Since the new season of Queer Eye dropped on Netflix this weekend and viewers were able to see the Fab 5 make over their first lesbian, donations to a GoFundMe page to help send 23-year-old Jess Guilbeaux back to college have been rolling in.
The episode entitled "Black Girl Magic" has the Queer Eye guys headed to Lawrence, Kan., where they meet Guilbeaux, a lesbian of color who was kicked out of her home at 16 when her adoptive, religious parents found out she was gay. As a young woman trying to make it, she was forced to drop out of college and became a server at a restaurant to get by. Now, a GoFundMe page to send her back to school has racked up about $12,000 in an approximately 24-hour period.
Throughout the course of the episode, Guilbeaux, who lives with two friends and who identifies as a "lumberjack lesbian" really comes into her own. Forced to eat ramen sometimes for days on end because she can't afford other food, Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski teaches her how to make an affordable, upscale version of ramen in a one-pot while Bobby Berk not only makes over her house -- which is quite literally as Guilbeaux puts it, furnished with trash -- he facilitates reuniting her with her sister, to whom she has not spoken since she was kicked out of her house. Furthermore, he helps her trace her birth family history to give her a sense of place.
Meanwhile, culture guru Karamo Brown introduces Guilbeaux to the Alvin Ailey dance center to expose her to potential new passions.
Since Queer Eye is ultimately about found family, the episode culminates with Guilbeaux surrounded by her queer family and her sister, who's now back in her life.
Decked out with a new short hairstyle from Jonathan Van Ness and an empowering wardrobe courtesy of Tan France, Guilbeaux delivers a speech to her loved ones at the close of the episode.
"This week has been the best week of my life. "I feel like that strong beautiful, black, lesbian, eclectic, artistic person all of you have seen me as," she says.
"You all are my family. It sucks because I didn't really know what that meant. I didn't think it was possible for me. I thought that at any moment any one of y'all would just leave," Guilbeaux adds. "So I didn't allow myself to be vulnerable. I didn't allow myself to be open and now that I'm confident in who I am I'm not afraid of tears or emotions or messing up or having days where I need to remind myself how strong and beautiful I am."
Besides the GoFundMe racking up funds to send Guilbeaux back to school, her hero Janelle Monae tweeted in support of her.
"I cried for 30 minutes straight, literally," Guilbeaux told Entertainment Tonight about Monae's tweet. "I can't believe she knew I existed and was touched by me."
See part of Guilbeaux's story in the trailer below.