Over The Top


I'm sure Jonathan Van Ness (off Queer Eye's fame) has one of those personalities that people usually characterize as 'larger than life'. I have come to believe that when people say those words, they usually mean 'queer'. In the Queer Eye mini-universe, you usually get several 'types' of gay men: the brainy one, the bubbly one, the macho one, the sensitive one, etc. Think of it as a boy band with a social goal.



I like Queer Eye. It is not perfect queer tv but it has some very high points and it's brought queer representation to places you would not think even Glee would go. I liked the old version and I like the new one. But where Carson Kressley added a WASPy sense of style to the first one, Van Ness adds unbridled queernes to the second one. Van Ness has the kind of gender expression that some gay men just cannot take. He prances, he camps it up, he uses the 'yasss queen' and the 'ho-neeeey'. He wears heels. He rocks gender non-conforming and downright femme clothing. He has the kind of personality that some gay men shy away from. 



I have some issues with the way Queer Eye presents masculinity sometimes but it redeems itself with Van Ness. All I can think is that I want to hang out with him and have him recap Game of Thrones for me. Really. From all the Queer Eye guys, he's the one who seems more... real? Karamo really rubbed me the wrong way when he kinda defended Sean Spicer in Dancing with the Stars (how dares he!), Bobby is cool and I like his website but the only time he stood out for me was when they had some kind of pastor in one episode and he confessed he went to ex-gay camp?



Antoni is beefcake. Let's not lie. And Tran is adorable and I like his style but he does not have Jonathan's unbridled queerness. Add to that that Van Ness rocks a Jesus-like beard and looks conventionally masculine and you have the perfect recipe for a tv personality who takes part of a queer-oriented show.

And now he's added another layer to the glittery package: Van Ness has written a memoir and has shared that he's HIV positive. Yeah, even in 2019 being HIV positive is stigmatized. Just look at Gareth Thomas having to come out as HIV positive because somebody was going to blackmail him. Being HIV positive is something that in the age of PreP still causes some gay men to take a double look. Van Ness also shares that he suffered from abuse, was bullied and had substance abuse problems. So not everything has been bubbly and fabulous for the Queer Eye star.

I think that queer men that do not conform to the Masc 4 Masc credo do tend to be held at different standards. I am planning on getting Jonathan's book.  One, because I think he's interesting and has a point of view and a story to tell, and two, because I think we should support queer people in the public eye. Yep. I put my money where my mouth is.

If you have not seen Queer Eye, I'll leave you with an interview Van Ness did with Build. So yeah. Happy reading to me.

XOXO


Comments

  1. I'm about as gay as gay gets, and for some reason I cant take this group of Queer Eye but have only saw one episodes. I had no idea at first it was even back on. The girl I work with Loves Von Ness. He's the one I cant take the most. I respect him and think it's great he's out and proud and does not give a fuck what people think of him, but I have seen him on Fire Island, and he NEVER SHUTS OFF. When trying to relax he was beyond annoying with loudness and his antics and would never shut the hell up. Literally on my last gay nerve, as most of this new group is. So it 's a personal reason from moi. I did however see him in his barbershop interview with David Letterman which was good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha. I think the series got better and better. They branched out and included cisgender men, trans men, a cute lesbian and some women. It got more rounded up. I’d recommend viewing it.
      As for Van Ness, I can absolutely believe that he’s always ON. I think it’s just him. Also, if I would have been bullied for years for being unabashedly femme and would suddenly get PAID for being unabashedly femme, I’d also turn it up.
      And yes! Him and David were a cool pair. It’s all on the nuance.


      XoXo

      Delete
  2. My Maddie gets up early. I haven’t seen much of this version of Queer Eye, mainly because I’m cheap. But I am aware of most of the stars and I think your analysis of them is accurate. Jonathan is over the top and from what Maddie says, what you see on the screen is what you get off the screen.

    We all have our breaking points. And I would tend to agree with Maddie. If I was around him for any extended period of time, I might find it fun at first, but then it might get old very fast.

    And like you said, babe, coming out with his HIV story is inspiring. And I think many people can get some encouragement from his tome. And an added benefit is that the volume is turned down. Unless you go for the audio book 🤣

    XOXO 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the most important part is his HIV disclosure. It needs to be destigmatized. He’s much more than that loud, bubbly personality. I commend his courage.

      XoXo

      Delete
  3. he looks like fun; BUT if maddie is correct, being LOUD and on stage ALL THE TIME can become annoying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. And I think that he turns it up because it’s part of his persona. In most interviews he’s quite reflective and even paused. Also, he’s selling a book, so up it goes.

      XoXo

      Delete
  4. I loved the original Queer Eye series but have not watched the new series. We have Netflix so I have no excuse, I guess, except for lack of time. But I'm aware of Van Ness and like what I've seen well enough. Share your book review with us when you're done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The original was cool, but his one branches out. Some of the stories require some Kleenex handy because they’re very touching. It’s also happening in the south of the United States so that adds a layer of intersectionality to the whole thing. And I will! I’m planning on visiting Barnes and noble. 😎

      XoXo

      Delete
  5. It's the Victoria sponge of tv shows ....
    Liked by most camps
    And by most sexualities and genders

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG true! I really liked it and binge watched a whole season in a weekend. My girlfriends and even their parents watch it too. The subjects are also more than cisgender men, so that adds to the allure.

      XoXo

      Delete
  6. Ah, Van Ness. Reminds me of when I lived in NYC and dated actors/performers/waiters. Always ON. The world's a stage – literally. Agents waiting just around the corner to discover them. Their tank top has to fall over their nipple just so at the gym. Girl, I dreamed a dream in times gone by. Exhausting. Oh, boy they're fun...but exhausting. Never been a Queer Eye fan myself; I always preferred Project Runaway and Tim Gunn's frowns of disgust and disapproval. But I do like how Van Ness is the antidote to they hyper-masculinity gay men tend to prefer these days. He doesn't have an IG gym bod. He's way gay. He camps it up to a safari extreme. He's like: there's more than one flavor of gay and for all you IG influencers, try to top this. I say: Go, girl. But at the end of the evening, I'll need my glass of sangria and aspirin in a dark, cool, quiet room to calm myself down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I once dated an actor but he was the opposite. But I see what you mean. I really enjoyed this version of the series. Have watched all seasons. I used to adore project runway when it was on Bravo. I watched Christian Siriano win!
      And Van Ness IS the anti toxic masculinity. He’s got a point of view and the attitude to match! I love how he frankly has not gotten two fucks to give.

      XoXo

      Delete
  7. He strikes me as the kind of person I call 'Try Hard,' in that so much of what he does is an act ... to me. It does have to be flamboyant, it can also be overtly masculine, I just don't find it real. Again, to me.

    That said, his coming out as HIV+ is wonderful; we still need to erase the stigma of what it means to be HIV+ and who can be positive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also think he ratchets it up to there because it’s his persona (you have to watch his Gays of Thrones on YouTube so you know where he’s coming from). And yes for POZ visibility. Younger men think it’s something that happened in the eighties and that is just not true.

      XoXo

      Delete
  8. No cable so I don't watch it.

    ReplyDelete

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