Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness has opened up about his HIV-positive diagnosis, the abuse he endured as a child, and more in his memoir Over the Top, which debuts Sept. 24.
“I’ve had nightmares every night for the past three months because I’m scared to be this vulnerable with people,” he said. And despite those concerns, Van Ness, he feels “there are issues that need to be talked about.”
In his book, he noted that he learned he was HIV positive at age 25 after fainting and later going to Planned Parenthood for flulike symptoms. “That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be,” he shares in his book.
And speaking to the NYT, he explained why he is making his diagnosis public: “When Queer Eye came out, it was really difficult because I was like, ‘Do I want to talk about my status?’ And then I was like, ‘The Trump administration has done everything they can do to have the stigmatization of the LGBT community thrive around me.'”
He also revealed that he was sexually abused by an older boy when he was a child.
“For a lot of people who are survivors of sexual assault at a young age, we have a lot of compounded trauma,” Van Ness told The Times, adding that the abuse “planted the seed for other self-destructive behaviors.”
Van Ness revealed that included meeting up with older men when he was a young teenager, spending his money on drugs while in college, and advertising sex for money on Gay.com. After going to rehab twice, Van Ness is now sober and has not used hard drugs in years.
The 32-year-old hair stylist and comedian shared that overall when it comes to his memoir, “I want people to realize you’re never too broken to be fixed.”
Read all about it here.