Mag Hasn't Had a Solo Man on Cover Since '84. Till Now

Jonathan Van Ness is first non-female to appear alone on front of UK 'Cosmo' in 35 years
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2019 9:30 AM CST
Bearded Cover Star Makes Cosmo History
"Queer Eye" star Jonathan Van Ness is photographed in front of the Supreme Court after meeting with members of Congress to encourage support for LGBTQ issues on Sept. 26, 2019.   (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for The Human Rights Campaign)

For the first time in 35 years, there's a non-female appearing solo on the cover of Cosmopolitan UK. Queer Eye grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness graces the January 2020 cover (see it here) in a peach tulle gown by Christian Siriano, plus striped tube socks and Nike sneakers, beneath a headline reading, "Yep. We did it. You're totally welcome." The magazine featured boy band One Direction on its cover in 2012, but Van Ness—who identifies as nonbinary and uses male pronouns—is the first non-female to appear solo on the cover since Boy George did the same in 1984. "Jonathan is warm, funny, opinionated, kind, and brave, all qualities that resonate with our audience," Editor-in-Chief Claire Hodgson tells Time of the Quincy, Ill., native. "He is encouraging people to love who they are."

Described in Cosmo as "a 6ft force for social change with better hair and shoes than all of us," Van Ness opens up about his diagnosis with HIV, which he first revealed in his memoir Over the Top, released Sept. 24, per People. "I was really scared of the reaction" and despite an "outpouring of love," there were people "saying the most horrific, vile things" on Twitter, says the 32-year-old. "There is still so much misunderstanding, so much sensationalizing of living with HIV," he adds. "The stigma and the difficulty around the process of getting treatment is creating that." That's partly why the first non-female ambassador for nail polish brand Essie has endorsed Elizabeth Warren for president. "I really want to improve the social safety net for people living with HIV," he says. "And make critical thinking cool." (More Cosmopolitan stories.)

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