Dylan Mulvaney, the trans influencer at the center of a recent controversy roiling beer giant Anheuser-Busch, has something to get off her chest.
The TikTok star posted a lengthy Instagram video Thursday with a slew of new details about the personal and professional effects of a recent right-wing smear campaign against her and the company, which sparked backlash earlier this year after sending her a promotional can of Bud Light adorned with a graphic of her face.
She said the entire incident began when she took “a brand deal with a company that I loved” to celebrate March Madness and her “day 365 of womanhood”—but things immediately turned sour after her single video triggered one of the worst cases of right-wing hysterics in recent memory.
“It must’ve been a slow news week because the way that this ad got blown up, you would’ve thought I was like on a billboard or on a TV commercial or something major,” Mulvaney shared. “But no, it was just an Instagram video.”
Immediately following the video, prominent far-right figures called for boycotts of the beer—while a number of others took even more extreme measures. Led by musician Kid Rock, more than a few internet conservatives posted videos of themselves gunning down cases of Bud Light with assault rifles, in apparent protest of Anheuser Busch’s minor partnership with a trans person.
Mulvaney said in her Thursday video that she used to have the gifted personalized can around her house, but she realized she had to “protect it” and “hid it so well” she can no longer find it. Once she does, however, she joked the can “needs to go in a museum, preferably behind bullet-proof glass.”
“I’m bringing it up because what transpired from that video was more bullying and transphobia than I could have ever imagined,” she said, while fighting back tears. “I was scared of more backlash, and I felt personally guilty for what transpired, so I patiently waited for things to get better. But surprise! They haven’t really.”
“I was waiting for the brand to reach out to me, but they never did,” she added.
An Anheuser-Busch spokesperson told The Daily Beast in a statement that the company remains “committed to the programs and partnerships we have forged over decades with organizations across a number of communities, including those in the LGBTQ+ community.” The statement did not, however, mention Mulvaney.
“The privacy and safety of our employees and our partners is always our top priority,” the spokesperson wrote. “As we move forward, we will focus on what we do best – brewing great beer for everyone and earning our place in moments that matter to our consumers.”
Weeks after the anti-trans blowback began, Anheuser-Busch released a puzzling response in April, in which the company dodged mentions of Mulvaney and claimed vaguely that it “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people.”
But the company only dug itself a deeper hole after it placed on leave a pair of marketing executives who oversaw the collaboration with Mulvaney. Anheuser Busch was then forced to desperately give away free cases of Bud Light to distributors to “make amends” following a massive hit to its sales.
It got even weirder when the CEO of Anheuser-Busch completely backtracked and told investors there was no formal ad campaign with Mulvaney—claiming all they did was send her a customized can not available to the public.
The boycotts then took a 180-degree turn and gay bars began wiping Anheuser-Busch from their own shelves to show support for the trans star, who they believe was deserted by the company.
“I’ve been scared to leave my house, I’ve been ridiculed in public, I’ve been followed, and I have felt a loneliness that I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” Mulvaney said in her Thursday video. “I’m not telling you this because I want your pity, I am telling you this because if this is my experience from a very privileged perspective, know that it is much much worse for other trans people.”
“For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is worse in my opinion than not hiring a trans person at all,” she continued.
She felt Bud Light gave “customers permission to be as transphobic and hateful as they want” and that the hate has “serious and grave consequences” for the rest of the LGBTQ+ community.
Mulvaney also repeatedly emphasized that queer and trans people are customers, too. “I have some lesbian friends who could drink some of those haters under the table,” she quipped.
“To turn a blind eye and pretend everything is ok, it just isn’t an option right now. And you might say, ‘But Dylan, I don’t want to get political.’ Babe! Supporting trans people, it shouldn’t be political. There should be nothing controversial or divisive about working with us,” Mulvaney said. “I know it’s possible.”
She highlighted that caring about the LGBTQ+ community “requires a lot more than just a donation somewhere during Pride Month.”
“Hey, it’s still Pride Month. So I’m going to celebrate being alive, and I’m going to celebrate the trans people in my life and the ones I haven’t met yet,” she concluded. “And I’m going to celebrate the fact that no matter how many thousands of horrible messages, or news anchors misgendering me, or companies going silent, that I can look in the mirror and see the woman that I am and that I love being.”