Jonathan Van Ness

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Jonathan Van Ness
Jonathan Van Ness, 2018-04.jpg
Van Ness in April 2018
Born (1987-03-28) March 28, 1987 (age 32)
Alma materAveda Institute
Occupation
  • Hairdresser
  • television personality
Years active2013–present
TelevisionQueer Eye

Jonathan Van Ness (born March 28, 1987)[1] is an American hairdresser, podcaster, and television personality. He is internationally known as the grooming expert on the Netflix series Queer Eye,[2] for his work on the web series parody Gay of Thrones, and for hosting the Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness podcast.

Early life[edit]

Jonathan Van Ness was born March 28, 1987, and raised in Quincy, Illinois.[1][3] Van Ness said he comes "from a family of journalists," being the sixth generation of their family-owned newspaper.[4] This refers to broadcast and newspaper conglomerate Quincy Media and the company's local flagship newspaper, the Herald-Whig; Van Ness's mother is the vice president of Quincy Media, and he is a descendant of the Oakley family which has controlled the company since the 1890s.[5]

Openly gay throughout his life,[6] Van Ness experienced bullying for his "femininity and natural flamboyance," as well as death threats.[7] He "endured years of judgment, ridicule, and trauma."[7] Of the time, Van Ness said, "Growing up I definitely put on every nail polish, every heel, every scarf — I definitely had my mom’s knockoff Hermès scarves in my hair and around my waist — those were my skirts, and I loved it. ... But when I was really young, I had really femme-shamey, gender-shamey [reactions] when I would dress like that. When I would play with those things, I knew it needed to be... behind closed doors."[7] Although always comfortable in his own skin, he says it did take some time to navigate other people's reactions.[7] In response to the bullying he used humor as a coping mechanism, and relied on a small group of close friends for support.[8] Years later, in the late 2010s, he realized he was gender non-conforming, and non-binary.[7]

When he was younger, he was sexually-abused by an older boy at church, Van Ness said this laid the foundation for self-destructive behaviors.[9] In his early teens, he used online-chat to socialize with, and sometimes meet older men for sex.[9] He was the first male cheerleader at Quincy Senior High School and continued cheerleading in college at the University of Arizona where he majored in political science.[6][10] One month in his initial semester at college, he used up his monthly allowance on cocaine, and too embarrassed to ask his parents for funds, he turned to sex work.[9] His addictions to sex, and drugs increased to also include methamphetamine.[9] His grades fell and he lost his cheerleading scholarship. He dropped out after one semester, to pursue hairstyling.[8][11]

Van Ness trained at the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis.[12] After graduating,[13] he worked in Arizona for five years,[14] before moving to Los Angeles, California in 2009.[6]

Career[edit]

On arriving in Los Angeles, Van Ness found a job as a personal assistant at Sally Hershberger Salon.[6][13] One day in 2012, he fainted in the salon while doing highlights for a client's hair, later at a clinic he found out he was HIV-positive.[9] He used the revelation to "get clean" from drug use, and publicly shared his story saying, "I want people to realize you’re never too broken to be fixed."[9] He currently works at MoJoHair and Stile Salon, both in Los Angeles, which he co-founded with Monique Northrop of Arte Salon in New York City.[13]

In 2013, while dressing the hair of friend Erin Gibson — who worked for the comedy syndicate Funny or Die[6]—Van Ness was asked by Gibson to perform his recap of a Game of Thrones episode for Funny or Die, which became the Gay of Thrones web series.[15] Van Ness was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series in 2018 for Gay of Thrones.[16][17]

Since 2015, Van Ness has hosted the weekly podcast Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness.[18] His podcast took off upon the airing of the first Queer Eye episode.[19]

Van Ness currently stars as the grooming expert on the Netflix revival of Queer Eye.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Van Ness currently works in Los Angeles and New York City.[21] He has psoriasis, a chronic skin condition, and advises clients on skin care.[22]

Van Ness is non-binary.[23] His preferred gender pronouns are he/him/his,[24] but he has indicated that he is okay being referred to with she/her or they/them as well.[25] In a 2019 interview with The New York Times, he revealed a history of drug addiction issues, childhood sexual abuse, and his HIV-positive diagnosis at age 25.[5]

On September 25, 2019, Van Ness announced his endorsement of Elizabeth Warren for president in 2020 based upon healthcare being a human right.[26]

His memoir, Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love, was published in October 2019.

