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She Was Disowned for Being Gay. Then the Queer Eye Guys Stepped In

Netflix episode featuring Jess Guilbeaux has proved to be an 'ugly cry' one
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2019 10:25 AM CDT
From left, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, and Jonathan Van Ness, cast members from the TV series "Queer Eye," appear to present the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama...   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Netflix recently started streaming the third season of Queer Eye, and one episode in particular is causing people to "ugly cry." NBC News reports on "Black Girl Magic," the fifth episode, which puts 23-year-old Jess Guilbeaux in the spotlight. Guilbeaux, a waitress in Lawrence, Kan., was disowned by her adoptive parents at age 16 when they found out she was gay, and although she tried to move ahead in life by enrolling at the University of Kansas, she eventually couldn't afford to go anymore and had to drop out. The Queer Eye team gave her just the boost she needed mentally and physically. "I feel radiant, beautiful, sexy and confident," she says at the end of the episode, after the guys have helped transform her. "I had it in me, but you all brought it out, and I really appreciate it."

Her story and makeover on Queer Eye touched many people, including celebrities like Janelle Monae, and even inspired one fan to set up a GoFundMe for her, which has raised nearly $30,000 as of Wednesday morning. "Jess Guilbeaux ... is a strong, black lesbian woman," the crowdfunding page says. "Let's send this smart and strong woman back to college to complete what she began and give her the future she deserves." Guilbeaux tells ET Online she's "overwhelmed with emotion" at the mass donations. As for her adoptive parents, Guilbeaux tells E! Online she hasn't heard from them but hope "they see [my episode] and they're proud of me and the person that I am today. If they're not, that's their own piece." She hopes to finish college once her financial situation improves. (Read more uplifting news.)

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