Heel-clad hetero ‘influencer’ says queer people make his life “worse” and the Internet has thoughts

Mark Bryan, 62, has built an influential brand on his style. The straight, Texan grandfather and mechanical engineer is known for pairing traditionally masculine or unisex tops with skirts and heels — a pairing that has landed him numerous modeling campaigns, brand deals, and general admiration from the queer community.

In a new clip from his appearance on German docu-series Beyond Fashionit would seem that that admiration is not returned.

In the series’ first episode, titled “Hat Mode ein Geschlect?” (“Does fashion have gender?”), Bryan chats with host and Queer Eye: Germany star Avi Jakobs about his style journey over thrifting and a manicure. Their report was easy enough at first, but things take a turn as Jakobs gets her nails done.

She expresses that she was excited to meet Bryan, as she assumed he was fighting for the queer community in some way.

“I don’t really think that I’m fighting with you, but I’m not fighting against you, either,” he says.

When she asks whether he understands why some queer folks might be upset by him using his “gender-fluid” style solely as a fashion statement, it’s clear that he doesn’t.

As we see in the now-viral clip, the conversation sours quickly:

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“It’s not about the clothes, it’s about who they are and how they represent themselves,” he says.

“I think they’ve made it made difficult for themselves just being more flamboyant. I think they’re too outrageous and too flamboyant.”

In a bit not included in the Twitter edit, Jakobs responds, “I just wish you would fight on our side. I’m so disappointed.”

“I try to separate myself from the LGB community because of the gay community that wore skirts and high heels before I did,” Bryan says. “I feel like actually they made it worse for me, being straight, because now I’m assumed to be gay.”

All Jakobs can do is gasp in disillusionment before dryly responding, “I’m very sorry that we made it worse for you.”

As the clip makes the rounds, folks are sharing in Jakobs’ disillusionment and anger:

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Earlier in the episode, while thrifting, Jakobs got teary-eyed hearing that Bryan was able to wear what he does virtually unchallenged.

“I’m really happy for you that you didn’t have to experience that,” she says. “Deciding to wear that, for me, is a big statement because we are only allowed to do that because of the past and brave people. That privilege that you have… it would be amazing to use it to speak to straight males.

“Usually, I get attacked by straight males — it’s happened to me so many times– and usually the people that don’t have to experience that are the ones that’ll get listened to.”

Even after her emotional pleas, it’s clear that Bryan isn’t interested.

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