Since premiering in June, the second season of Netflix’s Queer Eye reboot has sparked critical acclaim (and renewed questions over what, if anything, we should expect from the Fab Five beyond makeovers and tear-jerker moments). Yet the new season has also sparked conversations within the trans community, questioning the show’s framing and treatment of Skyler Jay, the transmasculine subject of episode five, “Sky’s The Limit.”

While some critics reacted positively to the episode, many trans viewers saw it in mixed terms; some who have voiced criticism of the episode felt its discussion of the trans experience was very “Trans 101,” and some felt Skyler was othered by the Fab Five for things that seem very essential to his transness — like his Pride-themed décor, his affinity for youthful male attire, or by focusing on his top surgery in an invasive and clinical way.

As a trans man, I wanted to discuss concerns that have arisen within the community about the episode with Skyler himself. Below, Skyler tells them. his thoughts on the controversy, expands on experiences during filming that audiences didn’t get to see, and explains hopes that the Queer Eye episode can stand as just one stepping stone toward stories in the media where trans people are “just celebrated.”

First, I wanted to get your take on what your life has been like since the show. I’m curious to know how life has changed for you.

It’s been almost a year since we did the original filming for the show and when I had my initial surgery, which was aired in the episode. I’ve had some procedures since then as well. So really, between filming and the show airing, my life has been focused on paying for those additional surgery costs and recovering. I just got off my medical restrictions yesterday, so a good portion of my year has been spent healing.

Read the full interview: https://www.them.us/story/skyler-jay-reveals-his-true-feelings-on-queer-eyes-trans-makeover-episode