Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness has revealed they underwent therapy after suffering with depression following a HIV diagnosis when they were aged 25.
Jonathan, now 36, discussed their journey with a man called Speedy, a wheelchair user who had become paraplegic after a crash, losing both his mother and auntie.
Asking Speedy if he has ever had therapy, Jonathan, who is non-binary, then revealed their own mental health struggles and encouraged Speedy to speak to someone in order to come to terms with what he had been through.
Jonathan said: ‘There’s so much strength in asking for help. I’m living with HIV, I got it when I was in my mid-twenties, and I was really depressed and was like not in a good space.
Struggles: Jonathan Van Ness (pictured far right) has revealed they got therapy after suffering with depression following their diagnosis with HIV
Jonathan said: ‘There’s so much strength in asking for help. I’m living with HIV, I got it when I was in my mid-twenties, and I was really depressed and was like not in a good space’
They continued: ‘I needed therapy and I didn’t want to ask for help, and then when I finally did, it started to get better.’
Jonathan, who is married to Mark Peacock, opened up further about their feelings at that time, revealing that they often questioned the point of life while in the grip of depression.
The star, who married Mark in 2020, said: ‘I thought a lot about, in that time when I was depressed, like “what is the point?”
‘What I think I’ve gleaned that life is, it’s about taking your biggest pain, transmuting that into purpose, and if you had a professional to talk to, it might help you process some of the feelings that you’re going to go through.’
They also discussed the fact that seeking help for mental health problems is often seen as a sign of fragility but disagreed with that viewpoint.
Jonathan said: ‘I think sometimes we think that this idea of asking for help or vulnerability is a sign of weakness, that is actually the strongest thing that we can do.’
It comes after the star first revealed their HIV diagnosis in their memoir Over The Top in 2019.
They also discussed their struggles with drug addiction and history as a survivor of sexual abuse.
Candid: It comes after the star (pictured earlier this month) first revealed their HIV diagnosis in a memoir in 2019, also discussing their struggles with drug addiction and being sexually abused
Jonathan said at the time: ‘I’ve had nightmares every night for the past three months because I’m scared to be this vulnerable with people.’
They added in the interview with New York Times: ‘It’s hard for me to be as open as I want to be when there are certain things I haven’t shared publicly. These are issues that need to be talked about.’
Van Ness shared that the abuse took place when they were younger and an older boy from church took advantage of them during a make-believe play session.
They said: ‘For a lot of people who are survivors of sexual assault at a young age, we have a lot of compounded trauma.’
The television personality struggled with self-esteem because of the abuse and also had difficulty living in the conservative Illinois town.
Jonathan went on a self-destructive path as a result, spending hours in AOL chat rooms and meeting up to have sex with older men.
They shared that one man even ‘turned whiter than Ann Coulter’s fan base’ when they revealed they were underage.
Jonathan even started binge eating after the death of their stepfather, gaining 70lbs in three months.
Horrific: Jonathan shared that the abuse took place when they were younger and an older boy from church took advantage of them during a make-believe play session
Speaking out: The information about the sexual abuse and HIV diagnosis was in their memoir
Eventually leaving Quincy to start college at the University of Arizona in Tucson a year early, Jonathan started blowing through their $200 monthly allowance on cocaine.
Not wanting to ask their mother for more money, Van Ness started advertising themselves for sex on Gay.com.
They left college at 19, returning to their home before taking up an 11-month beautician program at the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis.
They eventually moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, to be with their dying grandmother.
Jonathan then moved to Los Angeles to be a hair assistant at the Sally Hershberger.
But the hairstylist’s addiction to sex and drugs only grew worse. They started using meth after they met up with a couple they met on Grindr.
Their usage resulted in Jonathan going to rehab twice and relapsing both times.
And when they turned 25, Jonathan fainted in a salon while highlighting a client’s hair. They tested positive for HIV soon after they went to Planned Parenthood for their flulike symptoms.
‘That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be,’ they said in the book.
Jonathan has since sobered up and become a household name, only drinking and smoking on occasion.
They hoped to bring attention to ‘gorgeous beauty moments’ presented in their memoir and aimed to tackle the misperceptions of living with HIV.
‘When “Queer Eye” came out, it was really difficult because I was like, “Do I want to talk about my status?,”‘ they said.
‘And then I was like, “The Trump administration has done everything they can do to have the stigmatization of the L.G.B.T. community thrive around me.” I do feel the need to talk about this.’