Results 1 to 9 of 9
Like Tree11Likes
  • 1 Post By sputnik
  • 5 Post By Novice
  • 2 Post By MsDark
  • 2 Post By K-Piece
  • 1 Post By Novice

Thread: Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness “comes out”

  1. #1
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    fellow traveller
    Posts
    56,038

    Default Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness “comes out”

    Jonathan Van Ness of ‘Queer Eye’ Comes Out


    The reality-show star says he’s living with H.I.V., and speaks about being an addict and a sexual abuse survivor.





    Image
    “It’s hard for me to be as open as I want to be when there are certain things I haven’t shared publicly,” Jonathan Van Ness said about his new memoir.CreditCreditIsak Tiner for The New York Times



    By Alex Hawgood



    • Sept. 21, 2019






    Jonathan Van Ness was having a late breakfast at the Empire Diner, around the corner from his one-bedroom apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.
    Seated in a window booth, he was serving what he calls his “16th-century Jesus” look: Hollywood-starlet tresses, a mustache à la a Super Mario villain and fingernails painted with cartoon depictions from the 1996 film “The First Wives Club.”
    But Mr. Van Ness was not feeling his normal gorgeous self, the boisterous “Yass queen” merman that fans of “Queer Eye” adore. He was hung over.
    And no, it wasn’t from partying too much. It was a “vulnerability hangover,” to use a term coined by Brené Brown, a TED Talk-famous researcher, to describe feelings of dread after being forthcoming.


    ADVERTISEMENT




    “I’ve had nightmares every night for the past three months because I’m scared to be this vulnerable with people,” Mr. Van Ness said.
    For much of the summer, Mr. Van Ness, 32, has been mentally preparing himself for the release of his piercing memoir, “Over the Top,” on Sept. 24, in which a different image of Mr. Van Ness unspools with remarkable transparency.
    Subtitled a “Raw Journey to Self-Love,” the book doesn’t so much explode as offer psychological insight into the hirsute gay fairy godmother in heels or, as he puts it, “the effervescent, gregarious majestic center-part-blow-dry cotton-candy figure-skating queen” that he portrays on “Queer Eye.”
    “It’s hard for me to be as open as I want to be when there are certain things I haven’t shared publicly,” he said. He cracked his knuckles as he fidgeted from nerves. “These are issues that need to be talked about.”
    ADVERTISEMENT




    He ordered another cup of coffee, his fifth of the day, and began tearing up as he spoke about a particularly painful memory, one of many that he divulges in his book. When he was much younger, he was abused by an older boy from church, during what was supposed to be a make-believe play session.


    “For a lot of people who are survivors of sexual assault at a young age, we have a lot of compounded trauma,” he said.
    Suddenly, a 20-something woman with a ponytail appeared at the table. “I’m so sorry, I can’t take a picture right now,” he said, discreetly wiping his eyes.
    “Oh, that’s fine. I just want to say that I love the show,” she said.
    “Thank you. Namaste. Have a nice day,” he said, clasping his hands in prayer.
    ADVERTISEMENT




    Mr. Van Ness exhaled and gently took a sip of coffee. “If you’re having a terrible moment or in the middle of a conversation about something serious, people don’t care,” he said. “They want their bubbly J.V.N. and to get that major selfie.”







    Image
    Mr. Van Ness, being honest.CreditIsak Tiner for The New York Times


    Sex, Drugs and Hair

    In a sense, the memoir was a way for Mr. Van Ness to tell his story without interruption. There are certainly moments that may make some readers pause.


    Mr. Van Ness grew up in Quincy, Ill., a small port city along the Mississippi River, where he was a self-described “little baby queen” unafraid to embrace his femininity. It helped to have a mostly supportive family, including a mother he considers a lifelong best friend.
    ADVERTISEMENT




    The Van Ness family owns Quincy Media, a media company that operates 16 televisions stations in Illinois, Wisconsin and elsewhere, as well as two local newspapers. His mother, Mary Winters, is the company’s vice president; his father, Jon Van Ness, worked in sales. (They divorced when he was 5, and his mother remarried four years later.)
    At Quincy Senior High School (which he visits in the latest season of “Queer Eye”), he leapt over social norms to become the school’s first male cheerleader. Never mind the beer bottles thrown at him during games.
    He wasn’t exactly popular, and students spread rumors about his friendship with a closeted boy from his swim class. Mr. Van Ness felt humiliated. “I was too fat, too femme, too loud and too unlovable,” he said.







