If you're an avid fan of Netflix's Queer Eye, you'll know who Jonathan Van Ness is. The celebrity hairdresser is responsible for the "grooming" segment in the acclaimed reboot makeover show and has since become a fan-favorite.
The star is also known for his trailblazing freedom of expression, which is often portrayed through his fashion choices, where he proves that clothing truly has no gender. In fact, speaking with Out magazine, Van Ness recently revealed that his complex gender expression runs a little deeper than simply wearing a skirt every now and again and that he identifies as gender non-conforming.
But, now, the star has been breaking down stigmas beyond gender, as he revealed he is HIV positive.
In his memoir, the star also spoke candidly about his previous struggle with drug addiction as well as his experience with sexual assault.
Keep scrolling to find out more about his diagnosis and how he's used it to "liberate" himself. It's such an important story...
Jonathan Van Ness is a hairstylist, TV personality, fashion icon, and all-round fan-favorite.
His big break came with Netflix's reboot makeover show, Queer Eye.
via: imdbThe show stars Van Ness alongside Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Tan France, and Antoni Porowski, otherwise known as the "Fab Five."
Each takes responsibility for re-vamping a different aspect of a contestant's life.From home renovation to a whole new wardrobe, cuisine lessons, and even life coaching – the Fab Five delves deep into the lives of each person featured on the hit revival. And Van Ness's role? He takes care of the grooming aspect, which involves hairdressing, of course, as well as beauty and skincare.
It's much more than just a makeover...Throughout the series, the Fab Five meet with a diverse line-up of contestants, from those with opposing political views to a trans man recently recovering from top surgery. The gang touches the lives of these people in a unique way.
The show has garnered a significant fanbase.
But Queer Eye isn't Van Ness's only entertainment venture.
He has a leading role in a comedy recap show...
via: imdbVan Ness stars in the iconic web series, Gay of Thrones, a comedic Game of Thrones recap show.
He's also dipped his toes into podcasting.
Since skyrocketing to fame, Van Ness has found himself well and truly in the fashion spotlight.
He's created the perfect blend of head-turning, extravagant, and all-out fabulous.
He has a very strong stance on the subject.
But his gender expression isn't the only thing the loveable-TV-personality has opened up about.
Van Ness opened up about his diagnosis during an emotional interview.The New York Times, the star speaks candidly about his traumatic past documented in his new memoir, including drug addiction, the sexual abuse he was subject to as a young boy, and his HIV diagnosis. As per The New York Times: "When he was in his early twenties, a couple he met on Grindr introduced him to drugs. He went to rehab twice and relapsed both times."
But, he was encouraged to clean-up his act when he tested positive for HIV aged twenty-five.
He opened up more about the day to The Guardian.explained. "It really took some time to figure out how to put my life together." People who are living with the virus and are on effective treatment live just as long as anybody else, and cannot transmit the virus to their partners, but with harmful stereotypes and misinformation, the stigma surrounding the virus is still rife.
But, by talking openly about it, he hopes to break down the stigma.
In fact, he's now liberated by the diagnosis.The Guardian. “It gave me a reason to really fight."
Since telling his story, the star has received a staggering amount of praise.
Whoa, Jonathan Van Ness has come out at HIV+. Thank you, @jvn, for sharing your status with us. Your story will d… https://t.co/XQUu7BYk6n— ella dawson (@ella dawson)1569078128.0
Words of "love and respect" for the star came pouring in.
Nothing but love and respect for @jvn, whose bravery in sharing his story will hopefully help dispel the stigma and… https://t.co/IBb4T09KeK— Philip Ellis (@Philip Ellis)1569080628.0