‘Cringeworthy … privileged … obnoxious … maybe not even truly trans,’ — America’s online transgender community isn’t a big fan of TikTok megastar Dylan Mulvaney either
- TikTok’s transgender icon has no shortage of detractors on the political right
- But many members of her own transgender community also find her grating
- They frequently debate whether Mulvaney is as a genuine trans person
- Read our recent story about how Mulvaney’s stardom has left her undateable
TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney has few fans on the political right. This week, everyone from Kid Rock to Caitlyn Jenner and country music singer Travis Tritt kicked up a fuss about her endorsement deals with Nike and Bud Light.
Those three celebrities railing against corporate wokery comes as no surprise. What’s notable about Mulvaney, is how she not only irks conservatives — she also bugs many members of her own transgender community.
The trans forums on Reddit.com are abuzz with chatter about the 28-year-old, often focussed on whether she’s authentically trans, or a money-making grifter, and if she’s a good face for the movement.
The comments, posted under anonymous usernames, run the gamut. For some, Mulvaney is simply ‘not my cup of tea.’ For others, she’s a ‘bit cringe,’ ‘annoying,’ ‘privileged,’ and even ‘obnoxious.’
‘Nobody I know can stomach her,’ posted one user on the ‘asktransgender’ thread, a forum of some 264,000 members — which amounts to a sixth of the estimated 1.6 million trans Americans.
Mulvaney makes it clear in her TikTok skits that she’s a genuine trans person, by taking female hormones to aid in her offbeat man-to-girl transition.
Mulvaney currently has 10.8 million TikTok followers — which is impressive, but still not in the platform’s top 10
‘Dorky, campy theater kid,’ posted another, referencing Mulvaney’s background as a performer. One user, even more agitated, wrote that ‘her vibes are mad f***ing obnoxious.’
‘I blocked her and find her content cringe,’ said another user, who compared Mulvaney’s skits to the television comedy Schitt’s Creek, which brought inoffensive gay characters into millions of homes.
Mulvaney’s hit series, Days of Girlhood, was ‘LGBT content for straight people,’ they added.
Mulvaney, of course, also has millions of adoring fans. One commentator called her a ‘nice and genuine person,’ albeit one whose energetic, high-pitched clips drain viewers’ energy.
‘Perhaps she could drink less coffee,’ they added.
Like Mulvaney’s conservative celebrity critics, the trans bloggers also focussed on the money she makes promoting sports brands, credit cards, clothes and cosmetics to her 10.8 million TikTok followers.
Industry insiders say Mulvaney makes as much as $75,000 each time she pushes a product, netting more than $1 million each year. Her Los Angeles-based Creative Artists Agency did not answer our requests for comment.
This puts her in a different league to regular trans Americans, who often struggle to afford the sex-reassignment hormones and surgery that Mulvaney could access at the outset of her quirky man-to-girl transition.
‘She’s had a lot of privileges transition wise,’ posted one user, noting the facial feminization surgery Mulvaney underwent in December, costing tens of thousands of dollars, less than a year into her gender journey.
‘She does, however, seem very privileged … and paints a picture of being trans which is very ‘easy’,’ posted another.
‘This makes it easy for cis people to enjoy her content, but can sometimes come across as a little out-of-touch.’
This leads to the burning question at the heart of debates about Mulvaney — whether she is a genuinely trans person.
Assil Dayri, a social media expert and founder of AMD Consulting Group, said Mulvaney was morphing into a ‘public figure, rather than a content creator’
The comments, posted under anonymous usernames, run the gamut. For some, Mulvaney is simply ‘not my cup of tea.’ For others, she’s a ‘bit cringe,’ ‘annoying,’ ‘privileged,’ and even ‘obnoxious’
Laverne Cox, the trans woman star of Orange Is the New Black, appeared in one of Mulvaney’s TikTok skits — an awkward appearance in which she advises the TikToker that ‘everything cannot be for the public’
Though Mulvaney, a biological male, wears girly outfits, takes female hormones and underwent painful cosmetic surgery on her face, many liken her more to a drag queen, a pantomime performer or even a grifter.
Chloe Cole, a prominent de-transitioner, famously declared Mulvaney was not a ‘real trans kid.’ Laverne Cox, the trans woman star of Orange Is the New Black, recently told Mulvaney she was ‘insane’ for baring so much of her life on camera.
In the forums, users question whether she’s authentic or engaged in ‘some sort of act or joke,’ one member posted. Others mull whether she’s a ‘troll,’ seeking to ‘own’ both liberals and conservatives.
Still, most members affirm Mulvaney’s female identity. The trans movement is founded on the tenet that people decide gender identities for themselves, and anyone who questions that is being abusive.
‘Whether or not I do or don’t like her, if she says she’s trans, she’s trans,’ one user posted.
Another said it ‘feels odd that this question is asked so frequently.’
Mulvaney, who was left jobless when the musical she starred in, The Book of Mormon, shuttered amid the Covid-19 pandemic. She launched her TikTok series last year to document her transition from man to a ‘girl.’
It was always controversial, but has proven a surprise hit, earning Mulvaney promotional gigs with dozens of brands, millions of followers, celebrity friends, and even an appearance with President Joe Biden at the White House last year.
Mulvaney has stoked controversy once again recently, after Bud Light, a popular but watery beer, sent the TikToker a caseload to celebrate the first anniversary of her man-to-girl transition
Visibly offended by the beer company’s ties with the trans TikToker, Kid Rock, a conservative singer-songwriter, posted a video of himself firing a gun at crates of the low-calorie beverage
She has plenty of detractors, from conservatives, who worry that she’s pushing radical gender ideology on impressionable young TikTok viewers, to old-school feminists, who loathe her shrill approximation of femininity.
In recent days, Kid Rock, a conservative singer-songwriter, posted a video of himself shooting at crates of Bud Light, after Mulvaney promoted the beer. Jenner, a former athlete, has slammed Nike for a similarly ‘woke’ sponsorship deal with the TikToker.
Reddit’s transgender forums also tackled the anti-Mulvaney backlash.
One user on the forum, who calls herself a ‘cis woman’, slammed Mulvaney for the ‘incredibly sexist views she has on femininity.’
Another wondered why those on the right were so irked by her antics.
‘The conservative moral panic and histrionics over her existence is super bizarre,’ they posted.
‘Some cis people go absolutely nutters over her for no bloody reason.’
DailyMail.com was not able to verify the identities, gender or otherwise, of those posting on Reddit.com, though the comments still showcase the range of opinions on Mulvaney on a trans-friendly platform.
Mulvaney’s latest endorsement to rile conservatives is with the sportswear brand Nike. Critics say her endorsement deal should have gone to an athlete, and one that was born female
Mulvaney, at her one-year anniversary party at New York City’s Rainbow Room this month, holds up images of her quirky man-to-girl transition
‘I felt like I got stung by 1,000 bees.’ One of Mulvaney’s roughest moments this past year was her ‘facial feminization surgery’ in December, which left her with ‘insane swelling’
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