LGBTQ+ advocate Jonathan Van Ness listed Peer Health Exchange as a recommended resource along with a recent WNYC interview discussing the release of his memoir Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love.
Though he’s best known for starring in the Emmy-winning Queer Eye series, Jonathan is also a vocal promoter for health access and pro-LGBTQ+ policies like the Equality Act.
In his book, Jonathan revealed his HIV-positive status, and shared his own struggles with surviving abuse and bullying while growing up. He hopes his story will help put a face to the realities of living with HIV.
“What made me want to be open and honest about my truth in this book is living with HIV in the Trump-Pence administration era and seeing the constant attack of LGBTQ people,” Jonathan states in his interview with WNYC. He also points to the public health threat created by defunding critical resources like Planned Parenthood, “despite being one of the only resources in certain states where members of the LGBTQ community, or not, can receive full panel STI testing.”
Earlier this year, Jonathan (he/him) also came out as genderqueer. Just as Peer Health Exchange supports young people to examine their own identities to guide their health decisions, Jonathan serves as an inspiration for using your story to advocate for your health needs and those of your community.
Listen to the full interview here: https://www.wnyc.org/story/jonathan-van-ness-opens-new-memoir/
Alisen Boada is a Bay Area-based writer for educational health and wellness resources across the web.