Filmography[edit]

Television and web[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013–2019 Gay of Thrones Jonathan Series regular, 45 episodes
2014 I Love the 2000s Himself Series regular, 10 episodes
2016 Last Will and Testicle Testicle Episode: "Acceptance"
2018–present Queer Eye Himself Series regular, 37 episodes
2018 Nailed It! Himself Contestant, Episode: "3, 2, 1... Ya Not Done!!"
2018 The Rachael Ray Show Himself
2018 Entertainment Weekly Himself Queer Eye Guys Reveal Who They'd Be In Other Famous Fab Fives"
2019 Lip Sync Battle Himself Contestant, Season 5, Episode 1
2019 Jimmy Kimmel Live Himself "Jonathan Van Ness on Ending HIV Stigma & New Book Over the Top"
2019 Strahan, Sara, and Keke Himself
2019 BUILD Series Himself
2019 Vogue Himself "Jonathan Van Ness's Travel Routine, From New York to LA"
2019 Vanity Fair Himself "The Cast of Queer Eye Takes a Lie Detector Test"
2019 WIRED Himself "Queer Eye Cast Answer the Web's Most Searched Questions"
2019 Jenny McCarthy TV Himself "Jonathan Van Ness on his book Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love"
2019 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Himself "Know Your Fab Five with Queer Eye's Fab Five"
2019 BuzzFeed Celeb Himself "Surprise Staring Contest With The Queer Eye Guys"
2019 NowThis Entertainment Himself
2019 E! Red Carpet & Award Shows Himself "Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness Says He 'Can't Act Straight'"
2019 Netflix UK & Ireland Himself
2019 E! News Himself
2019 Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen Himself
2019 ET Canada Himself
2019 The Trevor Project Himself "Jonathan Van Ness Talks to Trevor: Chasing Passions and Finding Safe Spaces"
2019 Today Himself "Jonathan Van Ness Opens Up About Decision To Reveal HIV Diagnosis"
2019 Access Hollywood Himself
2019 HarperOne Himself
2019 Big Mouth Himself
2019 The Late Late Show with James Corden Himself "Jonathan Van Ness On Living HIV Positive & His Memoir"
2019 The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Himself "Jonathan Van Ness: 'Honey, She's An Onion With All Sorts Of Layers' (Extended Interview)"
2019 Big City Greens Confident Stylist Voice role[27]
2019 BuzzFeed Celeb "Antoni And Jonathan Van Ness Take The BFF Test"

Films[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2020 Miss Americana Himself Directed by Lana Wilson

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Artist
2018 "This Is Me (The Reimagined Remix)" Keala Settle, Kesha, & Missy Elliott
2019 "You Need to Calm Down" Taylor Swift

Podcasts[edit]

As a guest[edit]

Date Title Episode
Oct. 1, 2019 B&N Podcast (Barnes & Noble) "Jonathan Van Ness"
Sept. 13, 2018 Next Question with Katie Couric "Jonathan Van Ness Is Busy Being Fabulous"
May 7, 2018 Ladygang "Jonathan Van Ness"

As host of Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness[edit]

2015[edit]

Episode # Date aired Title Guest
1 December 15, 2015 "What's the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims & why don't they love each other?" Professor James Gelvin
2 December 23, 2015 "What Was The First Christmas Really Like?" Father Waylon

2016[edit]

