Dylan Mulvaney tells Rosie O’Donnell it’s time for LGBTQ+ people to “step up” for trans people

Dylan Mulvaney
Dylan Mulvaney Photo: Shutterstock

Dylan Mulvaney has a message for the entire LGBTQ+ community and our allies: “It’s time to step up, for sure.”

The trans influencer who documented the first year of her transition in her “365 Days of Girlhood” series on TikTok recently sat down with Rosie O’Donnell for the latest episode of her podcast, Onward with Rosie O’Donnell. The two discussed everything from their shared love of Broadway—before coming out as trans, Mulvaney appeared in the touring production of The Book of Mormon—to the backlash Mulvaney has received from right-wing trolls and pundits for her endorsement deals with Nike and Bud Light.

“I have tried to be the most uncontroversial person this past year,” Mulvaney said, “And somehow it has made me controversial still. I think it comes back to the fact that these people, they don’t understand me, and anything that I do or say somehow gets taken out of context and is used against me.”

“It’s so sad because everything I try to put out is positive,” she continued. “It’s trying to connect with others that maybe don’t understand me. It’s to make people laugh, or to make a kid feel seen.”

She also shared that she’s less concerned with that right-wing talking heads and podcasters have to say about her than with what their words may inspire their listeners to do.

“It’s gotten so bad, to the point… with all these bills, that we just have to stay alive,” she said. “This is the time for not only straight people, but we need [the LGBTQ+ community] to show up for us. It’s all hands on deck. It is not a time to sit idle.”

Mulvaney admitted that it’s been odd for her to transition publicly at the same time that anti-trans legislation has been making its way through state legislatures across the country.

“I will say that even with all the hate and the controversy or whatever it is, just because I’m trans, it’s still worth it,” she added, “because I wake up every day a little bit happier than I was before.”

During their conversation, O’Donnell also brought up Will & Grace, which premiered in 1998 while she was still closeted and hosting her hit daytime talk show. In 2013, while still serving as Barack Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden famously credited the NBC sitcom with exposing more Americans to LGBTQ+ people, paving the way for marriage equality. Mulvaney said that she would like to see a similar network series featuring trans people.

“I can’t wait to have that moment for trans people. We’ve gotten Pose now, Laverne Cox, who’s doing all these great projects, but I want to see trans rom-coms,” she said. “I want to see those early 2000s Never Been Kissed types with trans people, because the problem is we’re so easily sexualized. We’re often just- in NCIS we’re the dead prostitutes. 

“Why can’t we show a trans woman in a happy relationship with a straight man? That’s how I think people learn. That would have changed my life… growing up and seeing someone on television that was trans.”

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