    Image


    A scene from “Queer Eye,” in which Mr. Van Ness is the resident hair expert. CreditNetflix


    His lack of self-esteem ran deep. As therapy would later reveal, the abuse he experienced as a young child planted the seed for other self-destructive behaviors. In his early teens, he spent hours in AOL chat rooms (this was the 1990s) and met up with older men for sex. One man, he recounts in the book, “turned whiter than Ann Coulter’s fan base” after learning he was underage.


    ADVERTISEMENT




    He found other ways to fill the void, including binge eating junk food like doughnuts when his stepfather died (he gained 70 pounds in three months).
    Eager to leave Quincy, he earned extra credit to skip senior year and attended the University of Arizona in Tucson. But during his first semester, he blew a monthly allowance of $200 from his mother on cocaine, which he started doing on weekends.
    Instead of asking his mother for more money (he was too ashamed and reckless at the time), he advertised sex for money on Gay.com, a chat and personals site.
    ADVERTISEMENT




    He flunked out of college his first year — he was 19 — and sulked home with his ponytail between his legs.
    Unsure what to do with his life, he decided to take the skills honed from styling the hair of his Barbie dolls to the next level and enrolled in an 11-month beautician program at the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis, where his first clients included many Somali refugees.
    After getting his certificate, he moved to Scottsdale, Ariz. (to be near his dying grandmother) and then to Los Angeles, where he supported himself as an assistant at a Sally Hershberger salon.


    But his addiction to sex and drugs got worse. When he was in his early 20s, a couple he met on Grindr introduced him to smoking methamphetamine. He went to rehab twice and relapsed both times.
    ADVERTISEMENT




    One day, when he was 25, he fainted in a salon while highlighting a client’s hair. The next day he went to Planned Parenthood to diagnose his flulike symptoms. He tested positive for H.I.V.
    “That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be,” he writes.







    Image


    At the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles this month. CreditNina Prommer/EPA, via Shutterstock


    Image


    At a Netflix party after the Creative Arts Emmys.CreditCharley Gallay/Getty Images for NetflixImage


    At the MTV Video Music Awards in Newark in August.CreditEvan Agostini/Invision, via Associated Press

    His Own Makeover

    He cleaned up his act; he still drinks and smokes marijuana but says he hasn’t done hard drugs in years. And, using money from a family trust, he started anew in Los Angeles.
    ADVERTISEMENT




    Appropriately enough, his foray into entertainment began at the hair salon. During an appointment with his friend Erin Gibson, a comedian who worked for Funny or Die, the two came up with a parody series called “Gay of Thrones,” in which Mr. Van Ness and a guest comedian offer campy, gay-themed recaps of “Game of Thrones.”


    The show premiered in 2013 and became a hit. (It has been nominated for three Creative Arts Emmys for short-form variety series). Soon, Mr. Van Ness was offered roles as a red-carpet commentator and as a host of other web series.
    Then, in 2016, his manager called with news that would truly flip his hair: Netflix was holding auditions for a reboot of “Queer Eye.” It took many weeks, but Mr. Van Ness eventually won the producers over.







    Image


    Mr. Van Ness with the “Queer Eye” cast.CreditNetflix


    ADVERTISEMENT




    In the show’s four seasons, the “Queer Eye” cast has gone from fringe gay personalities to mainstream celebrities, with Mr. Van Ness as one of the series’s breakout stars.
    In a recent episode set in Kansas City, Mo., he confronts the shame associated with traction alopecia, a form of hair loss that predominantly affects black women. It’s a topic rarely discussed on television, and even rarer by someone who is white.
    On Twitter, Tressie McMillan Cottom, an author and professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University, wrote: “Jonathan treating this sister with traction alopecia with love is more care than I can recall a regular black woman getting on TV ever.” (When he was shown that tweet, he burst into tears.)


