Dylan Mulvaney Ends Social Media Silence After Transphobic Bud Light Backlash: ‘I Still Have My Faith’ (Video)

“Dehumanization has never fixed anything in history, ever,” influencer says in new Instagram video

Dylan Mulvaney attends Miscast23
Rob Kim/Getty Images

After a sabbatical from social media for a couple of weeks following the transphobic uproar over her partnership with Bud Light, trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney returned to Instagram on Thursday with a new video.

In the clip, Mulvaney didn’t specifically address the situation or refer by name to Bud Light or its parent company, Anheuser-Busch. Instead she focused on telling her millions of followers that she’s doing okay and appreciates their support during these turbulent times.

“It’s day 9,610 of being a human, and I’m gonna try to leave gender out of this since that’s how we found ourselves here,” Mulvaney said. “I’ve been offline for a few weeks, and a lot has been said about me, some of which is so far from my truth, that I was like hearing my name, and I didn’t even know who they were talking about sometimes.”

Mulvaney continued, “It’s a very dissociative feeling, and it was so loud that I didn’t even feel part of the conversation. So, I decided to take the backseat and just let them tucker themselves out. But then I remembered that nearly 13 million people at some point enjoyed me enough to hit the follow button on these apps. And I was like, wait, wait, wait. I wanna talk to those people. So, hi, long time no talk. How are you? You might wanna grab a beverage. This is gonna be a longer one.”

“I’m doing okay and I’m trying this new thing where I don’t pressure myself to share anything before I’m ready. And I’m actually sitting with my emotions, you know, not reacting, waiting to respond,” Mulvaney said. “And shockingly, I can’t recommend it more like therapy is paying off here people.”

Mulvaney added, “But I do have some thoughts to share with you. So I’ve been having crazy deja vu because I’m an adult. I’m 26, and throughout childhood I was called too feminine and over the top. And here I am now being called all those same things, but this time it’s from other adults. And if they’re gonna accuse me of anything, it should be that I’m a theater person and that I’m camp. But this is just my personality and it always has been.

“What I’m struggling with most is that I grew up in a conservative family, and I’m extremely privileged because they still love me very much, and I grew up in the church, and I still have my faith, which I am really trying to hold onto right now. But I’ve always tried to love everyone. You know, even the people that make it really, really hard. And I think it’s okay to be frustrated with someone or confused, but what I’m struggling to understand is the need to dehumanize and to be cruel. I just, I don’t think that’s right. You know, dehumanization has never fixed anything in history, ever,” Mulvaney said.

Mulvaney continued, “And you know, I’m embarrassed to even tell you this, but I was nervous that you were going to start believing those things that they were saying about me since it is so loud. But I’m just gonna go ahead and trust that the people who know me and my heart won’t listen to that noise. What I’m interested in is getting back to making people laugh and to never stop learning and going forward.”

“I wanna share parts of myself on here that have nothing to do with my identity, and I’m hoping those parts will still be exciting to you and will be enough. And to those of you who support me and choose to see my humanity, even if you don’t fully understand or relate to me, thank you,” Mulvaney said.

“And I don’t know if reincarnation is a thing, but in my next life I would love to be someone non-confrontational and uncontroversial. God, that sounds nice. The good news is that the people pleaser in me has nearly died because there’s clearly no way of winning over everyone. But if you’re still around, I am too. And I love ya, and I hope you’re having a great week and I missed you. Okay, talk soon. Love you. Bye.”

In early April, during the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, Bud Light and Mulvaney unveiled a branding partnership that among other things featured a special can with her face on it. In response, conservative pop culture, media and political figures stoked an outrage campaign that included boycott calls, endless Fox News segments complaining about it, and musicians like Kid Rock and Travis Tritt angrily denouncing the beer.

Of course, the uproar comes in the context of a larger campaign against trans rights in states controlled by Republicans all over the country, something that has been national news long before the campaign was announced. In any event, after 2 weeks of silence, Anheuser-Busch released a statement by CEO Brendan Whitworth that neither apologized for the campaign nor stood by it; as a result it unintentionally united transphobes and trans rights supporters in mockery.

Since then, the Anheuser-Busch executives behind the campaign have been placed on leave. Make of that what you will.