This weekend's Gay Pride Parade in New York City will mark the 50th anniversary of America's Gay Rights Movement. It will feature Tan France, a fashion designer of Pakistani origin who stars in award-winning Netflix series "Queer Eye". Born Tanveer Wasim Safdar in England, Tan France was raised in Doncaster, South Yorkshire in a very strict British Pakistani Muslim household. Tan's partner is Rob France, an illustrator from Salt Lake City, Utah. They have been together for 10 years.
After studying fashion design at Doncaster College, Tan France began working for Zara as a fashion designer. In late 2011, France created a women's clothing line, Kingdom and State, before moving to the United States in 2015. Tan has recently shot to fame as a star of Emmy Award winning Netflix series "Queer Eye".
Page Six is reporting that Netflix series "Queer Eye" cast, including Tan France, Berk, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness and Antoni Porowski will be joining the parade on June 30 — also known as World Pride — that will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots which triggered the Gay Rights Movement in the United States. There were violent protests by members of the gay community against a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village in New York City.
In recently published memoir "Naturally Tan", Tan France has talked about his experience with racism and homophobia. He told Salt Lake Tribune that he has been repeatedly singled out at Immigration And Customs when entering the United States. "At least 24 times in less than five years. And held in a room with other “brown people.” And asked things like: When was the last time he visited Pakistan? (He was 9.) When was the last time his mom visited Pakistan? When was the last time he operated heavy machinery?", he said.
Tan France is not the only high profile openly gay Pakistani-American. Others are Emmy-winning Karachi-born Hollywood producer Riaz Patel and Lahore-born MIT physicist Dr. Nergis Mavalvala.