In a recent return to social media, transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney opened up about her conservative, church-going family that continues to love her ‘very much.’ This comes after a hiatus due to the backlash from her controversial partnership with Bud Light. Mulvaney confessed she has been struggling with the cruelty and ‘dehumanization’ from those who don’t approve of her Bud Light campaign and has realized that ‘winning over everyone’ is an unattainable goal.
In her comeback to social media, Mulvaney expressed, ‘Day 9,610 of being a human, and I’m going to try to leave gender out of this since that’s how we found ourselves here. 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.’ She further communicated her feelings of dissociation.
Mulvaney hails from a conservative background and her family’s unwavering love and support matters greatly to her. Her connection with Bud Light resulted in significant backlash, boycotts, and even a leadership shake-up in the company. This controversy emerged after Mulvaney had shared that beer giant Anheuser-Busch sent her custom Bud Light cans featuring her face as part of an ad for their March Madness contest and to celebrate her ‘girlhood’ anniversary.
The campaign also included a video of Mulvaney in a bikini, enjoying a Bud Light while having a bath. This caused quite a stir, with some even wondering if it was an April Fool’s joke. In response to the campaign, country singer John Rich removed Bud Light from his Nashville bar, and conservative rocker Kid Rock used Bud Light cases for target practice in a viral video. Additionally, Anheuser-Busch distributors in rural areas voiced concern and the company’s value took a hit.
Addressing the backlash in her social media return, Mulvaney stated, ‘It was so loud that I didn’t even feel part of the conversation, so I decided to take a 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 want to talk to those people.’’
Mulvaney continued, ‘So, hi, long time, no talk, how are you? You might want to grab a beverage, this is going to be a longer one. But, I’m doing OK, and I’m trying this new thing where I don’t pressure myself to share anything before I’m ready.’ She shared that she’s learning to cope with her emotions and not react impulsively, reflecting on how her therapy is paying off.
She went on to share her thoughts, saying, ‘Through my childhood, I was called too feminine and over-the-top, and now, at 26, I face the same accusations from other adults. If they want to accuse me, it should be of being a theater person or exhibiting campiness, but my personality has always been consistent.’
Mulvaney is struggling to understand the dehumanization and cruelty, especially as she tries to maintain her faith and love for everyone, including those who make it difficult. Growing up in a conservative family, Mulvaney is grateful for their continued love and support.
Pointing out that ‘dehumanization has never fixed anything in history,’ Mulvaney expressed her fear that fans might start believing the negative noise surrounding her. However, she decided to trust that people who know her and her heart will not listen to the criticism and instead focus on her true intentions.
In light of this situation, Mulvaney wants to get back to making people laugh and continue learning. Furthermore, she plans to share aspects of herself on social media that are unrelated to her identity, showing that there is more to her beyond the controversy.
Anheuser-Busch, in response to the turmoil, is reportedly planning a significant marketing campaign for Bud Light in order to recover from the chaos created by the Mulvaney partnership. This backlash also caused a shake-up in the brand’s marketing team and led Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth to issue a lengthy statement with the hopes of appeasing the animosity directed toward both Bud Light and the parent company.
Despite the backlash, Mulvaney remains thankful for those who understand her and acknowledges that being a ‘people pleaser’ was taking a toll on her well-being. She has come to the realization that it is virtually impossible to satisfy everyone.
In a statement of self-affirmation, Mulvaney shares, ‘There is clearly no way of winning over everyone. But, if you’re still around, I am, too, and I love you.’ This reflects her desire to keep moving forward despite the negativity and demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity.
While the partnership with Bud Light stirred up a whirlwind of controversy, it lays bare the realization that the public’s opinion on such matters is diverse and will likely never be unified. As an influencer, Mulvaney has learned to navigate the complexities of sharing her journey with the world, and dealing with both the praise and the criticism that come with it.
Time will tell how this experience will shape Mulvaney’s future endeavors, but for now, it seems she is willing to face the challenge head-on, while continuing to be true to herself and her values. The lessons learned from this controversy might well prove valuable in her journey as an influencer and an advocate for transgender rights.