Life Before Fame: 'Queer Eye's' Jonathan Van Ness

What was Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness's life like before fame?
March 28, 2020 - 18:31 / Laura Pérez

If you have seen Queer Eye you probably know Jonathan Van Ness has an amazing sense of humor and a positive way of seeing life. But his life before being famous was quite difficult at some point as he experienced bullying and a series of unfortunate situations. Good news is he knew how to deal with that! Let's find out a little bit more about Jonathan's life before fame...

Jonathan Van Ness is part of the Fab Five in Netflix's big hit Queer Eye where he appears as the grooming expert! The television personality rose to fame after appearing in the reality television series alongside Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Tan France.

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Together they help men and women who need their lives to be a little bit more organized in terms of fashion, grooming, interior design, culture, and food. Born and raised in Quincy, Illinois, the fantastic Jonathan Van Ness has appeared in more than 20 television shows in the past two years! But what was his life like before being so famous? Let's find out!

Jonathan Van Ness at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills, California, 2019

Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness: This is his life before fame

Jonathan Van Ness comes from a family of journalists. He attended Quincy Senior High School where he was the first male cheerleader. Later on he continued cheerleading at the University of Arizona, where he got a degree in political science, eventually finding out hair-styling was his true passion.

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Jonathan was then trained at the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis, following his graduation he worked in Arizona for a couple of years and eventually moved to Los Angeles where he started working as a personal assistant at Sally Hershberger Salon. Before starring in Queer Eye, he appeared in the 2014 miniseries I Love the 2000s. You are probably familiar with his web series Gay of Thrones, but did you know he has been hosting it since 2013?

Jonathan Van Ness at TrevorLIVE NY 2019

Jonathan Van Ness struggled with drug addiction

Jonathan Van Ness's professional career is certainly outstanding. It's unfortunate however that his personal life was not very good at some point. The Queer Eye star has revealed he struggled with drug addiction and experienced bullying when he was younger; he even received death threats for being openly gay and feminine throughout his life. Jonathan recently opened up about how he was sexually molested during his childhood and about how he found out he was HIV-positive after fainting while doing highlights for a client's hair back in 2012.

Jonathan Van Ness at the Variety and Women in Film 2018 Television Nominees Celebration

Five quick facts about Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye's grooming expert

-He has said he uses humor as a coping mechanism in response to the bullying he experienced. He decided to open up about his personal problems because he wants people to realize "you’re never too broken to be fixed"

-He defines himself as gender non-conforming, and non-binary, due to the fact he considers he doesn't match masculine or feminine gender norms

-Jonathan currently works at MoJoHair and Stile Salon, both located in Los Angeles

-His psoriasis skin condition made him a skin care expert! He frequently advises clients and Queer Eye guests on skin care products and treatments

-He frequently shows on Instagram how optimistic he is and encourages people to stay positive! Also... he looks STUNNING at red carpet events!