Single life

Antoni Porowski on being “pathologically co-dependent” and assumptions he’s gay

Queer Eye’s food and wine expert, Antoni Porowski, has opened up further about his sexuality and some of his struggles with single life.

In spring 2018, Porowski said in an interview with Gay Times that his sexuality is “a little more fluid along the spectrum … Some people want to define themselves and they should as it is part of their identity. For me personally, I’ve never really had a label for myself.

“Today I’m gay – I’m in a gay relationship – and that’s where I am. That’s good enough for me.”

Yesterday, on the UK cookery and food podcast Table Manners, talking with Jessie Ware and her mother Lennie, Porowski said that when he got the job with Queer Eye, he never intended to talk much about his personal life, preferring to keep it private.

Related: Antoni Porowski says he “learned the hard way” why you should always have a safe word during choke sex

He says he was happy for viewers to assume he was gay, to save himself revealing more.

“When I started the show there were certain things I told myself I was never going to talk about.

“The first one being I wasn’t going to talk about fluidity and they’d just assume I was just gay and like most of my life people just assumed I was straight and I would be in a relationship and working in a restaurant and people would just assume that.”

However, he quickly realized that wasn’t going to work. Queer Eye is an unscripted show. The five experts want the people they’re helping to open up about their lives. Porowski realized that to do this he was going to have to start opening up about himself, too.

“I told myself that I’m not going to talk about the gay things or my complicated family but what I realized very quickly was if we expect these people to open up about their lives with five total strangers everything has to be a conversation.”

Related: Antoni Porowski is back on the market after splitting up with Trace Lehnoff

He says a turning point came for him in the latest season of the Netflix show. In episode four, the team helps coach Wanda, who had a sometimes difficult relationship with her daughters.

One of the daughters tells Porowski that her mom never says “I love you.” Porowski was surprised at how much this impacted him. It reminded him of his mom, and he ended up talking about his sometimes difficult relationship with her.

He told Wanda that he doesn’t currently have a relationship with his mom: “I’m not saying she didn’t love me growing up, but she was somebody who never said ‘I love you’ back. It was very hard for her to say.”

He says he has a relationship with his dad, although the two were more distant when younger as his dad worked long hours. They found some common ground as his father made an effort to cook him a nice steak dinner every couple of 2-3 months: father-son memories he now cherishes.

Since finding recognition with Queer Eye, Porowski’s personal life has been the subject of media attention.

It’s known he broke up with his boyfriend of seven years, Joey Krietemeyer, in summer 2018. After this, he dated Flipping Out’s Trace Lehnhoff for around a year. They split a couple of months ago and Porowski’s now single.

Related: Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness finally address those relationship rumors. Sort of.

On Table Manners, where he was promoting his new book, Antoni in the Kitchen, he revealed he sometimes finds single life hard.

“I am somebody who is pathologically co-dependent, I’ve always lost myself in relationships. That’s just the person I am, I kind of tend to lose my identity and I have like abandonment issues, so I really try to make sure the person loves me and never leaves me. So I’m trying to learn to be independent.

“Especially with the life that I have now I am surrounded by people all the time and I mean you know what that’s like, you are in these crazy environments and at the end of the day you’re kind of like left with yourself and that is a terrifying thing for me.”


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“Because I love people, but at the same time, being with myself is probably the most uncomfortable thing … I hate being on my own.”

To learn to be more comfortable with being single, he said he was ensuring he had quiet nights at home alone in New York, lighting candles and listening to music and having, “a romantic night with myself.”