    Mr. Van Ness hopes to bring attention to what he calls “gorgeous beauty moments” like that with his memoir, especially misperceptions about being H.I.V. positive. He is healthy and now describes himself as an out-and-proud “member of the beautiful H.I.V.-positive community.”
    ADVERTISEMENT




    “When ‘Queer Eye’ came out, it was really difficult because I was like, ‘Do I want to talk about my status?,” he said. “And then I was like, ‘The Trump administration has done everything they can do to have the stigmatization of the L.G.B.T. community thrive around me.’” He paused before adding, “I do feel the need to talk about this.”





    Image




    Just as he was about to take a bite of his eggs at the diner, Mr. Van Ness was interrupted once again. This time it was a boyish young man who poked his head in the window to profess his admiration.
    After another “namaste,” which appears to be his shorthand for “kindly leave,” Mr. Van Ness resumed his thoughts. “These are all difficult subjects to talk about on a makeover show about hair and makeup,” he said. “That doesn’t mean ‘Queer Eye’ is less valid, but I want people to realize you’re never too broken to be fixed.”


















    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  2. #2
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    fellow traveller
    Posts
    56,038

    Default

    Sorry for the duplicate photos and messy layout, couldn’t get the article to post properly. Stupid board!
    twitchy2.0 likes this.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  3. #3
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Beyond Caring, then hang a left.
    Posts
    45,205

    Default

    What a brave and lovely man. This sentence needs to be written large when everyone/anyone can read it and be reminded.

    That doesn’t mean ‘Queer Eye’ is less valid, but I want people to realize you’re never too broken to be fixed.”

  4. #4
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Beyond Caring, then hang a left.
    Posts
    45,205

    Default

    The Guardian also ran an article on him & his new book


    Show caption
    Queer EyeJonathan Van Ness on being HIV positive: ‘It gave me a reason to really fight’


    The charismatic star of hit TV show Queer Eye had a troubled and chaotic early life. Here, for the first time, he talks about his life with the virus

    Aaron Hicklin
    Sun 22 Sep 2019 03.05 EDT




    The words “smoky lavender” appear twice in Over the Top, a memoir by Jonathan Van Ness, the most fabulous of the so-called Fab Five on Queer Eye, the hyperventilating makeover show in which he stars. The first time it is used to describe the skin colour of a gun-toting meth addict he encounters during a stint as a sex worker in Tucson. The second to describe the colour of the thigh-high boots worn by the hair stylist at a salon he lands at in Los Angeles in 2008. He is 19. Later, Jane Fonda, a customer, tells Van Ness his hair makes him look like Jesus.
    Between these two smoky lavenders is a gulf that separates two versions of Van Ness: the garrulous, sassy, resident groomer of Queer Eye – and the emotionally bruised, risk-taking addict. As he warns readers midway through the book, “Buckle up, buttercup, because I can go from comedy to tragedy in three seconds flat.”
    Van Ness and I are in a Cadillac sedan, driving past the tangled, rusting architecture of Philadelphia’s suburbs. Travelling like this is normal for him – on Queer Eye, he gets to roam the country waving his wand and transforming lives. The show, which was brought out of cold storage last year after an 11-year hiatus, has been a surprising success. America, it seems, is hungry for its uplifting brand of magic. A lot of that comes down to Van Ness, the show’s foremost cheerleader for Queer Eye’s stated mission of turning red (Republican) states pink, “one makeover at a time”. It’s Van Ness who brings the energy to the party, Yass queeninghis way through each episode, scattering memes and neologisms wherever he goes, and generally helping people connect to their feelings, often by tapping into his own. Tears are never far below the surface. Resistance is futile. Everyone loves him.

    Looking sharp: the Fab Five from the first series of Queer Eye.Photograph: Gavin Bond/NetflixVan Ness has a hectic, energetic style and a voice that soars high and then higher. In the car he talks quickly, words tumbling out of his mouth in a way that can leave you trailing far behind. When I ask if any of his encounters on Queer Eye have changed him, he answers: “The act of showing up for your family and being able to live in the world I think is heroic. There’s like 15 bajillion eggs in the ovaries and who even knows how many, like, little spermies are in there, so the fact we got to be born and be living this long is kind of like a mathematical who-knew.” This is, I think, a roundabout way of saying we all deserve to be acknowledged. But things are way more fun when Van Ness says them.
    For our meeting, I’d taken the train from New York to Philadelphia, where Van Ness was filming an episode of the show, with vague plans to walk to the Liberty Bell. But he’d just received a 24-hour reprieve from work and, shortly before arriving, his publicist suggested I drive back to New York with him. Sitting in the back of a car with someone you’ve never met can be awkward, and I was conflicted. But Van Ness disarms with charm. A pop culture magpie, he slides from subject to subject and dares you to keep up. How he finds time to watch so much, know so much, work so much, is a conundrum. Lately, he has learned to meditate as a way to manage his stress. “On Sundays I sometimes don’t work,” he says.
    We are on Route 95 somewhere outside of Philadelphia and, as we navigate the traffic, we admire his latest manicure, each nail painted to represent a different cast member of the 1996 comedy the First Wives Club, a touchstone for Van Ness.

