'Queer Eye' star Jonathan Van Ness thanks his mom for 'raising an LGBTQ child in small town America'

Jonathan Van Ness visits SiriusXM to talk about the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” reboot at SiriusXM Studios on February 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Jonathan Van Ness’ Mother’s Day tribute is more than just a sweet throwback photo, although the picture is pretty adorable. The Queer Eye star also praised his mom, Mary Winters, for her open-mindedness and the fact that she’s always loved him for exactly who he is.

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“Thanks so much Mom 💕 raising an LGBTQ child in small town America wasn’t easy but you always loved me fearlessly,” Van Ness captioned his Instagram photo.

The grooming expert went on to acknowledge that Mother’s Day can be tough for many people, as well as the fact that the Mother’s Day umbrella can include so much more than just biological mothers.

“If this is a tough day for you anyone reading this, know this is a day for celebrating nurturing & maternal energy,” Van Ness wrote. “Not all moms have to be biological moms, there is something everyone can celebrate within themselves today & everyday.”

Van Ness often posts pictures with his mom, including a pretty adorable one on Thanksgiving last year. “Thanks Mom 🙏🏼🍁,” he captioned the picture of them standing amid a variety of pumpkins.

In an Instagram tribute, posted last year on Mother’s Day, the Queer Eye star called his mom “the strongest person I know.”

“Everyday I’m grateful to have you Mom,” Van Ness wrote. “You’ve taught me how to overcome, you’re the first person I call when I need serious advice, you’re the strongest person I know. I love you so much.”

As for the small town Van Ness mentioned in his most recent Instagram caption, he’s been open in the past about the less-than-accepting attitudes of the people he grew up around.

“Where I come from, I have had people my entire life tell me to my face, ‘I don’t agree with your lifestyle. You should never be able to be married. You’re a f****t,'” Van Ness said to Vulture in an interview published last June. “Pushed down the stairs, ‘f****t’ spray painted on my car. When I say chased around with pitchforks, I’m halfway kidding.”

And when Van Ness’ mom appeared on his podcast, Getting Curious, the two of them talked about Van Ness being bullied as a child.

Based on what he’s said over the years, it’s clear that Van Ness has had to endure plenty of bullying and close-minded thinking. But whatever everyone else surrounding him has said, Winters was always there to support her son. And judging by his Instagram posts about her, it really did mean the world to him.

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