Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness has discussed prioritising self care and the reaction to their HIV diagnosis in a candid interview. The hairdresser, 32, recalled the time he denied Taylor Swift‘s invite to see a Madonna concert with her because he had a 5am flight the next day. Speaking to Cosmopolitan, the non-binary star discussed living with HIV as they became the first non-female to feature on the cover of the magazine in more than 30 years. I mean, stuff I really want to say yes to. I were making soup and she asked me to go to a Madonna concert with her. Worst dressed stars go WILD at MTV VMAS! Since coming out as HIV positive in September, Jonathan has been raising awareness of the realities of living with the condition. He was a ‘full-time hairdresser’ just more than a year ago, before being swept up into the world of celebrity when they found fame with hit Netflix show Queer Eye.
I knew it would be an amazing experience. I was a full-time hairdresser and small-business owner, like, 19 months ago,’ they added. But I hate saying no. I love my friends. I get FOMO. But I have to prioritise self-care. Jonathan, who is fresh from his Road To Beijing tour, previously spoke about wanting to be an ‘out and proud’ member of the HIV positive community. He told the magazine: ‘This is only the beginning. I’m quickly realising that there is still so much misunderstanding, so much sensationalising of living with HIV. The stigma and the difficulty around the process of getting treatment is creating that. I mean, stuff I really want to say yes to. Jonathan was recently the cause of a Twitter storm over past comments he made to Into Magazine about President Ronald Reagan. He previously said: ‘And Ronald Reagan, could he be bothered to mention HIV/ADS? Although the virus was first identified in 1981, Reagan did not mention its name until five years later. But many Twitter users thought Jonathan was misusing his position to downplay the danger of AIDS epidemics and Reagan’s policies.
Me Taylor Swift Live
Opening up about the backlash, Jonathan says if he didn’t make jokes about the life-threatening condition they ‘wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning’. Jonathan told Cosmopolitan: ‘Diane von Furstenberg says, “Knowledge sometimes is not facts, it’s context,” and that’s true. Because if you only knew that one minute of that one video that you saw of me? I’d hate me too. If I saw the headlines of “Queer Eye star reveals devastating HIV diagnosis” and then, two days later, you see this one-minute video of me cracking jokes about Ronald Reagan’s treatment of people living with HIV, I would hate me too. But they also don’t understand that I’m someone who is living with HIV; that that was the first press tour I’d ever done; that I’m also a comedian who makes jokes out of stuff because if I didn’t make jokes about it, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. In a more light-hearted end to the interview Jonathan, who recently published his tell-all memoir called Over The Top, described British men as ‘next-level gorgeous’. The January issue of Cosmopolitan is on sale from 5th December.
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