    ‘On Sundays I sometimes don’t work’: Jonathan Van Ness.Photograph: Danielle Levitt/The Observer“This is Goldie Hawn getting her lips done,” he says, lifting a finger for inspection. We talk about cats – he has four, including Liza Meownelli – and we watch an old video that surfaced late last year on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. In it the 11-year old Van Ness performs an interpretative dance to Jewel’s Pieces of You – his entry in the school talent show. For the number, he wore a kabuki mask positioned on the back of his head and a baggy black T-shirt emblazoned with a question mark. The piece, inspired by an ice-skating routine, culminates in a triple-axel-style pirouette that is so wholehearted, so gutsy and so precious that it’s heartbreaking. At the time, his mother gently suggested he might want to reconsider. The other kids, she said, might not let him live it down. But when had they ever?


    What Van Ness knew early on was that the world of women was more interesting to him than the world of men. He recalls at the age of four telling his father’s friend that he wanted to be a cabana girl or a cosmetologist when he grew up. As an adult, he would gravitate to the term “gender queer” to express his place in the world, but that wasn’t an option in childhood. A particularly painful story conjures his father’s war on his gender exploration. “I remember very clearly my dad finding me in an evening gown with my two cousins,” he says. “He tore me out of the dress, holding me in the air so that I was perpendicular to the ground. I was terrified.”
    But there were pockets of joy, too. Joining the junior varsity cheerleading squad at high school at 14 was an epiphany – he felt at home immediately. When I make the faux pas of forgetting who starred in Bring It On, the cult 1999 cheerleading movie, Van Ness gasps. “I could almost throw you out of the back of this car for asking such a preposterous question,” he says. “So, you’re telling me you came to this interview not having seen Bring It On? What were you doing?”
    In season four of Queer Eye, viewers saw Van Ness return to his high school in Quincy to makeover his arts teacher, Cathy Dooley, a beloved figure who stood out for not making him feel different or unusual. The cameras show Van Ness performing with the cheerleading squad as students clap and whoop. It’s a moving spectacle that implies a circle has been closed. Everyone loves queer people now, even in Quincy.
    But what we see on screen is not the whole truth. A few weeks before the Fab Five arrived, the school had asked parents to sign permission slips for their children to be on camera, prompting protests from a local pastor. “He sent a letter to the newspaper that blasted the normalisation of LGBTQ culture, and said we should not be rolling out the welcome mats at a public school,” Van Ness says. “It was just a really nasty letter.” Nor was it just any old pastor. “This was someone who was like a family friend, someone I’d known for a very long time.” He looks glum. “I don’t think we’ve come as far as I wished and hoped that we had.”

