Jonathan Van Ness doesn’t need labels.
In a candid interview with Out Magazine, the Queer Eye grooming guru opened up his gender identity, saying he doesn’t consider himself a cisgender man.
“The older I get, the more I think that I’m nonbinary,” Van Ness said. “I’m gender nonconforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman.”
Van Ness, 32, said he still uses he/him pronouns.
“I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide,” he said. “It’s this social construct that I don’t really feel like I fit into the way I used to.”
Van Ness has regularly expressed his more feminine side through fashion by wearing heels, skirts and other clothing that are traditionally made for women.
“I’ve been wearing heels and wearing makeup and wearing skirts and stuff for a minute, honey,” he said. “I just didn’t know that that meant that I had a title.”
And this habit is nothing new. Van Ness said he “put on every nail polish, every heel, every scarf,” growing up — but it often made him the target of bullies at school.
“When I would play with those things, I knew it needed to be before the sun came up or after the sun came down, like, in the basement and it needed to be something I couldn’t wear to school,” he said. “When I would do it, it had to be behind closed doors.”
But after learning to embrace his authentic self, Van Ness “busted out of that” as an adult. He now feels comfortable expressing all sides of his personality, whether that be more masculine or feminine.
“I just am either like gender-bendy or nonconform-y or nonbinary and somedays I feel like a boy and somedays I feel like a girl,” Van Ness said. “I didn’t think I was allowed to be nonconforming or genderqueer or nonbinary — I was just always like ‘a gay man’ because that’s just the label I thought I had to be.”
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