Updated: Oct 28, 2020
By: Mylo Fisherman
From left to right: Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Karamo Brown, and Gregory Miller. Photos by statiaphotography
Karamo Brown is notable for being the first gay, black man on reality television when he came out on “The Real World,” as well as being the culture expert on the Netflix original show “Queer Eye.” The Student Government Association organized this event, which was titled “Karamo Brown at Adelphi University!” and was held on March 2 in the Performing Arts Center.
This was an event that was definitely unforgettable. Jacqueline Jones LaMon, vice president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Gregory Miller, the administrative assistant for the Political Science Department, had an open conversation with Brown about his life, his accomplishments, and advice he could give to us as college students.
One of the parts of this event that stuck out the most was when he started talking about his involvement in the black, gay HIV community. His involvement began when his boyfriend at the time was HIV positive and he said this allowed him to come to the realization that everyone who is a part of a marginalized community should stick up for one another. He believed people needed to put in the work to support one another because at the end of the day if people in your own marginalized community won’t support you, who will?
He backed up this argument with an example that hits a little close to home, which is the transphobia that exists in the trans community, as well as the greater LGBTQ+ community as a whole. “When you see in-community bullying,” he said, “you have to call that out.”
During the event, Brown was guided by LaMon to speak about his experience on reality TV. He chose to hold off on immediately answering this question and instead used it as an opportunity to speak on the fact that he hates the whole idea of someone having to come out.
He said, “I prefer to call it `letting people in’ because it doesn’t give people the opportunity to deny your identity.”
When he answered LaMon’s question, he said, “I did not set out to go on the show to be the first black openly gay man on reality TV. It just ended up being something that came with the job. My original purpose of joining the show was to continue being the wild teen I was at the time and get free booze.” He added he was fresh out of being an undergraduate in college.
Brown also spoke on the effects of social media on people our age and what we can do to prevent it from affecting ourselves negatively.
He said, “Do not compare yourself; comparison is the thief of joy. Love yourself because we all have the ability to do something in this world.”
The biggest takeaway from the event was when Brown said, “Failure is not the opposite of success. It's a part of it.”
Simply put, don't be afraid of doing something wrong in all aspects of your life; it will only lead you one step closer to what is right.