    Smile please: posing for a selfie with a fan at 2019 MTV Video Music Awards in New Jersey. Photograph: Dia Dipasupil/Getty ImagesLeaving small town America in order to be fully himself, only to find being fully himself is what brings him back to small town America, is an irony not lost on Van Ness. “It’s a little bit Gift of the Magi,” he says. But he also knows Quincy is his secret weapon because “even the most Republican-ass Trump supporter is someone I have grown up next door to”. Or even grown up with. Three years ago, he had to work hard to convince his father not to vote for Trump. “I cussed my dad out 300 of the days of 2016,” he says. “Our relationship literally was on thin ice over that election.” In the end, Van Ness Senior voted for Gary Johnson, the nominee for the Libertarian party. “I was really proud of him for it,” he says.
    When the originalQueer Eye premiered on the Bravo channel in 2003, it was a more straightforward makeover show inspired by advice columns in Esquire magazine. Where it was radical was in the casting of five confident, unapologetic gay men to dish advice to hapless straight men. But people rarely cried and there was little talk of self-care. “I was just trying to get guys out of pleated khakis and to get them to cut off their mullets,” says Carson Cressley, who starred in the original. “I don’t think any of us thought the show had any sort of idea about making a political statement.” The 2018 reboot, on Netflix, repackaged the Fab Five as social missionaries spreading the gospel of love around America. A masterstroke was to take the guys out of New York, where the original show had been located, and into the heartland states that voted for Donald Trump in 2016. In a fractured society, the show would open minds by showing that our similarities were greater than our differences. Or, as another of the Fab Five, Karamo Brown, said in the opening episode of season one: “We’ve all got to come together in a way we can understand each other.”
    There have been four seasons of Queer Eye since its debut in February 2018 and a new one will drop early next year. The show’s hosts have not wasted time, assiduously attending to their brand while they still enjoy the spotlight. Three have published books this year and this month it’s the turn of Van Ness. His memoir, Over the Top, could have been a ghostwriter’s gift, packed with his witticisms and mantras for self-care. Instead it’s a lightning bolt – devastating and stirring, powered by years of anguish and humiliation. Does he worry how fans will react to his own revelations? “I’m scared,” he admits. “But I’m ready to pull the Band Aid off.”

    ‘I don’t think we’ve come as far as I wished and hoped that we had’: Jonathan Van Ness. Photograph: Danielle Levitt/The ObserverFor Van Ness, Over the Top is about charting his own path through adolescence towards the triumph that is Queer Eye, but it’s also about owning – and thereby defusing – two of the most traumatic chapters in his life. The first occurred when he was four, when an older boy molested him in a closet. Van Ness tells his parents but it’s written off as “experimentation” and swiftly passed over. That single act of abuse casts a long, pernicious shadow over the book as we witness the ways in which Van Ness acts out his confusion and pain, from taking crystal meth, to sustained binges in sex clubs that satisfy his need to be wanted. He joins a 12-step programme for sex addiction, but relapses.
    In the midst of all that, his stepfather, Steve, is diagnosed with bladder cancer, and told he has 11 months to live. His death, when it comes, knocks Van Ness back into the unhealthy behaviour he’s been working to quit.
    “Everything that happened to me that summer will always be painful to think about,” he says. “It was like saying goodbye to so much of what I wanted.”
    Shortly after the funeral, his former boyfriend tracked him down at a bathhouse in St Louis and Van Ness’s fall to rock bottom seems complete. Almost. When he gets sick, collapsing at the hair salon he is working at one afternoon, he already knows what a doctor will tell him a day later: he is HIV positive.


    Van Ness writes about these bombshells with a quiet tenacity that skirts melodrama. He wonders if his reckless behaviour was a self-fulfilling prophecy, the consequence of all the fear ingrained in him at such a young age. He wants other people not to have to go through the same thing.
    “It occurred to me: what if everything I’ve ever been through was preparing me for this moment – to be strong enough to share this, and to share it on my own terms,” he says. “Part of that for me is to process what’s happened, but the bigger part is that I wanted to do something to move the conversation forward in a meaningful way around HIV/Aids, and what it is to live with HIV, and to humanise and normalise a lot of the things I talk about.” He blinks, then adds, “I’m talking slow because I’m trying not to cry.”

    ‘I wanted to do something to move the conversation forward in a meaningful way’: Jonathan Van Ness on his HIV activism.Photograph: Danielle Levitt/The ObserverWe are nearing New York, and the canyons of Manhattan fill the hazy skyline. Growing up, Van Ness used to fantasise he would help other people like himself. “I always felt that was part of my purpose,” he says. “But I thought it would be a really chic juice studio with great baked goods, maybe a dance and yoga studio.” He didn’t think the way he’d help people was simply by being himself on a global TV show – or by penning a generous and frank memoir.


    At a certain point, Van Ness picked himself up and decided he didn’t want to throw away his life. “It really took some time to figure out how to put my life together,” he says. But medical advances mean the virus is now undetectable in his blood. He remembers the day he was given his HIV diagnosis, asking the doctor if he could still live to be 75. “She was, like, ‘I will keep you alive long enough to die of a heart attack or cancer like everyone else,’ and then she laughed uncontrollably.”
    Is he making time for relationships? Van Ness shakes his head. “In the past, I’ve had relationships with people who I was almost using to validate myself and my existence, and that’s not been a great plan for me,” he says. “So, this is a season of me falling in love with myself all the way.”
    In some ways, he thinks that testing positive for HIV has been his liberation. In the past year, he has taken up ice-skating and thrown himself into gymnastics. And, of course, there is an election to fight. “I absolutely do not think I’d have been as socially aware or conscious or want to make as much of a difference,” he says. “It gave me a reason to really fight.”

