Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness recently revealed in an interview that he is HIV-positive and how he had a drug addiction and was sexually abused as a child. In an interview with The New York Times, Van Ness talked about everything in length ahead of the release of his memoir, Over The Top.
“It’s hard for me to be as open as I want to be when there are certain things I haven’t shared publicly,” Van Ness said in the interview, adding, “These are issues that need to be talked about.” In his book, Van Ness revealed that he was diagnosed as HIV-positive at the age of 25 after he fainted at a hair salon and going to Planned Parenthood to be treated for what he thought was the flu.
“That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be,” he writes in the book. He also revealed that by going public about being HIV-positive, he wishes to slam some myths about contracting the disease.
“When Queer Eye came out, it was really difficult because I was like, ‘Do I want to talk about my status?,” he explains. “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.’”
Van Ness also reveals in the book that he was molested as a child by an older boy from his church. “For a lot of people who are survivors of sexual assault at a young age, we have a lot of compounded trauma,” he explains. He details the trauma, and engaging in risky behavior, including smoking methamphetamine, and spending the allowance money his mother sent him for college to buy cocaine.
Rather than asking for more money, he turned to Gay.com, a chat and personals site, to advertise for sex for money.
Van Ness flunked out of college his first year. He later realized hair styling was his calling and enrolled in beauty school. He says he has cleaned up his act and hasn’t done hard drugs in years.