In the fifth episode of the second season of Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye, “Sky’s The Limit,” the Fab Five set their eyes on transforming the life of transgender man Skyler Jay. They help him redecorate his home, his closet, his facial hair, and his confidence. They even introduced him to his idol, Todrick Hall.
But while the Fab Five paraded through his life, one of the most polarizing parts of the episode was how they treated his home decor. When they first meet Skylar in his home, he is surrounded by queer people and queer imagery—a rainbow flag hangs proudly in the middle of the wall with glittery letters spelling “LOVE” overtop a protest sign that sits on the floor reading “EQUAL LOVE EQUAL RIGHTS.” A black-and-white painting of a queer person holding a wig is proudly thumbtacked to the wall, and condoms lay under the glass coffee table.
“Skylar’s house screams, ‘Queer, queer, queer, queer, queer!'” Karamo said in a confessional. “I mean, it reminds me of somebody who is in their early 20s, and everything is about being a part of the queer community.”
At the end of the episode, the Fab Five present Skylar his new home and how they updated his queer decor. Skylar is happy. The Fab Five are happy. The viewers are happy. It’s an inspiring message of updating with the times but staying true to your queer lifestyle, because for some of us being a part of the queer community is everything.
In the digital age that we live in, I decided to update my own home with tech that accentuates how queer both my roommate and I are.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
As soon as the UE Wonderboom entered our house, our neighbors immediately began hating us.
Yes, it’s really that loud. And portable. It can trek across my home with me, going virtually anywhere—even the shower. The wonderboom is one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy. It’s completely waterproof, offers true 360-degree sound, features a 100-foot range, and can pair two devices simultaneously.
This $99 diminutive speaker is smaller than the Roll 2 yet pumps out much more bass than its sibling. The Wonderboom is still IPX7-rated, which means you can submerge the speaker in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It also conveniently floats.
The Wonderboom is small, adorable, and loud. Coming in multiple skins, the soda can-shaped speaker projects sounds from every side, allowing everyone the same listening experience no matter where they are.
This little speaker is perfect for small gatherings, or pre-gaming, or showering, or just pissing off your neighbor who keeps taking your laundry out of the shared washer.
Philips Hue Lights
I despise ceiling lights, a lot. They drain the room of all its life and vibrancy. Their light is harsh and unflattering. So, I fill my home with lamps. Mostly basic, plain lamps that don’t distract from my colorful furniture.
I also love party lights. Every house or apartment I’ve claimed as a home has seen its share of gimmick lights. Then, I discovered Philips Hue. It’s honestly my favorite part of my house. Connecting to a bridge that lives on your wi-fi network, you can control the color and brightness of the Hue lights. With what seems like an endless number of apps that work with the lights, the possible color matches are honestly endless.
But, let’s start with the basics.
The original Philips Hue package is designed to replace a traditional A19 bulb and can change to more than 16 million colors. The starter pack includes three lights plus a Hue bridge (which you’ll need to control any Hue lights). Philips also sells a version of this kit with four lights for $199.
You can expand your lighting options through a number of different Philips Hue bulbs. This includes everything from plain white bulbs to multicolored lightstrips and other bulbs that fit smaller sockets. Just remember, you’ll have to connect them to your bridge first.
These lights work for every part of my life—movies, cleaning, reading, dancing, and sleeping.
FujiFilm Instax Wide
This might not be new, or technologically advanced, but it’s a must-have in any home. The Instax Wide takes you back to good days of Polaroid Cameras—delivering phenomenal instant photos straight from the camera.
It’s been on the market for years, and the price has barely dropped, costing you around $90 for the camera itself (depending on where you buy from) and roughly $1 a photo. But damn is it worth it.
For example, I bought 40 photos for my Halloween party. I made a point to take a photo of every, single person who came in costume. I had planned to make a very dark, very scary shrine to my loved ones on Halloween day. But most people snuck their photos out of the house, and I was forced to make voodoo dolls of them.
As queer people, a lot of the Polaroid photos of us were taken when we were very closeted or living a completely different life. We want new ones to fill our walls, photo books, and lives. The FujiFilm Instax Wide gives us a new way to do that.