    ‘I want to humanise a lot of the difficult things I talk about’: Jonathan Van Ness. Photograph: Danielle Levitt/The ObserverYou know those plants that are always trying to find the light?
    Extract from Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness



    Picture me in the seventh grade: a chubby, slightly snaggletoothed kid with a voluminous mop of frizzy curly hair. I’d be cycling through several of my cutest looks, usually monochromatic jumpers with severe Doc Martens boots, just to go to the mall. It felt entirely possible that a talent scout would be there, in the nation’s smallest capital of Springfield, Illinois I’d practice ice-skating routines in my living room, trying to be like the Olympians I idolised, imagining how triumphant I’d be when I finally seized that gold medal. The years of fantasising about reaching stratospheric fame through a local mall discovery had long since faded by 2017. I’d settled for much more attainable goals. I became a hairdresser, working in both LA and New York. I’d stumbled, very grate- fully, into a side hustle in the form of a web series called Gay of Thrones. That spring I would move to Atlanta to shoot a dream project with four new friends. We had beaten out the collective gay world for these five coveted positions, and we all knew it was a monumental opportunity. Like Maya Angelou taught me, I was hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, so that nothing could catch me off guard. I was just happy that I had completed my mission of escaping cornfield-small-town-only- gay-person infamy and was now free to live an authentic queer life in a gorgeous big city with a Trader Joe’s and nobody thinking twice about my leggings.


    A year later in February, Queer Eye had just come out, and I was on my way to a meeting. To my shock I arrived early, so I went to grab a coffee, and as I was walking in, this lady with the most gorgeous ex- pertly done microbraids and giant glasses stopped me and bellowed, “Honey, this faggotry you are serving is giving me everything!”
    At first, I was confused. Did she just call me a fag? But the smile on her face and her extreme proximity seemed to suggest a loving and enamoured person. I’m now doubly confused, I’m running ahead of schedule, and strangers are stopping me. Mind you, it’s still 8.15am, my eyes still subtly perma-stoned from last night’s edible, and I hadn’t even had my coffee yet! So I said, “Thanks, queen,” and continued on my way.


    But then two steps later, two other girls stopped me. They said they were living for the show and asked if they could take selfies. Of course I said, “Yes, sweets!” and that caused a few more girls from outside the shop to come in for what was quickly becoming an impromptu meet-and-greet. My original encounter from the store got in line for her pic next, then be- came the photographer for the rest of the meet-and-greet. After thanking all my new friends, I left the coffee shop to head back with no coffee because I forgot. Well, that was fun. How much am I thriving right now? I thought.
    Crossing the street to go to my meeting, a very nice man stopped me and began playing twenty questions with me about my life, about the show, about everything. I obliged, because I’m eternally a people pleaser, and I didn’t want him to feel bad, but at that point my early arrival turned into being fully actually late to the meeting. When I was filming Queer Eye in secrecy with the boys in Atlanta in 2017, sometimes producers, or people who were familiar with the show’s revival, would ask me, “Are you ready for your life to change?” I always said, “OMG, yes! But this morning, something shifted. People knew who I was, everywhere I went.


