Who is
Van Ness?

Glad you asked, because he’s actually a lot of things.

A hairstylist by trade turned personality, writer, comedian, and entertainer by life. Jonathan is seeking to celebrate authenticity and uniqueness within the beauty and entertainment industry as an HIV+ nonbinary truth teller, Jonathan is determined to make this world a better, more equitable yet funnier place. As a true multi-hyphenate, Jonathan Van Ness is doing the most with his time by performing his sold-out stand up comedy on tour, being an award-winning television personality, starting a sustainable haircare brand, being a New York Times best-selling author, practicing his gymnastics & figure skating skills, and having a podcast. There’s also the garden, chickens, cats, and dogs that he takes care of with his husband Mark, whom he married in 2020. Don’t let Jonathan near an adoption center, because he will leave with another cat (or two).
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“Imperfection is beautiful. To anyone who has ever felt broken beyond repair, this is for you. If you’ve ever been excluded, or told you were not enough, know that you are enough, and beautifully complete.”

Jonathan Van Ness,
Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love


About Jonathan

Always a story-teller, Jonathan first stepped in front of the camera in 2013, while doing their friend, actress and director Erin Gibson’s hair, an impromptu recap of the television show Game Of Thrones sparked the idea for what soon became the hit web series Gay of Thrones for web comedy outlet Funny or Die. The series later went on to be nominated three times for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series. In 2015, Van Ness took their constant curiosities about the world and turned them into a podcast, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, which has grown to amass over 300 episodes covering topics ranging from oceanography, hair science and the environment to comedy, olympics and more. It has also won multiple awards but honestly who’s counting? Pretty Curious, a spin-off series of Getting Curious, launched in 2023 and covers all things beauty with Jonathan interviewing industry experts in haircare, skincare, beauty brand founders, doctors, and beauty icons.

As of 2018, Jonathan has been a member of the new Fab Five in Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye as the show’s beauty and self-care expert. Queer Eye has won Outstanding Structured Reality Program at the Emmy Awards six years in a row, been nominated three times for Outstanding Host of A Reality or Competition show, and will premiere its eighth season in January 2024. Jonathan hosted and executive produced their first solo network series, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, based on their podcast of the same name, which premiered on Netflix in January 2022.

In September 2019, they released their revelatory memoir, Over The Top: A Raw Journey To Self-Love, a New York Times Best-Seller. Over The Top won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Memoir & Autobiography and has been named a must-read book by The New York Times, TIME Magazine and NPR to name a few. Jonathan’s appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to discuss the book, living with HIV and HIV stigma earned a GLAAD Media Award for ‘Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode.’ Jonathan is passionate about using their platform and voice for change. As an avid supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, they have worked closely with Planned Parenthood and The Trevor Project on campaigns tied to the release of their book that focused on removing the shame and stigma that comes along with talking about sexual health, as well as the long-lasting effects of bullying and how to overcome it. In December 2019, Jonathan made history as the first non-female solo cover star of Cosmopolitan UK in 35 years. Their second book, Love That Story: Observations From A Gorgeously Queer Life, was released April 2022 and is now a New York Times Best-Seller.

Jonathan is also the author of the children’s picture book, Peanut Goes For The Gold, about a guinea pig who does everything with their own personal flare. In April 2024, Jonathan will release their second children’s picture book, Gorgeously Me! With vibrant illustrations by Kamala Nair, the book is a celebration of all the things that make you extraordinary, unique, and gorgeously YOU.

In 2021, Jonathan took their lifetime of beauty expertise and launched JVN Hair, a sustainable, cruelty-free line of hair care products with a non-gendered approach, built for every person and all hair types, expanding on their platform of acceptance and equality.
Off two successful worldwide comedy tours, Jonathan Van Ness: Road to Beijing and Imaginary Living Room Olympian, which sold out theaters in 40 cities in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, Jonathan is currently on tour with their new show, Fun & Slutty, A Night with Jonathan Van Ness, in cities around the US, Canada and abroad. Unfiltered comedy, wildly entertaining and fun, the show is a celebration of joy and a showcase for all the sides of JVN you have never seen before.

Jonathan is one of the most visible nonbinary media personalities and uses their platform to raise awareness for a range of LGBTQ+ and HIV issues. They are a fierce advocate for social justice, trans lives and elevating queer voices and experiences. Jonathan has worked extensively on campaigns with The Trevor Project and Planned Parenthood. Most recently, they’ve joined forces with Equality Texas in Austin to bring awareness to the hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills being drafted and passed, galvanizing support of the Texas community against anti-LGBTQ agenda. In May 2023, Jonathan became the first non-binary recipient of GLAAD’s Vito Russo award (named after the GLAAD co-founder and ACT UP activist), which is presented annually to “a LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in accelerating LGBTQ acceptance.”

What JVN Cares About

Jonathan is passionate about issues that impact intersectional communities. From LGBTQIA+ liberation, to inclusive beauty, defunding the police, expanding the HIV social safety net, sustainably, environmental causes, and animal welfare. With such an expansive world, Jonathan loves supporting a multitude of mutual aid and impact organizations like some of these mentioned here.