A man paralyzed by gun violence, Jonathan's former teacher — meet the Queer Eye season 4 'heroes'
Since its season 1 premiere in Feb. 2018, Netflix’s Queer Eye has delivered lots of laughs and gasps — and plenty of tears, both sad and joyful. And season 4, which premieres July 19, is shaping up to be no different.
Among the Kansas City, Mo.-area residents getting a make-better by Antoni, Bobby, Jonathan, Karamo, and Tan are a lonely bachelor in his 60s, a former soldier helping homeless veterans, a single dad, and a former “bad boy” who’s paralyzed because of gun violence. But all of the fabulousness kicks off across the Missouri border in Illinois with Jonathan’s former high school teacher, Kathi, who hasn’t changed her hair — a “fiery red mullet,” according to an episode description provided by Netflix — in 30 years!
As glimpsed in the trailer released earlier this week, in which Jonathan warns, “try not to cry, try not to lose it,” Kathi is “so dedicated” to her students “that she puts herself on the back burner,” according to a fellow teacher.
“You’ve literally saved people’s lives, mine included,” Jonathan tells Kathi during an emotional moment later in the preview.
Read more about each of the episode “heroes” below, and check out the exclusive video above where you can see more of their journies.
Kathi Dooley, 60-something — “Without Further Ado”
Jonathan returns to his hometown to make over his high school music teacher, a selfless educator whose fiery red mullet hasn’t changed in 30 years.
Kathi Dooley is a legend in Jonathan Van Ness’s small, conservative hometown of Quincy, Ill. She’s been a dedicated teacher for over 30 years, and is the “head honcho” of Quincy Public Schools Music Education Programs. Kathi is a taskmaster and her style hasn’t changed over the years, including her fiery, red mullet. Kathi spearheads an annual marching band parade to help raise funds for the arts, and this year, Kathi is being honored as the Grand Marshall. The Fab 5 help Kathi see the love and respect she has in her community and encourage her to explore the long-forgotten Chapter of Me.
Wesley Hamilton, 30 — “Disabled But Not Really”
A former bad boy who turned his life around after becoming paralyzed gets a wheelchair-accessible home and a new image to match his positive outlook.
Wesley strives to instill a limitless mindset in people with disabilities through his non-profit, Disabled But Not Really. Since becoming paralyzed by a gunshot wound 6 years ago, Wesley has worked hard to battle his demons and combat the image he had of himself as an able-bodied, overweight, tough guy. With the help of his mom and taking inspiration from his young daughter, Wesley is turning his life around. He needs the Fab 5 to help push him to be the man he always wanted to be. The guys help Wesley make peace with his past and shed the last vestiges of his old self with confidence.
John Stoner, 37 — “Stoner Skates By”
His 10-year-old daughter calls him a “man child.” But can this larger-than-life single dad grow up and become the adult she needs him to be?
Divorced, co-parenting, John Stoner, is a lovable superfan of Kansas City’s pro sports teams and famously wears a cat “onesie” to games as a good luck charm. He has a regional reputation as the “Cat Suit Guy” and his ten-year-old daughter, Lucy, thinks it’s time for a change. Lately, John has been acting more like the kid in the relationship and with Lucy’s big ice skating competition coming up (yes, that’s Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan in the above photo!), this #1 Superfan needs help becoming a #1 Dad. The Fab 5 help John open up about his personal struggles and show him that involvement in Lucy’s life positively impacts his life as well.
Wanda Winters, 54 — “How Wanda Got Her Groove Back”
A demanding drill-team leader who’s set in her ways learns to shed her tough skin, soften her style — and open up to her two grown daughters.
Vivacious, determined, and maybe a little headstrong, Wanda founded The Pythons Drill Team 30 years ago. She dedicates every living and breathing moment to the group’s success. Not wanting expenses or membership dues to come between a child’s involvement, Wanda bears the financial burden of the organization. Her blind ambition when it comes to The Pythons has meant that other areas and relationships in her life have suffered. Wanda learns to delegate a few of her responsibilities to those who love and support her vision for the team. With The Fab 5 encouraging her, Wanda slows down long enough to see what she’s been missing.
Kenny Yarnevich, 64 — “On Golden Kenny”
The Fab 5 help a kind but lonely bachelor find unconditional love and get his dusty home ready for visitors, the first guests he’s had in years.
Kenny Yarnevich is a sweet, retired bachelor who runs the historic St. John’s Catholic Club in Kansas City. As the volunteer president, manager, and bartender, Kenny has devoted his life to serving others. He comes from a large Croation family, and although his brothers and sisters all married and have large families of their own, Kenny nursed his parents until they died and still lives in their old family home. Today the house is a dusty relic of past memories and even though Kenny loves family gatherings, he hasn’t had visitors in over 20 years. The Fab 5 help Kenny put the past behind him and see himself in a new light. His golden years are bright as Kenny takes pride in himself and his home.
Deanna Munoz, 42 — “A Tale of Two Cultures”
A proud Chicana woman and arts advocate trades her dated locks for a polished look that gives her the confidence to talk publicly about her passions.
Deanna is a working wife and mother who created the Latino Arts Festival of Kansas City. Her festival celebrates her cultural heritage and gives a voice to a community of underrepresented artists. Despite all efforts, Deanna is a Mexican-American woman caught between two cultures. She’s either too Mexican or not Mexican enough. In her neighborhood and corporate job, she hides her true self and in the Mexican-American community, she is ashamed because she never learned how to speak Spanish. Deanna’s insecurities have diminished her own voice. The Fab 5 help Deanna get out of her head when it comes to who she is supposed to be, so she can take pride in exactly who she is.
Brandonn Mixon, 28 — “Soldier Returns Home”
A scruffy ex-soldier who builds houses for homeless veterans spruces up to reconnect with his wife and finds unexpected strength in vulnerability.
Brandonn spent four years in the US Army before a traumatic brain injury forced him to be medically discharged. He feels ashamed to have an injury no one can see and guilty for leaving his military comrades. Brandonn invests all of his time and effort into the organization he helped found, The Veterans Community Project. The VCP provides tiny houses for veterans and although Brandonn escapes through his work, his home life has suffered. He’s grown more distant with his wife and has built up walls to avoid feeling vulnerable. The Fab 5 help Brandonn see that his life has not been a failure and to rely on his family to also give him a place to call home.
Matt Moreland, 33 — “Farm to Table”
A recently divorced farmer who’s weathered hard times makes room for self-care and turns his barn into a chic farm-to-table dining space.
Matt Moreland is a fourth generation farmer who has come upon hard times in business and in life. After years of dwindling profit, Matt’s dairy farm is up for sale. He’s also had to face the shame of being the first person in his rural, conservative family to be divorced. Matt is ready to shed the past and dreams of new ways to generate profit for his farm. The Fab 5 help Matt confront this new chapter in his life and guide him as he creates his first farm-to-table dinner. Matt’s future starts with being open to change and becoming friends with five gay guys is a good start.