Jonathan Van Ness opened up about his gender identity in a new interview, telling Out magazine that he eschews traditional labels.
“The older I get, the more I think that I’m nonbinary — I’m gender nonconforming,” the “Queer Eye” star said in the interview, published Monday. “Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman. I don’t really — I think my energies are really all over the place.”
“Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I’m here for it. I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide,” he continued. “It’s this social construct that I don’t really feel like I fit into the way I used to.”
Last week, it was announced that Van Ness ― who stated a preference for the pronouns he, him and his ― would be partnering with essie nail polish as the brand’s first “non-female ambassador.”
It was a particularly fitting choice, given that the “Queer Eye” grooming guru has made a name for himself by breaking barriers with gender-fluid fashion options both on the smash Netflix series and on the red carpet.
Citing his mother and grandmother ― not to mention Céline Dion and Mariah Carey ― as influences, Van Ness told Out that he previously identified as a gay man “because that’s just the label I thought I had to be.” But he noted, “I feel like my feminine identity is what makes me the strongest.”
“All the people that I look up to the most, that I want to emulate the most are like 90% women,” he said. “I just am either like gender-bendy or nonconform-y or nonbinary and somedays I feel like a boy and somedays I feel like a girl. I didn’t think I was allowed to be nonconforming or genderqueer or nonbinary.”
Read the full Out interview here.