Jonathan Van Ness, the author of Over the Top and star of Queer Eye, has stepped out of his comfort zone. Bringing his signature humor and positivity, Van Ness has written a Children’s Book to inspire kids to celebrate everything that makes them special.
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Looking back on his childhood, Van Ness never understood why he was more over the top than the rest of the children. It came to a point when he realized that there was little to no solace in books to make him feel as though his uniqueness was what made him special. This inspired Van Ness to write a book of his own that focused on a gender-neutral character in the form of a guinea pig.
Peanut Goes for the Gold is a heartfelt picture book that shows the uniqueness of a gender nonbinary guinea pig named Peanut. Peanut never fails to show their uniqueness. As the blurb states, “Whether it’s cartwheeling during basketball practice or cutting their own hair, this little guinea pig puts their own special twist on life.” By using gender-neutral pronouns, Van Ness gives room for children to insert themselves into the story in ways that they wouldn’t normally be able to.
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Although Peanut can love themselves at such a young age, it wasn’t as easy for Van Ness to do the same. In his book, Over the Top, Van Ness shares his experiences with being different from other children. Growing up in a small Midwestern town, his unique personality caused “years of judgment, ridicule and trauma.”
Over the Top gives permission for Van Ness to share a side of himself that others haven’t seen. By sharing the pain and passion he felt at such a young age, it made headway for many to gain more insight into the whole Jonathan.
Through the good and the bad, Van Ness has been able to rise above and uplift children who may be experiencing the same.
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Jonathan Van Ness, the charismatic hair stylist on Netflix’s Queer Eye, is opening up about all sides of his life in upcoming memoir Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love. Ness previewed some of the topics covered in his memoir to the New York Times including being HIV positive, surviving sexual abuse, and his battle with sex and drug addiction.
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Ness told the New York Times that many of his struggles began when he was sexually assaulted by an older boy from his church. He said that this resulted in “compounded trauma,” something that many young survivors of sexual assault face. Ness states that this is what eventually led to his tendencies to lean towards “self-destructive behaviors.”
Some of these behaviors included finding older men in AOL chatrooms, and meeting them for sex. Ness also admits to having sex with men for money in order to support his drug habits.
Ness writes that he was diagnosed with HIV after he fainted while giving a haircut. He sought out medical advice, believing he had the flu, and received his diagnosis at the age of 25. Ness states that while the news was devastating, it’s what helped him make the changes in his life that led to him becoming the massive success that he is today.
Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love is available for preorder now, and will officially hit shelves on September 24th!
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Tan France, author of his own memoir, Naturally Tan, says Tina Fey's "Bossypants" is one of his favorite books.
Jonathan Van Ness, known primarily from the Netflix reboot Queer Eye, will release a memoir titled Over the Top through HarperOne! Jonathan’s natural star-power makes you fall in love with him immediately while watching Queer Eye (where he’s half the appeal of the show, IMO!) but he came from a humble start:
Before he stole our hearts as the grooming and self-care expert on Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye, Jonathan was growing up in a small Midwestern town that didn’t understand why he was so…over the top. From choreographed carpet figure skating routines to the unavoidable fact that he was Just. So. Gay., Jonathan was an easy target and endured years of judgement, ridicule and trauma—yet none of it crushed his uniquely effervescent spirit.
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Jonathan Van Ness is a man of many talents—he also hosts a podcast called Getting Curious and stars in the video series Gay of Thrones. In each one of his projects, Van Ness makes it a point to be open and proud about his sexuality, but it wasn’t easy to get where he is now. HarperOne tells fans that the memoir “uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today.”
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This makes his memoir even more important, since even though it’s “easier” to be gay (or otherwise non-heterosexual) in America today, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Van Ness’s memoir will provide readers with a glimpse into the realities of his life, and will make his transformation into the icon we know and love even more admirable.
Van Ness’s memoir will be released September 24th, 2019, but in the meantime, fans can binge the next season of Queer Eye, which will be available through Netflix on March 19th, and read the memoirs of his costars! Many of the Fab 5 have already released memoirs or are working on them… The only member without any mention of a book is Bobby, who should definitely get to writing!
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