Courtesy of CUPB

The event with Van Ness, who is openly gay, was also partially funded by HAVEN, Cornell’s LGBTQ Student Union.

November 8, 2018

‘Queer Eye’ Star Jonathan Van Ness to Visit Cornell

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Jonathan Van Ness, one of the “Fab Five” stars of Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” will be at Bailey Hall on Nov. 30 to answer audience questions and converse with Prof. Samantha Sheppard, performing and media arts.

Van Ness, a professional hairstylist, owns a salon in Los Angeles and also works in New York City. In “Queer Eye,” he puts his expertise to use as the show’s “groomer, hairstylist and all-around self-care advocate,” according to his website, as the five stars change people’s lives through an all-around transformation.

Van Ness is the latest guest invited by Cornell University Program Board, whose past speakers include Michelle Wolf, Colin Jost and Trevor Noah. The event with Van Ness, who is openly gay, was also partially funded by HAVEN, Cornell’s LGBTQ Student Union.

“We’re excited to be bringing such a popular name and a member of the LGBTQ+ community,” Daniela Manzano ’19, CUPB’s executive chairperson, told The Sun in an email.

Since the event was announced yesterday, interest has “blown up,” according to Manzano. Manzano said that during the planning process, the show was scheduled to be held in Statler Hall, but was moved to Bailey Hall when “Queer Eye” popularity grew after the second season’s release this summer. On Facebook, over 1400 are “interested” in the event. Bailey Hall seats 1300.

“With the incredible response we’ve gotten so far, we are definitely anticipating a sold out show,” Manzano told The Sun.

In addition to “Queer Eye,” Van Ness is known for starring in the Emmy nominated web series “Gay of Thrones,” which gives a comedic recap of each Game of Thrones episode within one day of each new episode airing. Van Ness also hosts a popular podcast “Getting Curious,” featuring guests such as Margaret Cho and Reese Witherspoon.

Van Ness is also a strong advocate for body positivity, often posting about it on social media. Manzano said she thought Van Ness appeals to a diverse audience, including members and allies of the LGBTQ community and those affected by his body positive messages.

“We really think he’s touched a lot of lives, and we’re happy that so many of his fans are going to be able to hear him speak in person,” Manzano said.

Tickets will go on sale online on Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. Student tickets are $12 for orchestra and $15 for mezzanine setting. General public tickets are $15 and $18 respectively.