Kansas

Lesbian ‘hero’ couldn’t afford KU and dropped out. Her ‘Queer Eye’ fans rush to help

Queer Eye: Season 3 (Official Trailer)

New episodes of Queer Eye coming to Netflix on March 15, 2019.
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New episodes of Queer Eye coming to Netflix on March 15, 2019.

When Jess Guilbeaux told her parents that she was gay, she was kicked out of her home.

“Her religious, adoptive family disowned her at 16 when she came out as lesbian,” Entertainment Weekly reported.

With no house to call home, the Kansas teen “bounced around on couches and tried to put herself through college,” according to the magazine.

Now 23 years old, she’s a star in “Queer Eye” season 3, a Netflix original series that debuted on Friday. This season of “Queer Eye” is based in Kansas City, and it “features the Fab Five giving some ‘amaze’ area men and women life-changing doses of self-care and self-confidence,” the Kansas City Star reported.

Guilbeaux is also a waitress at The Mad Greek in Lawrence, Kansas, and just last month she started performing in drag shows, according to her social media pages.

“College is still on pause for financial reasons, but one day she said she hopes to finish,” E! Online reported.

Before the show, Guilbeaux tried to put herself through college at the University of Kansas, but she “had to drop out due to debt,” according to a GoFundMe set up by one of her supporters. She was studying computer science and excited to call KU her home, according to the university website.

“Queer Eye” fans are rushing to help Guilbeaux finish her degree.

“Jess Guilbeaux, from Queer Eye Season 3, Episode 5, is a strong, black lesbian woman,” the GoFundMe by Vanessa Gamet says. “Let’s send this smart and strong woman back to college to complete what she began and give her the future she deserves.”

On Twitter, Guilbeaux confirmed that Gamet reached out to her about the GoFundMe, “and it’s safe.” She said the funds raised will be sent her way.

As of Monday morning, $9,000 of the $100,000 goal has been raised. The page was set up on Saturday.

this is so sweet. i have no words. i’m dehydrated at this point,” Guilbeaux tweeted along with the “loudly crying face” emojis.

Guilbeaux considered herself “stressed, chaotic (and) confused” before the Fab Five’s “hip tips, emotionally charged makeovers and heartfelt reveals,” KCTV reported.

All she wanted to be was a “strong black woman,” Refinery29 reported. Her “five gay dads” on the show helped her realize she already was one, E! Online reported.

“i learned how to love my natural curls, love my highly melanated skin, and all of what makes up who i am (a fierce gay kween™️),” she posted on Instagram. Guilbeaux is a lesbian “hero,” Refinery29 reported.

Since her time on “Queer Eye,” Guilbeaux has reconnected with her biological sister “whom she’d lost touch with after her adoptive parents disowned,” KCTV reported, and she keeps in touch with her “five gay dads.”

In her Instagram biography, Guilbeaux now calls herself a “strong, black lesbian woman.”

She hasn’t heard from the parents who disowned her, E! reported, but she hopes they are proud of her.

“Like every other kid, I want my parents to be proud of me,” she told E! “That’s what I want.”

Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Tan France, Karamo Brown and Jonathan Van Ness are wrapping up filming of season three of Queer Eye in Kansas City. They talked about their show, their new book and about Kansas City at the Kansas City Public Library.

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