The Fab Five are officially back in business — this time in Kansas City, Missouri.
Queer Eye season 3 dropped on Netflix and it’s full of everything you love — transformations, inspiration, and lots of lots of tears.
But perhaps the best part of the new season is the interweaving theme of gender neutrality. Because guess what? Gender. Is. DEAD.
The season starts out with a badass woman named Jody who loves hunter, fishing, and all things camo. She’s not confident in her femininity but as Karamo is quick to point out, femininity is whatever you want it to be.
He brings her to a trust circle with a diverse group of women who show her that being a woman is about so much more than what society perceives it to be.
And even when Bobby makes over her home, he makes sure the style is more “gender neutral,” since that’s Jody!
At every turn the guys are embracing Jody and who she is, not who she thinks she should be.
A few episodes later and the gender-bending continues with Jess.
Jess is a self-described “lumberjack lesbian” but as Tan soon discovers, she also loves a good crop top. Her style icon is Janelle Monae and her ability to play up her feminine or masculine side at a moment’s notice.
He takes her on an epic shopping trip where he upgrades her style, mixing in a little Janelle with a little Jess. He’s all about letting Jess expressing her gender however she wants, whenever she wants. It’s freaking beautiful.
By the end, she ditches the label “lumberjack lesbian” and embraces “soft butch.”
Although Tan’s style makeover is perfection, the highlight of the episode is, of course, Karamo.
As black queers, Karamo and Jess connect on another level. Jess confides in Karamo that she doesn’t feel black enough and all she wants is to be a strong black woman. What Karamo says next is everything:
“You already are a strong black woman.”
He takes her to meets some Friends of Alvin Ailey dancers, where they share similar stories about not feeling black enough and not fitting in.
In the end, Karamo just wants to remind Jess that she is a strong black woman no matter how she expresses her gender or her blackness.
Queer Eye has always embraced non-traditional gender expressions. In past seasons, Tan and Jonathan have encouraged men to change their ideas of self-expression, self-care, and grooming. But this season they took it to a whole other level, especially when it came to the female heroes.
It’s 2019 and gender rules are a thing of the best. And thanks to Queer Eye, we have another beautiful, tangible reminder of that.