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!
Featured Image via Allure