If you’re not familiar with the latest situation, Dax brought up several questions during the interview that perpetuated misinformation – as well as conservative talking points – regarding trans people. As the Queer Eye star attempted to answer those questions and defend trans rights, Dax kept pushing back and playing “devil’s advocate.”
While being a “contrarian” is Dax’s standard interviewing style, this particular exchange could’ve been a moment for Dax to listen and learn from a nonbinary person like JVN. Instead, he kept challenging the things JVN was saying, which ultimately led to JVN being in tears and declaring how tired they feel to constantly have to defend trans rights even to people who consider themselves progressive and liberal.
“I wish to be very clear about something. I have 0 (zero) patience for false allies. Period,” Jinkx wrote in her original post. “We are fighting for our lives. I am done being cordial on this topic. Be a *true ally or stay TF out of my way. If you don't know what I mean by ‘*true ally,’ LEARN.”
She continued, “I won’t have kind things to say about fence riders moving forward. There’s ‘asking questions’ and then there’s perpetuating myths and misinformation. You play devil’s advocate while we continue to have our rights and freedoms threatened? While we continue to get murdered? How nice for you to have that luxury of time to pontificate on our worth.”
After what transpired between JVN and Dax on Armchair Expert, it was expected that several LGBTQ+ celebs and allies would’ve spoken up in support of JVN and would have helped them explain why Dax’s line of questioning was so hurtful. Alas, we actually didn’t see that many people speaking up and standing firmly with JVN.
On Saturday, September 30, Jinkx shared a powerful new video directly referencing the situation between JVN and Dax. In the 17-minute video, Jinkx showed support for JVN, explained how dangerous it is for people who call themselves allies while bringing up anti-trans talking points, and unpacked her own feelings that came to the surface after seeing what JVN went through – a situation that feels all-too-familiar to LGBTQ+ people who often have to singlehandedly defend themselves against family members, friends, coworkers, schoolmates, industry peers, and others.
“I’m seeing Jonathan Van Ness posting reactions to a conversation they had with Dax Shepard about trans athletes,” Jinkx said in the video. “From what I saw, Dax kind of played the ‘I’m just asking a question. I’m an ally, I’m on your side, but I’m just asking a question.’ But then the questions that Dax asked were perpetuating myths and misinformation. The questions Dax asked stopped the conversation from being about what actually is happening and made the conversation about made-up [things].”
She continued, “Conservatives are cherry-picking facts and statistics about trans people right now to support their narrative, right? So while there are instances of people being upset with trans people in the athletic world, the conversation’s about a lot more than that, you know? The conversation is about a lot more than that. When Dax just kind of brought up misinformation, it stunted where the conversation could go because we weren’t starting from a place of true mutual understanding about the issue. Then JVN got upset, and people have been criticizing JVN.”
“It seemed like Dax’s response was, ‘I’m just asking a question. Why are you getting upset? So we can’t even ask questions?’ And that straight dude mentality of, ‘Why are you getting upset? I’m being an assh*le. I’m baiting you. I’m calm, I’m fine. Can’t I even ask a question without everyone freaking out?’”
Jinkx then recalled her own experiences in high school, where she was bullied by a group of boys for four years. Upon talking to the authorities at the school and reporting that she was being bullied, Jinkx was told that there was “only so much they could do.”
“When I think back on that high school experience, the counselor and the teachers saying, ‘There’s only so much we can do because, you know, religion and political differences and difference of opinion,’” Jinkx explained. “What they were saying to me is, ‘There’s only so much we can do because these students are normal and you’re abnormal. And since you made the choice to be abnormal, we can only protect you so much. That’s what it boils down to in my mind when I look back at it. The reason why our society allows casual homophobia to just persist, the reason why people don’t feel always comfortable calling out homophobia and transphobia and queerphobia where they see it, is because that has been the norm for our entire existence. If you are heterosexual, that’s normal. If you are anything other than heterosexual, you’re abnormal, in which case, you should just be lucky we’re giving you what we give you, because you’re not normal.”
She went on, “To be a true ally, you’ve got to be able to have those uncomfortable conversations. You’ve got to be able to recognize that as a heteronormative person, you inherently have privilege over anyone who is visibly queer. You have to be willing to sacrifice a little bit of that privilege. You have to be willing to call it out, even if that means that you’re going to get lumped in with the queer people. (…) You say you’re an ally, but the second you are inconvenienced, you turn to the other side. The second you’re inconvenienced, you start playing devil’s advocate. You’re like, ‘Well now I can see what these people are saying because I’m mildly inconvenienced right now. So now I can see what the conservatives are saying.’ You’ve got to be willing to be inconvenienced if you wanna be a better person. I’m sorry, that’s where we’re at.”
Jinkx’s full speech in this 17-minute video was powerful, timely, and incredibly necessary. Not only to show support for JVN and the particular situation they’ve recently experienced, but also as a general statement that allies to the LGBTQ+ community needed to hear.
We love you, Jinkx! Thank you for speaking up during a time when so many people chose to remain silent.