"The Trump administration has done everything they can do to have the stigmatization of the LGBT community thrive around me. I do feel the need to talk about this.”— GLAAD (@glaad) September 21, 2019
Thank you @jvn for speaking openly about living and thriving with HIV. https://t.co/TlBj6R5Z1a
- He opened up ahead of his upcoming memoir, Over the Top, out September 24th
- He grew up in Quincy, Illinois. His family owns Quincy Media, a media company that operates multiple broadcast stations and newspapers in the Midwest.
- [tw sexual abuse] As a child, he was abused in church by an older boy, and struggled with self-esteem, bullying, and body issues throughout his childhood. In his early teens, he began soliciting sex from older men on AOL chat rooms.
- He graduated high school early and went to the University of Arizona, became addicted to cocaine and started hooking once his monthly allowance of $200 from his mom ran out. He flunked out of college and went to the Aveda institute to style hair professionally.
- He moved to LA and fell into the "party and play" lifestyle and began smoking meth. He went to rehab twice and relapsed twice.
- At age 25 he tested positive for HIV after fainting while styling hair.
- Today he drinks and smokes weed, but no longer does hard drugs.
- He felt it necessary to open up despite feeling pressure to maintain the bubbly "JVN" image portrayed on Queer Eye, because "I want people to realize you're never too broken to be fixed."