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Jonathan Van Ness makes history as Cosmo’s ‘first non-female cover star’

Lily Wakefield December 3, 2019
Jonathan Van Ness on the cover of the January 2020 issue of Cosmopolitan UK

Jonathan Van Ness on the cover of the January 2020 issue of Cosmopolitan UK. (Cosmopolitan UK / Rachell Smith)

Can you believe? Non-binary Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness has become Cosmopolitan‘s first-ever ‘non-female cover star’.

Van Ness will grace the cover of the January 2020 issue of Cosmopolitan UK in a Christian Siriano peach gown paired with tube socks and trainers, and according to the magazine he will be “serving pre-limousine prom queen meets sexy cult leader”.

The cover of the magazine states: “Jonathan Van Ness. Yep. We did it. You’re totally welcome.”

The Queer Eye grooming expert wrote on Twitter: “First non female cover star in 35 years. Thanks for having me. Cosmopolitan UK showing more variations of beauty for young LGBTQ+ people YAS QUEEN.”

In an interview to accompany his history-making cover, Van Ness spoke about his new book, living with HIV, politics and how he deals with pressure.

He said he often feels “lost” because he doesn’t know “how to fix the world”. He continued: “I really want to improve the social safety net for people living with HIV and figure out how to make sure Donald Trump doesn’t win [another election] and find out how to make legislators sexy again and make critical thinking cool.

“I want equal rights and protections for women and LGBTQ+ people. I say in the book that I really love boxes, f**king clean tidy edges, let me put all the bad stuff in a box and never deal with it again, but I really don’t think that’s how life works. There’s a billion ways you can get better.”

(Cosmopolitan UK / Rachell Smith)

Listing his tactics for dealing with the immense pressure of his Queer Eye fame, Van Ness said: “Well, my therapist, and therapy, period. My yoga and meditation practice. And I do smoke weed.

“I mean with Brexit around the corner, henny, you all need something.

“And with those politicians doing all that lying about how much money the NHS was going to get if you left the EU, I bet if you had some gorgeous legalised marijuana you’d have enough taxes for, like, state-paid lipo or nose jobs or fillings. I bet we could get dental and vision [healthcare]. PUT THAT ON A BUS.”

Jonathan Van Ness
(Cosmopolitan UK / Rachell Smith)

Van Ness came out as non-binary earlier this year. 

In an interview with Out magazine, he said that he prefers he/him pronouns but does not identify as a man. He said: “I just am either like gender-bendy or non-conform-y or non-binary and somedays I feel like a boy and somedays I feel like a girl.

“I didn’t think I was allowed to be non-conforming or genderqueer or non-binary — I was just always like ‘a gay man’ because that’s just the label I thought I had to be.”

More: Christian Siriano, Cosmopolitan, Jonathan Van Ness, queer eye

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