Episode # Date aired Title Guest
3 January 6, 2016 "Internet Security: What's Her Story?" Samantha Corbin
4 January 20, 2016 "What's a Menstrual Cup?" Sullivan Oakley
5 February 3, 2016 "Who is Bernie Sanders?" Elizabeth Kaye
6 February 17, 2016 "What is Agent Orange?" Courtney Marsh
7 March 1, 2016 "Who Were the Romanovs and What Happened to Them, Honey?" Professor Brad Damare
8 March 15, 2016 "What's It Like to be a Comedic Legend?" Margaret Cho
9 March 22, 2016 "What Constitutes an Eating Disorder?" Ilon Varo
10 April 5, 2016 "What are Strokes?" Dr. Lina Nih
11 April 19, 2016 "What is Gender Identity?" Ian Harvie
12 May 4, 2016 "What is it Like Living in China?" Scarlett Wang
13 May 18, 2016 "What is United Shades of America?" W. Kamau Bell
14 June 1, 2016 "What's it Like Being a Cancer Survivor?" Byron Lane
15 June 15, 2016 "What are Gravitational Waves and LIGO for Dummies?" Professor Alan Weinstein
16 June 29, 2016 "What's #Brexit?" Mary O'Hara
17 July 13, 2016 "What is Gun Control and Everytown?" Andrei Berman and Taylor Maxwell
18 July 27, 2016 "What's Going on in Brazil?" Carla Dauden
19 August 10, 2016 "What's Going on in HIV Research?" Kayla McLaughlin
20 August 24, 2016 "Mass Extinction: What's Her Story?" Dr. Leryn Gorlitsky
21 September 7, 2016 "How Do You Navigate Dating and Love?" Stan Tatkin
22 September 21, 2016 "What's it Like Modeling in Today's Fashion Industry?" Denise Bidot
23 October 5, 2016 "What's It Like Living in America Undocumented?" Erick Zerecero
24 October 19, 2016 "How Do You Overcome Lupus?" Mercedes Yvette
25 November 2, 2016 "What're the Down Ballot and Initiative Issues for 2016?" Greg Srolestar
26 November 16, 2016 "What the T Over at Marie Claire?" Wanyi Jiang
27 November 30, 2016 "What Was Your Journey to Becoming a Writer?" Christopher Bernard
28 December 14, 2016 "How Do You Interact With Vulnerability?" Kyle Kreiger
29 December 28, 2016 "How Was YOUR 2016?" Zoe Jarman

2017[edit]

Episode # Date aired Title Guest
30 January 11, 2017 "What Are You Up To, Lizzo?" Lizzo
31 January 25, 2017 "How Do you Find your Personal Style" Orlando Soria
32 February 3, 2017 "Who's Throwing Shade?" Erin Gibson
33 February 8, 2017 "How Did You Start With Psychedelics?" Shane Mauss
34 February 22, 2017 "What Was Jonathan Like As a Kid?" Mary Winters
35 October 10, 2017 "What's Going on in the Middle East Right Now?" Dr. James Gelvin
36 October 26, 2017 "What's the Giant Fuss About Artificial Intelligence?" Dr. Ori Amir
37 November 8, 2017 "Atlantic Pirates - What's the T?" Rebecca Simon
38 November 23, 2017 "How Did LA Become a Driving Dependent City?" Christina Copland
39 December 7, 2017 "How Come I Don't Know About the Armenian Genocide?" Dr. Richard Hovannisian
40 December 20, 2017 "Taking Care of Yourself Chinese-Style" Dr. Teresa Wlasiuk

2018[edit]

