Mark Bryan, 62, has built a brand of influence on his style. The straight Texas grandfather and mechanical engineer is known for pairing traditionally masculine or unisex tops with skirts and heels – a pairing that has earned him numerous modeling campaigns, brand deals and general admiration from the queer community.
In a new clip from his appearance in the German docu-series beyond fashionit would seem that this admiration did not return to him.
In the first episode of the series, titled “Hat Mode ein Geschlect?” (“Does Fashion Have a Gender?”), Bryan chats with the host and Queer Eye: Germany star Avi Jakobs on her style journey between sparing and manicuring. Their relationship was pretty easy at first, but things turn around as Jakobs gets his nails done.
She expresses that she was thrilled to meet Bryan, as she assumed he was fighting for the queer community in some way.
“I don’t really think I’m fighting you, but I’m not fighting you either,” he said.
When she asks him if he understands why some queer people might be upset that he uses his “gender fluid” style purely as a fashion statement, it’s clear he doesn’t.
As we see in the now viral clip, the conversation quickly turns sour:
I always knew those ugly skirts were hiding something demonic😭 pic.twitter.com/UnSC25ubL0
— TEVIN (@diornowhere) November 4, 2022
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“It’s not about clothes, it’s about who they are and how they portray themselves,” he says.
“I think they made it difficult for themselves by just being more flamboyant. I think they are too outrageous and too flamboyant.
In a bit not included in the Twitter edit, Jakobs replies, “I just wish you would fight alongside us. I am so disappointed.”
“I try to separate myself from the LGB community because of the gay community who wore skirts and high heels before me,” says Bryan. “I feel like they actually made it worse for me, being straight, because now I’m supposed to be gay.”
All Jakobs can do is gasp in disillusionment before snapping back, “I’m so sorry we made it worse for you.”
As the clip makes the rounds, people share Jakobs’ disillusionment and anger:
My face when he started saying that crazy shit Omg? pic.twitter.com/uu4uwjkqsX
— Eve 6000 🦋 (@alsoabouteve) November 4, 2022
sassy lex luthor is homophobic ???? pic.twitter.com/xhrt5MqXcp
— Rabbit🐰🌸 (@blueswvrld) November 4, 2022
The irony/hypocrisy that he can’t separate gender identity/expression/sexuality/equality DESPITE the fact that he wears 6 inch (late) louboutins and he doesn’t has no problem dressing “flamboyantly” for magazines tells me he still has a LOT to work on..
— Ettiene (@leao25) November 4, 2022
One day our community will be ready to talk about how you give these straight men platforms, magazine covers, accolades and make them the faces of the gender non-conforming fashion movement to wear tight skirts and nail polish when they’re actually horrible and greedy people pic.twitter.com/SU3GtocUwc
— TEVIN (@diornowhere) November 4, 2022
I had a drink with this man and his manager during fashion week and quickly apologized when he started saying some low-key homophobic/transphobic bullshit. His energy when he kept talking about homosexuality reminded me of my homophobic father. https://t.co/Cu1wrY3ezj
— LOUIS (@louis__pisano) November 4, 2022
And today is the day I decided not to praise Mark Bryan since flamboyant gays wearing heels made his life difficult because people perceive him as gay (his words). Gurl bye! I mean… straight, cis gentleman… goodbye pic.twitter.com/M1huJ7qDjF
— ideservecouture (@ideservecouture) November 4, 2022
You see, I was waiting for this to come out. Because there was a sense of how he presented himself outside of skirts and heels that told me he wasn’t there for the queer community at all.
Next time I say cosplay cishets in a queer aesthetic to enjoy, don’t come for me! https://t.co/4c9F9eBjuo
— Taylor (He/They) (@sonic79894) November 4, 2022
Another glaring example of why no straight man will ever really push us forward anyway. Imagine biting the hand that feeds you like that and her tattered pencil skirt wearing your ass then BLAMED QUEER PPL FOR THE VIOLENCE THAT HAPPENS TO US…don’t piss me off https://t.co/2kIMqnicRi
— President of the Ashawo Association (@uniekue) November 4, 2022
What attracts me is that he walks at fashion week, has been photographed by fashion, etc. like he’s fucking flamboyant when there’s money to be made https://t.co/L6vEiBYMSl
— Mary (@HakyeonWife) November 4, 2022
He’s as flamboyant as can be with those heels and those dresses. This decrepit old man is a mess.
— renaissance thug (@soleanddta) November 4, 2022
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Earlier in the episode, while saving, Jakobs had tears in his eyes hearing that Bryan was able to wear what he does virtually without challenge.
“I’m really happy for you that you didn’t have to go through that,” she said. “Deciding to wear this, for me, is a big statement because we’re only allowed to do it because of the past and the brave people. This privilege that you have…it would be amazing to use it to talk to people. straight men.
“Usually I get attacked by straight men – it’s happened to me so many times – and usually the people who don’t have to experience it are the ones who will be listened to.”
Even after her emotional pleas, it’s clear Bryan isn’t interested.