“Queer Eye” host Tan France is proud of his 11-month-old son Ismail, but when it comes to social media, the widely recognized fashion guru likes to protect Ismail’s identity by covering his face in photos.
In Insider’s June cover storyFrance explained that the desire to protect Ismail’s identity online took him by surprise at first.
“I thought ‘Queer Eye’ wasn’t going to be successful and that it would be a flop – we’d do one season, then it’d be over,” he told Insider. “We never planned on having the child of known people, recognizable people, and how that could affect them.”
France and his husband Rob have been married since 2007 and welcomed Ismail via surrogacy in July 2021. Ismail arrived seven weeks early and spent the first three weeks of his life in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU).
Since “Queer Eye” first aired in February 2018, however, “Queer Eye” became a critical and commercial success, nabbing 9 Emmys since then and catapulting the Fab Five, including France, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Antoni Porowski, into the spotlight.
While being famous has its perks, allowing France to expand its work – hosting the “Selling Sunset” reunion in early May and cohosting an upcoming second season of “Next in Fashion” with supermodel Gigi Hadid – there also remain genuine concerns around privacy.
“I see so many celebrity kids, and they feel so much pressure,” France adds. “They’re constantly scrutinized.”
France joins the likes of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, Chris Pratt, and Jenna Dewan, who have also chosen to cover their children’s faces in images posted on social media. Other celebrities, meanwhile, choose not to feature their children on social media at all.
France and Rob’s desire to protect Ismail’s identity may also have played a role in their decision to homeschool Ismail. The couple is building a schoolroom in a new home in Salt Lake City for a community school that would also include children of family friends.
Click here to read France’s full cover story, featuring exclusive photos by Martin Schoeller. Then check out “We / Us / Ours,” an Insider series about LGBTQ communities and spaces that inspire queer unity.