Duckster is correct, the fuel level should be below that gasket, but I'm not sure it would be with the bike on the sidestand. If the float is stuck, or the float needle valve is leaking, then gas should be coming out of the fitting right on the very bottom of the float bowl. That is the overflow. If you have a drain hose on it, pull off the hose and see if there is any gas coming out. Just touch it with your finger to see if it is wet. There may not actually be gas dripping.
I certainly understand where 76Paw is coming from. And for many people he is right. I've never been that way. When I started out working on mechanical things as a pre teen, I made a lot of mistakes too. By the time I was 16 I successfully rebuilt a car engine. You don't learn if you don't make mistakes. Yes they can be expensive. But going to a shop will definitely be expensive, and they don't always do things right either. When I bought my new 2016 Rebel, and they brought it out after setup, I gave it a quick once over. I found the chain so tight it had absolutely no play at all in it. I pointed it out to them, and they adjusted it. Had I trusted them to do it right, I could have done some serious damage. I never take things to a shop, because I am a mechanic, and I actually care about doing things right. Many mechanics are only interested in making money, and do very sloppy work, especially on other peoples stuff.
Much has been made of my aversion to electronics on motor vehicles. There are a couple of reasons for feeling the way I do. Number one is that I simply don't trust them. They can fail without warning, and there is no way to visually check them. The second thing is that I like to work on my vehicles, but have no interest at all in electronics. I like mechanical things. I have made very little effort to learn how to work on electronics on motor vehicles. I did do it when I was employed as a mechanic, but didn't understand what I was doing. I "went through the motions" connected up the computer diagnostic equipment, put in the software, and followed the instructions. That and a logical, methodical approach usually got the job done. I have no idea what goes on in a microprocessor, and don't care.
I have no problem trying to help someone with mechanical issues, especially when they are just starting out. Fortunately I had a very patient farm mechanic who helped me over and over again when I was just starting to learn how to work on mechanical things.
However, consider your situation. Are you mechanically inclined? Do you want to learn, or do you just want a rideable bike and never have to work on it again? If you have no desire to work on mechanical things, then your best course of action would probably be to sell your current Rebel, and buy a newer one in better condition. The Rebel is one of the best made bikes ever, it just seems like you got one with a lot of problems caused by abuse and neglect by previous owners.
Regardless, I will try to be of as much help as I can. It can be difficult to diagnose problems over the internet. It is much easier when you have what you are working on right in front of you.