Q&A: Alumna Angel Flores shares personal experience on Netflix’s ‘Queer Eye’

Zoe Tzanis, Life and Arts Editor

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Jan. 21, 2022 flipbook.

Barbell athlete and transgender activist Angel Flores made her television debut on season six of Netflix original “Queer Eye,” sharing her journey of growth and self-discovery. On the show, the UT 2020 alumna, with the help and support of the “Queer Eye” cast, overcomes insecurities and builds self-confidence. Now a personal trainer to the show’s Jonathan Van Ness, Flores said she hopes to inspire change, promote self-love and fight for everyone’s right to engage in sports.

The Daily Texan spoke with Flores about the details of her “Queer Eye” experience.

 

Daily Texan: What was it like to meet the Fab Five? As a fan, were they what you were expecting?

Angel Flores: They’re the exact same (as) they are on TV. Their personalities completely transfer. They are super nice, just amazing people. They walk into the room and everything else starts glowing.

 

DT: Could you describe the most awesome moment of that week?

AF: Turning around in the chair in the salon. In reality, me and Jonathan were there for about nine hours getting hair and makeup done. To sit there for that entire process and then turn around and see how beautiful I can actually be … really blew me away, and it reflected in the episode. I was crying and a lot of the cast and crew were crying as well. It was a really deep, emotional moment, especially reflecting trans joy, reflecting how strong gender euphoria can be for a person.

 

DT: Was the experience completely life-changing?

AF: Definitely. … I’ve introduced habits and ideas into my head that I didn’t necessarily have before. Back then, I was struggling trying to find who I actually was. I expressed in the episode to Tan that I didn’t know Angel’s style, and honestly, I felt like I only knew half of who Angel was. Angel was an athlete, but I didn’t know who Angel was outside of the gym. To be able to walk into stores now and go out in public and be more confident, that completely turns the dynamic of my identity upside down.

 

DT: What is it like to have Jonathan Van Ness do your hair?

AF: As soon as you see Jonathan go into salon mode, it’s like, “Oh, this is real. This is happening.” There’s an autopilot there, and it’s really cool to see. It’s a reflection of what happens to me when I’m lifting. It’s cool to see somebody else go into their flow state and truly try and bring out the best in you.

 

DT: What happens when the week is over? How do you begin the next chapter after Queer Eye?

AF: It felt like a bunch of life-changing things had happened, and then, everything kind of stopped. What helped was being able to interact and practice with Jonathan on a daily basis. … That week after is really just like recovering … like, what’s the schedule look like? Let’s get back to life as we know it. Then, preparing for the whirlwind of the actual releases. I put up a good support system. I took time to put things in order to set me up to …  see what kind of activism and good and change I can do with it.