News

Who Is Tan France?

June 6, 2020
4 min read

If you’ve even heard of ‘Queer Eye,’ you know who Tan France is. Tanveer Wasim France (neé Safdar) is an English fashion designer, television personality, and author. Apart from being one of the Fab Five, Tan is also a host of ‘Dressing Funny’ and of ‘Next In Fashion.’ Not only is he one of the very first openly gay South Asian men starring in a hit television series, but he is also the first openly gay Muslim man to be on western television.

Tan France Family and Early Life

Tanveer Wasim Safdar was born on April 20, 1983, in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England, to Pakistani Muslim parents. His parents grew up in Pakistan and had emigrated to England, and Tan was raised in Doncaster with two older brothers and a sister. To support the family, his parents ran taxi offices, post offices, and convenience stores, at different points in their life. Unfortunately, Tan’s father passed away when he was just 13.

Tan’s interest in cooking and fashion developed at an early age, thanks to his grandparents and their denim factory. He had learned how to cook and sew by the age of nine, and after that, when he started helping out his grandparents in their factory in Bury, England, he couldn’t bear to be away from it for long. By age thirteen, he already knew how to construct and embellish a denim jacket.

Although his family wasn’t super religious, they were proud of their heritage and maintained a connection with it. When his experiences of growing up in a strict household where homosexuality was considered almost taboo were combined with the abuse he faced, both physical and verbal, because of his skin color, Tan felt like he had to isolate himself from the world to be safe. The lack of representation in the media also did nothing to help him.

Tan always knew he was different, but he never exactly understood why till the time he was a teenager. At 16, when he was finally ready, he slowly came out to his friends, then his siblings, then his mother. Of course, they needed time to adjust, but Tan can now be who he is without any worries of not being accepted by his loved ones.

Standing at 1.75 m, i.,e 5 feet 9 inches, at the age of 37, Tan is now working hard to represent the brown members of the LGBTQ+ community on television. He is making sure that everyone, no matter who they are, can see a version of themselves on the major media outlets and can realize that they are not alone.

Tan France Husband

When Tan joined Terry Gross on her NPR show, ‘Fresh Air,’ he revealed all the details about his relationship with husband, Rob France. The two had met on a dating website in 2008, and Tan admitted that when Rob told him that he grew up in Wyoming in a Mormon family on their first date, he was extremely pleased with the fact that they both had the “non-alcoholic environment” in common. It was like he met a “unicorn” because finding someone who didn’t drink in the gay community had been next to impossible for Tan until that point.

“It made it easier to date somebody who had similarities to me. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke,” Tan said in an exclusive interview with New York Post. “We practice some of our religions’ practices. We don’t practice them all. We practice what works for us.” So, it was their faith and belief that actually brought the two of them closer.

After that, their chemistry just kept on developing. On an episode of ‘Queer Eye,’ Tan admitted that they didn’t even have a proposal. “You know, there wasn’t an actual proposal,” he said. “It was a case of, ‘We’re going to get married one day, right?’ ‘Yeah, of course, we are.’ We just had agreed it was going to happen one day, and then we arranged the date.” Now, Tan and Rob, who is a pediatric nurse and a professional illustrator, are blissfully married and have been so for over ten years. They have made a home in Salt Lake City, Utah, but they do travel to Los Angeles and New York a lot because of Tan’s work.

Read More: Where Is Queer Eye Filmed?

SPONSORED LINKS