Trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney says she has been suffering from sleeping issues since she received backlash over her partnership with Bud Light.
And she queried the mental health effects that being called a man thousands of times every day will have on her. She made the comments when she appeared on the ‘Dear Schuyler’ podcast, hosted by trans athlete Schuyler Bailar, with the episode scheduled for release on Monday (May 15).
Mulvaney indicated that as the trans debate has become more prominent in the US, transphobia has become increasingly obvious, and has resulted in a hostile ‘Wild West’ for trans people. She was at the centre of a controversy on April 1, with national headlines for weeks after she shared a promotional Bud Light can with her face printed on it on Instagram.
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While confessing she had been suffering from sleeping issues, Mulvaney also highlighted the bombardment of hate as a catalyst in her learning the lesson of not wasting time trying to please people.
She said: “I remember even in college, just a few years ago, if one person potentially didn’t like me it would keep me up at night and now there are hundreds of thousands of people that do not like me.
“I still sometimes can’t sleep, but in a weird way it has been a blessing to break that people-pleasing mentality, because there’s no way that I can win those people over.
She added: “If you go back to some of my earlier videos, I was pleading with these people, I was like, “What can I say to show them a different part of myself? What can I do?””
Host Bailar, who was the first transgender athlete to compete on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team, shared his own experiences of criticism – and observed how his guest had appeared in the news.
“You’ve been on the headlines a lot recently,” he said. “Sometimes it’s good, but a lot of times, I’m not going to tell you the headlines, a lot of times it’s not so good.”
“Oh, I know,” Mulvaney responded, before explaining how bad coverage influenced her and her withdrawal from social media.
She said: “I’ve been wondering a lot this past week what the psychological effects are, and will be, of being called a man thousands and thousands of times a day.”
Mulvaney said that not listening to the negative comments had the bad consequence of muting those that were giving her support.
“I want to be accessible to the right people but in other ways, if one person ruins it for us all I can’t check the DMs, or I have to limit the comments.”
She added that dealing with hate had caused her to build resilience but that she wanted to maintain her sensitivity. She said: “What would make me more sad than anything is if I was too hardened as a person or become jaded or not care, because I care so deeply that I like that part of myself. Sometimes I think that we need to find the balance there.”
Last month Bailar had fellow trans swimmer Liam Thomas on his podcast, in which they discussed the storm surrounding trans-female athletes competing on women’s sports teams.
Following the Mulvaney partnership, figures have revealed that Bud Light sales have plunged across the US. Sales of the US’ number one brand has dropped in all regions of the country, data from Beer Business Daily has shown.
Rocky Mountain states sales have fallen the most (29 per cent), with South Atlantic, West North Central and East South Central all plummeting 25 per cent. But brands have continued partnering with Mulvaney, as just three weeks following her Bud Light promotion, cosmetics company Maybelline sponsored a video posted to her TikTok.