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Tim Gunn, Late Bloomer


Washington's Metro Weekly has an interview up with Tim wherein he discusses (among other things) homophobia, when he got his cherry popped, and gay men vs. straight men.

"MW: Was homophobia expressed in your home?

GUNN: My father was so homophobic that later I thought maybe he was a closet case.

MW: When did the pink light bulb switch on for you?

GUNN: Late. I was in denial for a while -- kept pushing it to the back of my consciousness. I was 22 when I had my first experience. It was the early '70s.

MW: In addition to Runway, you now have your own Bravo series, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. How did you feel about taking center stage?

GUNN: Terrified, to be honest. You feel really exposed. I felt during the taping of Guide to Style that we were achieving our goals, but I wasn't at all confident that the viewer would have the patience for it, because it's kind of a tedious journey. Are they going to be interested in the underwear drawer? Are they going to be interested in how we shop? Will the viewer watch and come back? So I was living with a lot of concerns about that.

MW: Is there a perceptible difference between the styles of gay and straight men, or is that just myth?

GUNN: Just generally speaking, I think there is a larger percentage of gay men who really care about how they present themselves, who take care in how they present themselves to the world, than straight men. I was just on a TV show in Chicago and the question was put to me, ''Do women care more about how they present themselves than men?'' And I said, ''Well, women, generally speaking, have more experience with this -- they've been brought up this way.'' Yet, there are only two genders on this planet and shouldn't both be concerned with presentation to the world? It's certainly true with other species.

But I think there is a style gene in gay men's DNA that's pretty profound -- and it benefits itself in architecture and product design and graphic design and in all of the areas of art and design."

Tim will be in Washington this weekend to accept "the OUTstanding Individual Lifetime Achievement Award from OUT for Work, an LGBT college student career conference taking place at the Washington Plaza Hotel from Sept. 29 to 30. Gunn is being given the award, says OUT for Work Executive Director Riley Folds, for his 'contributions as an out and open professional in the workplace.' "


ZOMFG, I effing LOVE Tim Gunn! Seriously, I want him to be my BFF so that he can raid my underwear drawer and tell me what to wear on a daily basis.

But only if he leaves Veronica Webb at home.

However, I don't think he'll be crying at the end of the day because we've achieved fashion ecstasy... he'll be crying because the things in my closet have been there since 1998.

I love Tim, but he's practically admitting his show sucks. "it's kind of a tedious journey." Indeed!

"GUNN: I find the fashion industry to be nothing if not gay-friendly. And I will be really blunt: I make an assumption about men in the fashion industry that they are gay until proven otherwise."

Kistmet. I make the very same assumption, (about men being gay), but with all the men in Manhattan.

Btw, I simply ADORE Tim. And every time I read another interview with him, my respect for him only grows.

--Gotham Tomato

Beore I read that article, I didn't think it was possible to love Tim Gunn any more. However, that article is a MUST READ if you are interested at all in seeing any of Tim's soul, passion, and person.

I adore him. Great post.

Fabulous article, boys. Thank you for posting it.

Wow, fantastic interview! I give me a lot of credit for opening up like that.

Arghh...I give HIM a lot of credit for opening up like that.

I wonder where that top picture was taken. I like that green dress in the background!!

Tim said:

"But I think there is a style gene in gay men's DNA that's pretty profound -- and it benefits itself in architecture and product design and graphic design and in all of the areas of art and design."

Ha! Someone tell that to my gay (male) friend who wears his hair scraggly and long (hasn't cut it in years), his beard the same way (think ZZ Top), and whose wardrobe consists entirely of T-shirts, flannel shirts and jeans.

Not that there's anything wrong with it, but it sure as heck doesn't show me any evidence of his having a style gene. (Actually I'd love to make him get a haircut ... :-)

Andrea said...

I wonder where that top picture was taken. I like that green dress in the background!!

Hi Andrea,

That dress is part of the Liz Claiborne 2008 spring/summer collection.


He seems like such a great guy. I wonder if he is truly that down to earth .....there are some Bravo personalities, like Laura for example, whi I really think "what you see is what you get". I am not so sure about Tim.

And he needs to listen to his own quote when it comes to TGGTS:

" My approach to gay men would be the same as to anyone else. Who are you? With whom do you interact? What do you do and how do you want the world to perceive you? I never aim to change anybody, I just want to make them the best for who it is they want to be. "

So why are you asking us all to wear the same 10 things? He needs to travel outside of the NY Metro area...needs to dress people in different fields. Me, the dance teacher had a conversation in the hairdressers chair yesterday about how in our industries, we would maybe actually wear maybe 3 of his 10 essentials.

Thanks for the link to the "Metro Weekly" site - along with the very entertaining article about Mr. Gunn, I found one about Cybill Shepard and one about Christine Baranski, two fabulous women!

He's very candid about his personal life. Wow, great interview, and thanks for posting it.

Thanks, T&L, for answering my question. No snark intended, but the answer really surprised me!

I love Tim Gunn! Great interview!

He referred to his own show at potentially tedious. He got that right.

Ok, that was a little too much information. I don't need to know about Tim's first time.

Congrats to Tim on the award. He deserves all the love he gets!

I absolutely love Tim, but I think he should stick to PR.

Tim is a role model for thousands and thousands of gay men around the world.

Nobody shares my level of Tim-love, but I have to ask - they're giving this award to somebody for being out and open in the *fashion* industry? I'm not trying to be a jerk, but how hard is it to be out and open in an industry where 75% of the people are out and open?


I stood next to Tim on the DC Metro on Friday and almost peed myself with excitement, but I didn't have a chance to find out why he was here, so I'm glad you guys posted it... thanks!

not all men that are in the fashion industry, or care about how they present themselves are gay, not that i or anyone else should be worried but c'mon, dont reinforce that stereotype, theres plenty of gay men that look like shit out there,


tim you rule, but guide to styl blows a bit, sorry

but yeah...

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