Jonathan Van Ness of ‘Queer Eye’ Fame Calls Out Cardi B For AIDS Comment

Jonathan Van Ness is swiftly becoming an American hero. The Queer Eye star has opened hearts and minds across the nation via his time on the show, and now he’s ready to do the same with his own vulnerability. Van Ness recently revealed that he’s HIV positive, a bold move to make in a world where gay men are still denigrated, and HIV still carries a stigma.

But fear has never stopped the creative before, and ever since his announcement, Jonathan Van Ness has faced an outpouring of love from fans and celebrities alike. Unfortunately, some people still bandy about AIDS as a joke, or without the proper gravitas. The latest culprit is Cardi B, and Jonathan Van Ness wasn’t having it. 

Jonathan Van Ness comes out as HIV positive

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During an interview with the New York Times about his new memoir, Over the Top, Jonathan Van Ness revealed that he’s HIV positive. Van Ness has always worked hard to broaden the horizons of others, and coming out as a “member of the beautiful H.I.V.-positive community,” is no exception.

According to Van Ness, deciding whether or not to discuss his status on Queer Eye was a challenge. “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 explained. 

Van Ness continued, “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.”

Celebrities show their love 

Luckily, Van Ness has no shortage of support when it comes to his celebrity friends. Naturally, the rest of the Fab Five were there for Van Ness in his moment of vulnerability. 

Other celebrities and creators chimed in as well. “Dear @jvn – you make the world a braver, kinder, and more gorgeous place.” tweeted Brené Brown.

Adam Rippon, an Olympic figure skater and therefore surely one of Van Ness’ heroes, commented on his Instagram post. He wrote, “A hero… also, amazing article. So much love for you.”

Michelle Kwan, who is definitely one of his heroes, added, “Thank you for allowing yourself to be so raw & open and showing the world that vulnerability can be a strength. Love you @jvn.”

Cardi B’s comment, JVN’s reply

Unfortunately, not every celebrity is as open-minded or careful with their words when it comes to stigma. In a fiery response to a news show misquoting her, Cardi B said on Instagram live, “I hope your f****** Mom catches AIDS, b****.”

Jonathan Van Ness was not amused. The Queer Eye star sent Cardi B a DM. “I literally sent her the longest DM. I was like, ‘I’m always going to really like you and I know you’ve got a lot going on,'” started Van Ness. He continued, “With your platform it was so troublesome and problematic for you to say that, and it’s so hurtful. I really hope you apologize and do some work around that. I love you.”

Van Ness told Gay Times that he still loves Cardi B. “She’s such a hard worker. She represents so much for so many people, and has so many inspiring parts to her story. Like, she had a bad moment and got heated, but I do think that occasion was really hurtful and bad.”

Leave it to Jonathan Van Ness to gently guide someone back to an appropriate place and still leave them feeling loved.