Just recently, he sparked joy on Twitter by sharing a video of the moment he spoke to presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. And his introduction to Sophie Turner at this year’s VMAs is perhaps one of our favourite viral videos of 2019.
Van Ness has a way of bringing out the positivity and spreading the sparkle, as he proved after announcing his HIV diagnosis in a New York Times interview last month. “I’ve picked up figure skating! I’ve done nothing but get cuter and be able to work harder, longer hours. I just feel like I’m thriving,” he said while reflecting on the period since his diagnosis.
So, when it comes to any life advice that Van Ness has got for us, we are 100% listening.
Speaking in a video for The Trevor Project, which is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organisation for LGBTQ young people, Van Ness talked about how he beats the bullies.
He started by describing what life was like growing up in a small conservative town in rural Illinois, saying: “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.”
“I didn’t understand people’s intense visceral reaction to my wanting to express myself in this way.”
He then went on to explain how 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.”
But Van Ness has an empowering way of beating the bullies: use your passion and dreams to overcome them.
“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. If there’s nothing in this world that you’re inspired by and that you can dream about, it can feel very hopeless.”
Van Ness then shared some wise words for anyone going through a difficult time, adding: “A lot of times, when we’re able to share with someone who we do feel safe with, we can realise 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.
“And actually, we have a really gorgeous bright future and we deserve love and safety.”
What wonderful words to end on and give hope to his fans. We expect nothing less from Van Ness.