    There was a girl who stopped me on the corner of Twenty- Third and Park not long after the show came out. We made eye contact for a split second and it was like an invisible Jackie Chan punched her in the stomach. She doubled over. She took a dramatic step back. “Oh my God,” she yelled. “Oh my God! Oh my God!” I was so worried about her that I stopped right there and pulled her onto the curb. We sat for a while until she pulled herself together.
    When people had asked me whether I was ready for my life to change, I don’t think I really understood what they meant. It wasn’t just that strangers would know who I was. It was this other thing that started to happen to me: when I looked in their eyes, sometimes, there was a little voice in my head wondering,Would you still be so excited to meet me if you really knew who I was? If you knew all the things I’d done? If you could see all my parts?
    Sure, there’s a part of me that’s endlessly positive. But it’s just one part. It’s a beautiful part, a strong part, and an important part, but it’s not all of it. There are other parts I want to show, parts that are a little bit scarier to get into. Like the nagging, insecure part of me that worries my positivity is faker than the hair that covers the chalkboard scalp of Donald Trump. Or the part of me that’s had sex with a ton of people—a lot of whom I wish I hadn’t. What about my irritated part, which isn’t the easiest to deal with if my people-pleasing part has been working overtime. My binge-eating part, my part that just wants to be left alone, or my part that could make you pray for me to catch permanent laryngitis because I can’t stop telling you about the Romanovs, or my cats, or the irony of the GOP that wants low taxes and even lower federal government regulation, unless it comes to regulation of people’s pregnancies, marijuana, or the fundamentally racist state and federal prison systems. Because when you have this much personality, there’s a fear lurking just below the surface: If you knew all of me, you wouldn’t love me anymore. You would no longer want me as your new best friend.
    Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness is published by Simon & Schuster at £20. Order a copy for £17.60 at guardianbookshop.com
    Produced by Stephanie Porto; styling by Alison Brooks; styling assistant Emily Payne; grooming by Brenna Drury for Exclusive Artists using MAC Cosmetics and Oribe Haircare. Jonathan wears a skirt and sweatshirt by The Row; sweater by Dries Van Noten Skirt; boots by Chanel; cat shoes by Maison Margiela; skirt by Rip n Dip and socks by Paul Smith

  5. #5
    Elite Member MsDark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Northwest MS/Memphis TN
    Posts
    30,244

    Default

    I love JVN. I first discovered him on Gay of Thrones. When I saw they were rebooting Queer Eye and he was one of the guys I was stoked.
    sputnik and crayzeehappee like this.
    My Posts Have Won Awards. Can Any Of You Claim The Same? -ur_next_ex

    "I don't have pet peeves. I have major psychotic fucking hatreds, okay". ~George Carlin

  6. #6
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Beyond Caring, then hang a left.
    Posts
    45,205

    Default

    I will be checking out QE on netflicks.
    I have also got this on my audible wish list for when it’s released.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    155

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    What a brave and lovely man. This sentence needs to be written large when everyone/anyone can read it and be reminded.

    That doesn’t mean ‘Queer Eye’ is less valid, but I want people to realize you’re never too broken to be fixed.”
    I agree 100%. This moved me to tears. He’s so incredibly brave to go public with his diagnosis, and to talk about the abuse he suffered. And he will help so many people by showing what he went through, what he’s dealing with health-wise, how he overcame drug addiction, and how after all of that he became so successful—and the way he’s doing it all with humor and a smile on his face. I think he’s an amazing person.
    Novice and lindsaywhit like this.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Beyond Caring, then hang a left.
    Posts
    45,205

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by K-Piece View Post
    I agree 100%. This moved me to tears. He’s so incredibly brave to go public with his diagnosis, and to talk about the abuse he suffered. And he will help so many people by showing what he went through, what he’s dealing with health-wise, how he overcame drug addiction, and how after all of that he became so successful—and the way he’s doing it all with humor and a smile on his face. I think he’s an amazing person.
    I saw the uk version of QE years ago and was aware of this but have never seen it.

    There is a UK sportsman that recently divulged that he is HIV+ and has said that he had to die to being blackmailed into it by someone/entity. I hope that this is not the case here & it’s not the new gold-digger-thing. Wasn’t Charlie Sheen Also blackmailed into revealing his status?

    I feel very strongly that this kind of health statue (along with illness, mental illness, etc) is and should be private, no-one should feel that they have no choice to reveal this kind of information; however, this interview was the most moving, hopeful, “over-coming” (is that even a word?) that I think I have read on this sort of situation.
    Lalasnake likes this.

  9. #9
    Elite Member Tiny Pixie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Stockholm
    Posts
    4,805

    Default

    I love him so much, he’s such a sweetheart.
    Fluctuat nec mergitur
    Paris, Nov 13th


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 7
    Last Post: September 15th, 2018, 02:36 AM
  2. Very cool: Loch Ness monster makes a comeback
    By buttmunch in forum The Little Big World
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: June 1st, 2007, 11:56 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •