Dylan Mulvaney is an American actress, comedian, and TikTok personality. Mulvaney is known for detailing her[a] gender transition in daily videos on the social media platform TikTok since early 2022. In October 2022, Mulvaney spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House about transgender rights.
As of April 2023, Mulvaney has more than 10 million followers on TikTok, while her video series, Days of Girlhood, has received over one billion views.
2015–2020: Early acting roles
Mulvaney's first significant role was as Elder White in the musical The Book of Mormon following her graduation from college. The musical led to Mulvaney traveling across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to play her role. Other roles included How The Grinch Stole Christmas! at the Old Globe Theatre; 8: The Play at the Birch North Park Theatre; Next to Normal at Arts Off Broadway; Legally Blonde; Spring Awakening; Bye Bye Birdie; and High School Musical at ACT San Diego. Around the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, she began posting videos to TikTok, which usually garnered a few hundred thousand views.
2021–2022: Transition and initial media appearances
Mulvaney came out as a trans woman during the COVID-19 pandemic, while living with her "very conservative family" at her childhood home in San Diego. She began to document her gender transition in a daily series of videos published on TikTok titled "Days of Girlhood" in March 2022, and her videos began to gain in popularity. She said in an interview:
When the pandemic hit, I was doing the Broadway musical Book of Mormon. I found myself jobless and without the creative means to do what I loved. I downloaded TikTok, assuming it was a kids' app. Once I came out as a woman, I made this "day one of being a girl" comedic video. And it blew up. I really don't know another place online like TikTok that can make a creator grow at the rate that it does. Some of these other apps really celebrate perfection and over-editing and flawlessness. I think with TikTok specifically, people love the rawness. They love people just talking to the camera. I try to approach every video like a FaceTime with a friend.
In October 2022, Mulvaney appeared with genderfluid hairstylist David Lopez in a podcast for the cosmetics brand Ulta Beauty, during which she spoke about her childhood, her coming out as transgender, and her transition. According to Forbes staff writer Marisa Dellatto, the video led to the appearance of the hashtag #BoycottUlta in Twitter's Trending Topics section and resulted in "some calling Mulvaney's claims she can live happily as a woman 'misogynistic' and others misgendering her."
Later that October, Mulvaney met with President Joe Biden for a presidential forum for the online news outlet NowThis News. When asked by Mulvaney about recent legislation restricting gender-affirming care for transgender youth by Republican-led legislatures, Biden called it outrageous and immoral.
According to NBC News, after meeting with Biden, Mulvaney became the target of a "vitriol campaign" by right-wing activists. Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn shared a tweet in which she attached a TikTok video created by Mulvaney and said "Dylan Mulvaney, Joe Biden, and radical left-wing lunatics want to make this absurdity normal". Conservative media personality Caitlyn Jenner, who is also a transgender woman, wrote on Twitter that she agreed with Blackburn's remarks and called Mulvaney's video an absurdity.
Several days later, Mulvaney posted a reply video to Jenner on TikTok for Day 233 of her Days of Girlhood series, with a written message "To my followers, please do not send her any hate." In the video, Mulvaney directly addressed being misgendered by Jenner and Jenner's comments about her body, as well as what Mulvaney had learned from the experience.
2022–present: Dylan Mulvaney's Day 365 Live!
In December 2022, Mulvaney confirmed on Instagram that she had undertaken facial feminization surgery. She posted an image of her face on Instagram on January 27, and made her debut on the red carpet at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards on February 5, 2023. In late February, she accepted a Queerties Groundbreaker Award in Hollywood.
Mulvaney hosted a livestreamed variety show at the Rainbow Room in Midtown Manhattan on March 13, 2023, to celebrate the one year anniversary of her TikTok video series Days of Girlhood, entitled Dylan Mulvaney's Day 365 Live!, with L Morgan Lee and Reneé Rapp as guest stars. An appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show that day in which Mulvaney spoke with Barrymore about "dealing with online hate" resulted in an "onslaught of online hate" directed at Barrymore, according to the Los Angeles Times. On Instagram, Mulvaney shared a letter from vice president Kamala Harris congratulating her for the one-year anniversary of her transition.
On April 1, 2023, Mulvaney promoted the beer brand Bud Light in an Instagram video on the occasion of March Madness, a college basketball tournament held by the NCAA. According to The Washington Post, her brand sponsorship led figures in right-wing media, such as Fox News, to refer to Mulvaney in "disparaging and often in transphobic terms nearly a dozen times over the next three days." The sponsorship led to calls for a boycott of Bud Light from conservatives, and singer Kid Rock shooting several Bud Light cases with a rifle in a protest video. Several Budweiser factories also received bomb threats in response. Mulvaney also promoted a Nike sports bra in a sponsored post on Instagram in April 2023, and in response, Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies called for a Nike boycott.