Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness comes out as HIV positive in a new interview about his memoir. The fab five reality star decided to open up and let his fans learn who the real man is behind all that hair.
Van Ness found fame when he became the grooming expert on Netflix’s Queer Eye. The original show which aired over a decade ago was rebooted with a new fab five. The show now takes place in Atlanta instead of New York City. Some aspects of the show never changed like how the experts develop relationships with the men and women who often need style advice. Many of the men and women they help share a different belief system which during the show, leads to flashes of social commentary and a mutual understanding.
On Saturday, September 21st, Van Ness’s interview with the New York Times was printed. In the article, the TV personality opened up about his HIV positive diagnosis. When his hit TV show originally premiered he was nervous to talk about his HIV status, but after the Trump administration started to stigmatize the LGBTQ+ community he knew he had to talk about his journey in honor of his community. The interview was to also help promote the reality star’s new memoir "Over the Top" which he told the NYT would go into greater detail about his personal life.
In Saturday’s article, Van Ness shared that he was sexually assaulted in his childhood and that led to self-destructive behaviors when he became a young adult. The trauma of the assault led him to develop addictions to drugs and sex, spending his college money on cocaine. He was too embarrassed to ask his mother for money, so he turned to earn money by offering sex on a chat site. The addiction led him to drop out of college, only to become more addicted. Then at the age of 25, Van Ness discovered that he was HIV positive. He spoke of how the news was as devastating as it sounds to receive a diagnosis of having HIV. However, the powerhouse that is Van Ness, he aims through his new memoir to help others who are also living with the disease.
The Queer Eye star wanted to make sure that his journey helps teach others how to take care of themselves. Van Ness would also like to bring greater awareness to the disease and LGBTQ+ community. He acknowledged that before the interview was printed he laid awake at night, fearing the reaction of people as being vulnerable scares the star. Thankfully it seems that Van Ness has had nothing but positive feedback from his friends, family, and fans.