Episode # Date aired Title Guest
41 January 4, 2018 "What's Up with the Opioid crisis?" Dr. Chris Evans
42 January 18, 2018 "What Do White People Need to Know About Racism?" Andrew Ti
43 February 5, 2018 "What's it Really Like to be a Woman in the Military?" Linsau Rousseau
44 February 14, 2018 "Why Does it Hurt So Bad?" Professor Catherine Cahill
45 February 23, 2018 "What Was it Like Being a VJ?" Dave Holmes
46 March 8, 2018 "Is it Really a China Vs. America World?" Ryan Patel
47 March 22, 2018 Why's the Bail System Such a Hot Mess? Tim Molina
48 April 4, 2018 "Where Are You From, Antoni?" Antoni Porowski
49 April 11, 2018 "What Makes a Cult a Cult?" Dr. Natalie Feinblatt
50 April 18, 2018 "How can we be less rude to bees?" Professor James Nieh
51 April 25, 2018 "Has Britain Screwed Itself With Brexit?" Mary O'Hara
52 April 30, 2018 "What's It Like to Do A Triple Axel?" Mirai Nagasu
53 May 9, 2018 "Who Gave You Permission to be So Cute?" Karamo Brown
54 May 16, 2018 "Who Was the Beyonce of Renaissance Art?" Professor Lisa Boutin Vitela
55 May 23, 2018 "How Does Egg Donor Meet Egg 19 Years Later, Hunties?" Amy Throckmorton and Elizabeth Gaba
56 May 30, 2018 "Is Saudi Arabia Cute Now?" Professor James Gelvin
57 June 6, 2018 "Gender Bias in Film Scoring, What's Her Story?" Jessica Rae Huber
58 June 13, 2018 "British English and American English - What's the Diff?" Helen Zaltzman
59 June 18, 2018 "Who Are You, Tan?" Tan France
60 June 27, 2018 "How to Cut Suicide Rates Among LBGTQ Youth?" Amit Paley
61 July 4, 2018 "How to Apply Ethics to Everyday Life?" Dr. Ryan Huber
62 July 10, 2018 "Did Social Media Make Artists Need to Become Business People Too?" Austyn Weiner
63 July 17, 2018 "How Does Traumatic Family Separation Affect Children?" Dr. Elizabeth Barnert
64 July 24, 2018 "What's Your Origin Story?" Bobby Berk
65 July 31, 2018 "What Goes into a Song?" Hrishikesh Hirway
66 August 7, 2018 "How are the GOP Planning to Keep the Democrats Out of the Midterms?" Tina Nguyen
67 August 14, 2018 "Why is Abstinence Still Being Used to Treat Addiction?" Dr. Adi Jeffe
68 August 21, 2018 "How Did Kim Kardashian Break the Internet?" Drew Elliott
69 August 28, 2018 "Why Are There So Many Questions?" Justin Theroux
70 September 4, 2018 "What's it Like Being the Voice of a Generation?" Michelle Wolf & Florence Welch
71 September 11, 2018 "Being a Fierce Woman in Comedy?" Nicole Byer & Erin Gibson
72 September 18, 2018 "How Are You Bridging Social Media & Lady-Entrepreneurship?" Reese Witherspoon
73 September 25, 2018 "How Could Virtual Reality Help Recover Memories?" Dr. Nanthia Suthana
74 October 2, 2018 "What’s Parental Alienation?" Dr. Amy Baker
75 October 9, 2018 "How Does Global Health Affect Everything?" Dr. Laura Ferguson
76 October 16, 2018 "What’s it Like Being a Woman in NASCAR?" Julia Landauer
77 October 23, 2018 "How Do We Flip Red States Blue in the Midterms?" Gaby Goldstein
78 October 29, 2018 "What Can Allies Do to Defend Trans Rights?" Mara Keisling
79 October 30, 2018 "What are Emoluments, How Important are Attorneys General & Why is Trump Getting Sued?" Karl Racine
80 November 4, 2018 "Can Your Vote Really Make A Difference?" Nancy Pelosi
81 November 6, 2018 "What is Astronomy Even?" Paul Geithner
82 November 13, 2018 "What is Medical Marijuana & How Does it Work?" Jeff Chen
83 November 20, 2018 "How Do We Know What Words Mean?" Jessica Rett
84 November 27, 2018 "What Do Trade Unions Actually Do?" Rebecca Givan
85 December 4, 2018 "How to Know When You’ve Made it in Music?" Bishop Briggs
86 December 11, 2018 "What’s The Cutest Way to Fight Climate Change?" Anastasia Khoo
87 December 18, 2018 "What’s Really Going on with Recycling, Hunny?" Beth Porter
88 December 25, 2018 "What’s a Therapeutic Clown Even?" Nimrod Eisenberg

