01/03/2014 09:01 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

The 'Queer Eye' Reaction The Fab Five Never Expected (VIDEO)

Ten years ago, a makeover reality show called "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" took cable television by storm. Now, the Fab Five -- Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Carson Kressley, Thom Filicia and Jai Rodriguez -- are reuniting on "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" to reflect on the phenomenon.

While the premise of the show was pure entertainment, Allen says "Queer Eye" turned out to be an unexpected source of empowerment for many viewers.

"The thing I'm proudest of is the fact that we didn't set out to be activists or do anything political, but just the fact of being out itself is powerful," the food and wine guru says in the above video. "And the fact that we were successful sent a message to young gay people that they could feel better about themselves."

"We got thousands of letters from those kids," Allen says. "That's the thing that I'm proud of."

To this day, Kressley says he hears from fans who were impacted by the show. "I grew up in a small town in Allentown, Pennsylvania and a never felt like I could be myself and I never felt good about myself," he says. "And I would walk around the mall and you would hear the snickers, and they'd be like, 'Ew, there's that queer guy.'"

With fame, he's had very different reactions. "And then of course after the show, those same people are like, 'Oh my god, there's that queer guy!'" Kressley says. "So that thing that was your Achilles' heel became something that was celebrated, so that was kind of crazy."

In the video below, Kressley joins OWN executive producers Jill Van Lokeren and Julie Simpson on HuffPost Live to talk more about the episode.

"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on OWN, beginning Jan. 3.