Jonathan Van Ness' Passionate Advice for Overcoming Bullies Is Spot On

Queer Eye star teams up with The Trevor Project for an inspiring message to young people

By Mike Vulpo Oct 01, 2019 8:47 PMTags

When Jonathan Van Ness shares his wisdom, we will happily listen!

It's no secret that the Queer Eye star experienced some obstacles in his childhood. While growing up in a small conservative town in rural Illinois, the hairdresser wasn't your average kid.

But in a new video for The Trevor Project, Jonathan is giving fans a glimpse into his life story and how he overcame any and all struggles.

"I wanted to wear tights and I wanted to wear sweatshirts like this except for more of an extreme…or like a velvet evening gown with big gold puffy sleeves that my cousins had that they would play dress-up with," Jonathan shared in a clip obtained exclusively by E! News. "I didn't understand people's intense visceral reaction to my wanting to express myself in this way."

The Queer Eye star admits that his dad had a "negative reaction" after learning his son wanted to play with makeup. His mom, however, always tried to create a safe place.

"I was not doing what all the other little boys were doing. I think that's like when I realized what's this is going to mean," he shared. "So I think it was like all between five and then seven."

Jonathan went on to explain that he faced many bullies when he was in middle school and high school.

"It was pervasive and it had like a verbal element to it and there was definitely like a violence element to it and really just in general, a feeling of having your safety stolen," he explained. "Constantly feeling like you have to look over your shoulder for your safety, for your space and that is something that is second nature to me."

For any individual who can relate, Jonathan shared how he was able to overcome the bullies and even a phase of depression that left him down and upset.

"I have always relentlessly chased down what I was passionate about…There always needed to be something that I was really interested in that I could look forward to and chase down and achieve," he shared. "If there's nothing in this world that you're inspired by and that you can dream about, it can feel very hopeless."

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. The organization works to save young lives by providing support through free and confidential suicide prevention and crisis intervention programs on platforms where young people spend their time.

According to Jonathan, being able to communicate with someone could change the direction of your life.

"A lot of times, when we're able to share with someone who we do feel safe with, we can realize that these things that are happening to us don't make us unlovable and aren't something to have as a huge secret and aren't anything that's going to make our future dark and dreary," Jonathan shared. "And actually, we have a really gorgeous bright future and we deserve love and safety."

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, contact The Trevor Project's TrevorLifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. Counseling is also available 24/7 via chat every day at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting 678-678.

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