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Jonathan Van Ness Claps Back At Sean Penn’s Comments About Masculinity

There are many reasons to love Jonathan Van Ness: from his dazzling beauty makeovers on Queer Eye to his dedication to sharing the hottest hair tips (see this squelching hack for curly hair). He’s also a feminist icon, in our book. 

The star – who has just launched a new Netflix series Getting Curious With Jonathan Van Ness – regularly speaks out against injustice. 

The latest example? Well, you may have heard the name Sean Penn floating about recently. This is because, during an interview with The Independent, the actor said, “I think that men have, in my view, become quite feminised,” adding, “I have these very strong women in my life who do not take masculinity as a sign of oppression toward them. There are a lot of, I think, cowardly genes that lead to people surrendering their jeans and putting on a skirt.” 

According to a screenshot shared by Jonathan Van Ness, The Daily Mail reported on this story via Snapchat with the heading “Wimps wear dresses,” alongside a picture of JVN. 

Jonathan wasted no time in calling this out. On 2 February, he tweeted, “First of all Im non binary. Second, @SeanPenn your remarks are ignorant, transphobic, and devoid of intelligence. My cowardly genes have more strength, resolve, and beauty than you could understand. Sean is suffering from toxic masculinity & needs to watch Getting Curious [sic].” 

He then added, “Also, @MailOnline this headline and entire story is so tired.” We couldn’t agree more. 

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JVN – who has previously stated that he’s happy to be referred to as he, she or they – came out as non-binary in 2019, saying

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. It’s this social construct that I don’t really feel like I fit into the way I used to.

“I always used to think ‘Oh, I’m like a gay man’, but I think any way I can let little boys and little girls know that they can express themselves and they can like be… is really important and exciting.”

For more from Glamour UK’s Lucy Morgan, follow her on Instagram @lucyalexxandra.

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