2019[edit]

Episode # Date aired Title Guest
89 January 2, 2019 "How Can We Step in What Katie Couric is Stepping in?" Katie Couric
90 January 8, 2019 "How Do We Touch Untouchable Topics?" Jodi Picoult
91 January 15, 2019 "How Can You Turn Marginalization Into Activism?" Noor Tagouri
92 January 22, 2019 "How Do We Treat Our Skin Like the Gorgeous Organ She Is?" Victoria Tsai
93 January 27, 2019 "What’s Going on with the Special Counsel Investigation?" A.G.
94 January 29, 2019 "How Do You Ignore Haters & Learn to Love Yourself?" Jameela Jamil
95 February 5, 2019 "Have We Lost the Capacity To Be Civil?" Sally Kohn
96 February 12, 2019 "What The Heck is Going On in Central America Even?" Shannon K. O'Neil
97 February 19, 2019 "How Has Figure Skating Shaped Your Life?" Michelle Kwan & Eliot Halverson
98 February 26, 2019 "What is Toxic Stress & Why is She So Bad?" Dr. Caroline Leaf
99 March 5, 2019 "How Do You Know If Your Bae Is The One?" Dr. Stan Tatkin
100 March 12, 2019 "How Do We Find Our Voice?" Senator Tammy Baldwin
101 March 19, 2019 "Can You Even Believe It’s Our 100th Episode?"
102 March 26, 2019 "Who is Enforcing the Clean Water Act?" Robert Kennedy Jr.
103 April 2, 2019 "What Is The Tea with Vaccines, Hunny?" Dr. Nina Shapiro
104 April 9, 2019 "What Do District Attorneys Do?" District Attorney Rachael Rollins
105 April 17, 2019 "Who Gave You Permission to Create Queer Eye, David Collins?" David Collins
106 April 24, 2019 "What the Heck is EMILY's List, Anyway?" Stephanie Schriock
107 May 1, 2019 "How Did Period Awareness Earn You An Oscar?" Rayka Zehtabchi
108 May 8, 2019 "How Are You Fighting For Gender Equality?" Melinda Gates
109 May 15, 2019 "Should I Be Terrified of Snakes... and What are They Going Through These Days Anyway?" Dr. Sara Ruane
110 May 22, 2019 "Would You Make Over the US Constitution?" Heidi Schrek
111 May 29, 2019 "How Did You Get So Dope Queen?" Phoebe Robinson
112 June 5, 2019 "Why Is Immigration a Queer Issue?" Masha Gessen
113 June 12, 2019 "How Fierce is Erin Brockovich?" Erin Brockovich
114 June 19, 2019 "How is the US Funding the War on Yemen?" Sheba Crocker
115 June 26, 2019 "What's Your Experience with the Binary?" Alok
116 July 3, 2019 "Can We Make it the Magnificent 8?" Shannon Miller
117 July 10, 2019 "What's a Dermatologist's Tea on Sunscreen?" Dr. Emily Newsom
118 July 17, 2019 "Are the Democrats As Inclusive As We Think They Are?" Alicia Garza
119 July 24, 2019 "How Did You Learn to Make Pop Music?" Kim Petras
120 July 31, 2019 "Is it Possible That I'm the Most Gorgeuous Hypochondriac That Has Ever Lived?" Dr. Adam Ratner
121 August 7, 2019 "How Has the US Disrupted Native American Food Sources?" Brittany Jock
122 August 14, 2019 "What Was Early America Like Around the Revolutionary War?" Dr. Jessica Roney
123 August 21, 2019 "What is Techno-Chauvinism and Are We Relying Too Much on Unconscious Biased Systems?" Meredith Broussard
124 August 28, 2019 "Why Don't We Know Enough About Ancient Latin American History?" Ranald Woodaman
125 September 4, 2019 "Why is The Census So Majorly F**king Important?" Ditas Katague
126 September 11, 2019 "How Many Cats Am I Allowed To Foster Before It's Illegal?" Hannah Shaw

