Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness has made history by landing the cover of Cosmopolitan U.K. for its January 2020 issue.
According to Van Ness, it’s the first time the magazine has featured a solo model who isn’t a woman in 35 years.
The hairstylist and author, who identifies as non-binary, posted a picture of the cover to social media that features him wearing a peach-sherbet coloured gown by Christian Siriano. It’s paired with socks and Nike sneakers.
“Thanks for having me , showing more variations of beauty for young LGBTQ+ people,” Van Ness wrote in a Twitter post about the cover. “Yas Queen.”
The magazine teased the cover on social media as well, telling readers, “You’re totally welcome.”
“Stay tuned for all the JVN goodness coming your way,” the magazine said in a post.
The breakout Netflix personality has become no stranger to this kind of spotlight since Queer Eye premiered on the platform in 2018. Van Ness has become known as an outspoken member of the LGBTQ+ community, breaking down beliefs about fixed gender.
“Some days I feel like a man, but other days I feel like a woman,” Van Ness told Out magazine in June. He explained that he uses he/him pronouns but doesn’t identify as a man. “Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it.”
He told the magazine that he’s been wearing heels, makeup and skirts for a long time — but he didn’t know growing up that non-binary was something he could identify with.
“I didn’t think I was allowed to be non-conforming or gender-queer or non-binary — I was just always like a ‘gay man’ because that’s just the label I thought I had to be,” he said.
This year, Van Ness has worked to tackle misconceptions about HIV/AIDS. In a New York Times profile, he revealed he has been living with HIV since he was 25. It’s something he wrote about further in his book Over the Top.
The cover’s release comes on the day after World AIDS Day, which Van Ness posted about on social media.
View this post on Instagram
It’s #worldaidsday 💗 Being able to write about my HIV status was hugely scary but even scarier is the continued lack of knowledge & understanding around HIV. Thank god for people like @jimmykimmellive who allowed me to come and talk about living with HIV, what undetectable = untransmitable means, and how important a role @plannedparenthood played in my journey to health & happiness. Take some time to educate yourself on what HIV+ people living in poverty have to go through to get treatment. Do you know what PREP is? Do you know the fastest growing group of newly infected HIV+ people are? The time for silence is over. #endhivstigma For the full interview- please head over to @jimmykimmellive YouTube channel 🏳️🌈
And of course, the rest of the Queer Eye cast flooded Van Ness’ Instagram page with their admiration for the Cosmo feature.
“Look at our little baby!!!” commented Bobby Berk. “This is so awesome,” wrote Tan France. “I’m over the moon for you, and you look amazing!”
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