LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) – The third season of Queer Eye, which was shot in Kansas City, is now streaming on Netflix, and for a woman in Lawrence transformed on the show it was much more than the typical makeover.
The Mad Greek restaurant, where Jess Guilbeaux waits tables, became her center stage Friday night.
Guilbeaux would describe her pre-Queer Eye self as “stressed, chaotic, confused,” but now sees herself completely differently.
“Confident, fierce kween, and ‘queen’ with a ‘K’ and a ‘W,’ specifically,” she told KCTV5 News.
Peggy Kritos, who owns the Mad Greek with her husband, has noticed the change in Guilbeaux.
“After this whole thing, I can just see a lot more confidence in her,” Kritos said.
Among those at the watch party at the restaurant Friday night was Guilbeaux’s biological sister, whom she’d lost touch with after her adoptive parents disowned her at age 16 for being a lesbian and to whom the show reconnected her.
“After the show, we’ve been close,” Guilbeaux said. “I call her every day, she calls me every day.”
The Netflix version of Queer Eye is a revamp of the makeover show that features the “Fab Five” who focus on decor, fashion, food, hair and culture, all while using a life-coach style that aims for an emotional makeover.
“First of all, what they do is they instill a level of confidence, and then they challenge you to push yourself outside of that,” Guilbeaux said of the experience. “That in itself sticks with you every day.”
She says the Fab Five still keep in touch, and now she’s passing on to others the confidence they gave her to others who have reached out from across the country, moved by her story.
“They saw me on TV, and they felt like, ‘This is someone I can confide in,’” she explained. “And that’s the whole reason why I did it. I just didn’t want anyone who was in my situation to feel alone.”