Awards and honors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Jonathan Van Ness on Instagram". Instagram. March 27, 2018. Retrieved March 29, 2018. I turn 31 tomorrow, what a year it's been. The reoccurring theme I’ve been shown is to advocate for yourself. Even when it means you may not please everyone, or it feels inconvenient. #selflove
  2. ^ Gallagher, Caitlin (February 7, 2018). "Who Is Jonathan Van Ness From 'Queer Eye'? 'Gay of Thrones' Fans May Recognize This Hilarious Stylist". Bustle. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  3. ^ Hall, Gerrad (February 11, 2018). "Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness on the moment that made him 'super-duper uncomfortable'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  4. ^ "Twitter". mobile.twitter.com. Retrieved 2019-08-04.
  5. ^ a b Hawgood, Alex (21 September 2019). "Jonathan Van Ness of 'Queer Eye' Comes Out". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e Dutton, Matt (March 5, 2018). "LIFE STORIES: Van Ness on whirlwind journey as one of Fab Five on Queer Eye reboot". Herald-Whig. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e Guerrero, DESIRÉE (July 29, 2019). "Jonathan Van Ness Gets to the Bottom of Being Over the Top". The Advocate. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Yi, David (February 26, 2018). "The irresistible charm of 'Queer Eye's' resident sassy queen Jonathan Van Ness". Very Good Light. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Van Ness' battle with abuse and addiction". The Week. October 4, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  10. ^ 92nd Street Y (June 21, 2018), Netflix's Queer Eye in Conversation, retrieved June 23, 2018 – via YouTube
  11. ^ "Jonathan Van Ness's First Financial Principle: "I'm a girl who has to stop herself from shopping"". Wealthsimple. June 15, 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  12. ^ Thomas, Chris (December 8, 2017). "Meet the Five Fab Men of Netflix's Queer Eye Reboot". Out. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c "Jonathan Van Ness | Gay of Thrones Star | Queer Eye Netflix". Jonathan Van Ness. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  14. ^ "You're A Big Deal: Jonathan Van Ness, LA Hair Stylist". WBD. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  15. ^ Diaz, Eric (July 14, 2014). "A Chat with Jonathan Van Ness". Nerdist. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Awards & Nominations: Gay Of Thrones". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Ben-Moche, Erin (13 July 2018). "Jonathan Van Ness is nominated for Gay of Thrones and Queer Eye—and he 'can't even'". Los Angeles Times.
  18. ^ "Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness". Getting Curious Podcast. Archived from the original on May 17, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  19. ^ Quah, Nicholas (August 3, 2018). "The Best Podcasts of 2018 (So Far)". Vulture.com. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  20. ^ "Netflix Press Release". Netflix. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  21. ^ Adams, Layne (February 28, 2018). "Queer Eye 15 Facts About the New Fab Five". TheThings.com. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  22. ^ Fasanella, Kahleigh (March 9, 2018). "Queer Eye Star Jonathan Van Ness Opens Up About His Psoriasis on Instagram". Condé Nast. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  23. ^ Tirado, Fran (June 10, 2019). "Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness: "I'm Nonbinary"". Out Magazine | Pride Publishing Inc. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  24. ^ Wong, Curtis M. (June 11, 2019). "'Queer Eye' Star Jonathan Van Ness Says He Identifies As Gender Nonbinary". Huffington Post. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  25. ^ Van Ness, Jonathan (June 25, 2019). "What's Your Experience with the Binary? with Alok". Earwolf Podcast Archive. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  26. ^ Sullivan, Kate (2019-09-25). "'Queer Eye' star Jonathan Van Ness endorses Elizabeth Warren for president". CNN. Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  27. ^ Lambe, Stacey (November 14, 2019). "Jonathan Van Ness Gets Animated on 'Big City Greens' (Clip)". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved November 15, 2019.

External links[edit]