'It's easier to be a gay Muslim in USA:' Doncaster born TV star subjected to racism in home town

A Doncaster born TV presenter who has become a global star says he was subjected to racism and homophobia in his home town - and finds it easier to live in the USA.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 14th May 2018, 2:10 pm
Updated Monday, 14th May 2018, 2:16 pm
The Queer Eye team with Tan France (far right).
The Queer Eye team with Tan France (far right).

Tan France, one of the five presenters of Netflix hit Queer Eye, has said that he finds it easier to live as a gay Muslim in America than in northern England, where he was born.

Tan has shot to fame on both sides of the Atlantic as part of the five-strong presenting team on the show, which sees a team of style, culture, design, food and grooming experts - all of whom are gay - come to the aid of men in need of a lifestyle overhaul.

The 35-year-old says he has experienced racism and homophobia his entire life and is happier being based in America.

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He told Vogue magazine: "I don't get called the same names as I did at home in the north of England. I would often get called a 'P***', and that's sickening in this day and age."

He said that he represents 'a lot that has never been seen before' - 'an Asian person on American TV, who's British, gay, and follows a certain religion'.

The show has become a global TV smash - and is a reboot of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, which was originally released in 2003.

Tan, who studied at Doncaster College, is the force behind brands like Kingdom and State and he already has more than 10,000 followers on Instagram.

An openly gay Muslim, Tan, who was born Tan Safdar in Doncaster, now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah in the USA with his husband Rob, a paediatric nurse and illustrator.

Born and raised to Pakistani and English parents, his interest in fashion began at a young age, inspired by the clothing that was made in his grandparents' factory for Disney.

After studying fashion at Doncaster College, he moved to Manchester and then to London and started working in the United States in 2008 before officially moving there in 2015.

He has worked for Zara and Selfridges and auditioned for Queer Eye knowing that he "really wanted to make some gay friends."