Queer Eye’s first lesbian hero Jess Guilbeaux has paid off her college debts and is ready to return to school, after fans fundraised more than $90,000 dollars for her.
The 23-year-old was introduced to the world in the Netflix makeover show’s recently-released third season, and told the Fab Five in her episode that after she came out to her religious, adoptive family at age 16, she was shunned by them for being gay.
Since then, Jess had been forced to take care of herself, struggling with coming to terms with her identity as a black lesbian woman and putting college on hold as she supported herself with a restaurant job.
“I just feel like, maybe, family is not something that I’m going to have,” Jess told them.
But over the course of the episode, that changes as the Fab Five help Jess come into her own during what she describes as “the best week of my life”.
“I feel like that strong beautiful black lesbian eclectic artistic person all of you have seen me as,” Jess says.
Now a GoFundMe campaign to help Jess return to college has raised more than $92,000, allowing her to pay off her student loans through the generosity of 2,434 donors in 22 days.
“I wanted to update everyone on what your wonderful gifts have helped me do and my process to getting back to school: I have paid off all my student loans!!” Jess wrote on the GoFundMe page.
“I’m so excited and ready to continue my education with a fresh new start. Thank you so so, so much for everything!”
The GoFundMe page was set up by a Queer Eye fan called Vanessa Gamet, who wanted to raise money to help Guilbeaux go back to college.
“Let’s send this smart and strong woman back to college to complete what she began and give her the future she deserves,” Gamet wrote.
“While I do not personally know Jess, I felt compelled to initiate this campaign and have handed over ownership of this account to her. The funds go directly to her.”
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