Wilco Froneman, Jonathan Van Ness’s Boyfriend: Five Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jonathan Van Ness, Wilco Froneman, Patton Oswalt

Getty Wilco Froneman with his boyfriend, Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness, and Patton Oswalt.

This year has been a whirlwind for the five men that comprise Netflix’s Queer Eye cast; when the show aired in February they went from relative unknowns to household names. Jonathan Van Ness, the shows resident hairdresser and beauty guru, captured the hearts of millions and was an undisputed favorite of the five, winning viewers over with his unabashed flamboyance, contagious positivity, and irresistible energy.

It was surprising, then, after the shows premiere and subsequent pop culture takeover, that JVN was the only one of the “Fab Five” who was not either married, engaged, or in a serious relationship. But at the 2018 Emmys on September 17th, JVN showed up (rocking a sheer, exposed-leg dress with heels, no less) with a man on his arm.


That man turned out to be Wilco Froneman, and since debuting that night the couple has shown no signs of slowing down. As we will no doubt see more of Froneman on Instagram and otherwise, here’s what you need to know:

1. He is Originally From South Africa

According to his Instagram bio, Froneman is “Proudly South African”, and recently, on National Boyfriend Day, he posted a picture with Van Ness with the caption: “Somehow a boy from Nelspruit, South Africa fell in love with a boy from Quincy, Illinois… Life sure ain’t predictable, but I’m so happy that somehow it brought us together. You light up my world B.B. Happy National Boyfriend Day ?????”

2. He Matches JVN’s Disdain for Gender Roles

JVN is known for not being afraid to wear, do, and be whatever he wants, and can often be found wearing what has traditionally been seen as “women’s” clothing (see: Emmys). He’s incredibly outspoken when it comes to defying the mold and being your own person, and Froneman appears to be on the same page.

He posted this picture of himself wearing a shirt that says “Let Boys Be Feminine” back in July, and though he seems to have what many would consider to be “manly” features–he appears to be quite tall and muscular, with a full beard–he seems to make just as much of an effort as Jonathan to turn gender norms on their heads.

3. He is a Rugby Player for the New York Gotham Knights

Froneman plays for a New York Rugby team called the Gotham Knights. Their Instagram bio describes them as “The premiere gay/inclusive rugby club in New York City.” He seems to be very involved with rugby and has probably played for a long time.

In January of this year, Froneman suffered a back injury that could have ended his rugby career. He posted an emotional photo and caption commemorating his recovery and return to the sport.

View this post on Instagram

On January 28, 2018 while reaching over to pick up my dog’s leash, my back “snapped”. Immediate pain radiated through my entire body. I’ve had chronic yet manageable lower back pain my entire life but nothing has ever felt like this. Electric currents of pain flowed like waves down both my legs. I was diagnosed with a herniated a disk at L5/S1, either as a result of or in conjunction with a Bilateral Pars Defect. I was told by my doctor that it is unlikely that I’ll ever play rugby again nor should I unless I’m willing to make some serious changes. Mentally it was a tough pill to swallow, Rugby is not only in my blood but my lifeline to friends who’ve become family through the @igrclubhouse network. I tried to accept that I might not ever be able to play again, but then again I’ve always been too stubborn for my own good and giving up has never come easy. In the end I refused to just accept it and knew that if I gave it everything and with the right assistance, there’s a small chance I might just recover well enough to play, not without pain, but without serious risk of injury. I explained to @joehuntfit what I wanted to achieve and he set the wheels in motion. It’s been a couple of months of hard grind, late nights and early mornings, boring meal preps and saying no to social engagements. It was worth it. 4 months and 8 days later I’m boarding a plane to proudly represent @gothamrugby A at the @binghamcup2018. This story isn’t done, this is merely the beginning… #GhoociBoys #Rugby #roadtobingham (? @cbhouse2189)

A post shared by Wilco Froneman (@froners) on

The recovery appears to have gone well, though, as Froneman consistently posts about his play with the Gotham Knights and travels with them often.

4. He is an Animal Lover

Froneman’s Instagram bio describes him as a “Dog ? & Cat ? Dad ?”, and his Boston Terrier, Leja, has her own Instagram.

Froneman posts pictures of Leja on his personal IG, too, and has posted a picture of himself enjoying some time with JVN’s cats as well:

JVN is known for having a tender heart, so dating a fellow animal lover was probably a must.

5. He Competed at the Bingham Cup in June

The Bingham Cup is a biennial rugby competition that was created in 2002 in honor of Mark Bingham. Mark was one of the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, which was crashed into a Pennsylvania field during the thwarted terrorist hijacking on September 11, 2001.

Mark happened to be a gay rugby player, and since 2002 the Bingham Cup has been known as the “Gay Rugby World Cup”, giving thousands of players the chance to compete.

Froneman attended the 2018 cup and posted this #tbt afterward. The tournament took place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands this year, and is set to take place in Ottowa, Canada in 2020.

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