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Jonathan Van Ness is an author, hairdresser, and TV personality who is best known for his role on the hit Netflix series, Queer EyeWhen it comes to his personal life, Van Ness is a bit of an open book. He has talked about personal struggles and abuse that he had to deal with in the past. Whenever he is on TV, Van Ness comes across as a lovable and friendly person, which is why so many fans are drawn to him.

Because he is so likable, there is a good chance that his career will continue to grow in the future. And, while Van Ness will more than likely be in the public eye for many years to come, he recently said that there is one career opportunity he would never accept if it was offered to him.

Jonathan Van Ness appears on SiriusXm Radio.
Jonathan Van Ness | Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Jonathan Van Ness’ career

Van Ness was born on March 28, 1987, and grew up in Quincy, Illinois. In high school, he shocked his peers when he became the first male cheerleader to be on the cheer team at his school. He was so good at cheerleading that he actually received a cheerleading scholarship to the University of Arizona after graduating from high school. However, Van Ness only ended up attending college for one month before he decided to drop out to pressure a career in hairdressing.

In 2009, Van Ness landed a job as a personal assistant at Sally Hershberger Salon in Los Angeles. He quickly worked his way to the top, and before he knew it, he was styling hair for A-list celebrities. He later opened his own salons called MojoHair and Stile Salon that he co-founded with his good friend, Monique Northrop from Arte Salon, which is located in New York City.

As a celebrity hairstylist, Van Ness gets to meet a lot of interesting people, including Erin Gibson, who is one of the creators of the hit comedy show, Funny or Die. After getting to know each other, Van Ness and Gibson teamed up for a Game of Thrones parody called Gay of Thrones, which became a very popular web series.

After that, Van Ness’s career hit unimaginable heights. He started to host his own popular podcast called Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. He also wrote a children’s book titled, Peanut Goes for the Gold, and he stars on the hit Netflix series, Queer Eye.

Jonathan Van Ness is not afraid to talk about tough issues

JVN is known as the sweet and caring hairstylist on Queer Eye that isn’t afraid to be himself. Many fans love him for his boldness and sense of style. However, he has stated in the past that he had to go through many hardships to get to be the confident and caring guy that he is today.

In his memoir, Over the Top, Van Ness talked about how he was sexually abused as a child and how that led him down a dark path of drug abuse and promiscuity. And, at age 25, he learned that he was HIV positive. Instead of letting his diagnosis lead him down an even darker path, he decided to use it as a sort of wake-up call and has devoted a large part of his life to helping the HIV community and educating others about the virus. 

In an interview with the New York Times, Van Ness said, “I know people perceive me as this always very happy person and that is absolutely a gorgeous part of my personality… but I’m also someone who can get really upset about how people with HIV are treated.”

Jonathan Van Ness says he will never play a heterosexual man

Van Ness has devoted a large part of his career to lifting up the LGBTQ+ community.  On top of that, he has used his platform to share and discuss his political views while aiming to destigmatize some controversial topics. While he does see his career continuing to grow in the future, he told Self that there are a few things that he will never do.

“I think the only thing I don’t really see in my future is becoming a scripted actor who plays heterosexuals and doesn’t sound exactly like I sound, because I really can’t sound any different way, unless it’s British, and it’s really bad. It’s not convincing… I also don’t see myself running for office, but I do see myself trying to be involved in policy.”