about his hosting duties, settling down with his boyfriend of two years, photographer Carlos Medel, and his guilty pleasure.

Tell us more about the new season.

KB: I always want to make sure I leave people a little better than I found them, but it’s also about entertainment. As much as I want to make sure there’s healing, it is TV. I’m excited.

Queer Eye was nominated for six Emmys this year. How does that feel?

KB: I’ve cried every year we’ve been nominated. And not a small cry — I mean I cry like a big baby. I grew up a poor, gay black boy in Texas. TV was not a possibility. So it’s like, “Damn, I really did the work and I’ve been blessed.” I don’t take it lightly.

Karamo Brown
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

What’s your favorite part about Queer Eye?

KB: One is working with the four yahoos [cohosts Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness and Bobby Berk]. I’ve heard horror stories. Industry friends come over for dinner and say they hate their casts, and I’m like, “Thank God we like each other!” And then the transformations. We have five days to help somebody, and at the end we see a brand-new person. It blows my mind.

You started your career on The Real World: Philadelphia in 2004. How did you end up on the show?

KB: I was an undergrad, and I wanted to go on TV and get drunk! [Laughs] Then I realized my image and voice had power. People had never seen a black, masculine archetype on a reality show. It became a deeper conversation.

You really paved the way

KB: I just saw the episode where cops arrested me at a bar because they got an anonymous tip from one of the white patrons that I had a gun. Obviously, I didn’t. What I was dealing with then is still relevant now. The show was groundbreaking.

Would you do a reunion?

KB: There was a moment when they were going to bring my season back and asked if I’d return, and I was like, “Hell, yeah!” I’d go back in a heartbeat because I have nothing but fond memories. But that ship has sailed.

How do you keep your relationship with Carlos healthy?

KB: We have transparent conversations about the things we are afraid of talking about. You can’t let things linger. We’re taking it one day at a time. When we kiss, we say, “I love you, one day at a time.”

What are your goals for the future?

KB: I want 20 seasons of my talk show! And I just moved to a new house, so I just want the show to work, my relationship to work and to keep building a beautiful home. That’s it!

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