Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.
Our guest today is none other than Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness. Van Ness’s brand new new memoir is titled Over the Top and that phrase will definitely resonate with the dramatic, witty, and scene-stealing persona that fans of the show have come to know — but it’s the subtitle, “A Raw Journey to Self-Love” — that really says volumes about this engaging and revealing new book. Van Ness charts the tumultuous course of a life growing up in a small midwestern town, navigating the world of a queer teen without role models, and finding a way forward — first as a hairstylist, and then as a performer, comedian, podcast host and TV star. In Over the Top, Van Ness is absolutely candid about abuse and addiction and talks openly about living with HIV — it’s a book that’s dead set against a culture of silence and shame about the facts of life. And when Jonathan Van Ness joined us in the studio — just as Over the Top was being published — he was just as forthcoming in person as he is on the page.
A laugh-and-cry-out-loud memoir from the beloved star of Netflix’s Queer Eye, Jonathan Van Ness
Who gave Jonathan Van Ness permission to be the radiant human he is today? No one, honey.
The truth is, it hasn’t always been gorgeous for this beacon of positivity and joy.
Before he stole our hearts as the grooming and self-care expert on Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye, Jonathan was growing up in a small Midwestern town that didn’t understand why he was so…over the top. From choreographed carpet figure skating routines to the unavoidable fact that he was Just. So. Gay., Jonathan was an easy target and endured years of judgement, ridicule and trauma—yet none of it crushed his uniquely effervescent spirit.
Over the Top uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw, and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen. JVN fans may think they know the man behind the stiletto heels, the crop tops, and the iconic sayings, but there’s much more to him than meets the Queer Eye.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll come away knowing that no matter how broken or lost you may be, you’re a Kelly Clarkson song, you’re strong, and you’ve got this.