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April 11, 2023 47 mins

Singer, dancer and TikTok phenom, Dylan Mulvaney, joins Rosie today. 
A superstar of social media, Dylan documented her transition, 365 Days of Girlhood, gaining over 10 million followers in the process.
Instant love, mutual respect and lots of laughs, this conversation discusses family, the current state of things and the right to share ones' truths and stories out loud and in public.
Share a voice memo with your questions for Rosie to OnwardRosie@gmail.com 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:10):
Hey, everybody, it's me Rosie O'Donnell, and this is Onward
my podcast, episode four. Today I'm going to talk to
the wonderful Dylan mulvaney. And you know who Dylan mulvaney is.
I think the whole country knows who Dylan mulvany is.
When I met her, all I thought was she could
be one of my kids. I totally felt maternal to

(00:32):
her right away in walk this young woman to my
home in Malibu, so happy and joyous and vulnerable. And
I asked her how old she was and she said
twenty six, And you know I got a twenty five
and to twenty seven, so she fits right in there.
And I had read that she did not consider herself

(00:55):
or does not consider herself, an activist, and I found
that so fascinating and kind of comforting to me, because
what she's trying to do is live her life truthfully
in a time full of social media where that has
changed the way the world relates. And I think there's

(01:16):
no way to stop it now. Her TikTok. But she
did about her experience three hundred and sixty five days
a girl that ten million followers. Let's think about that
she's not political, you know, she's just trying to figure
out her life and she's twenty six and she should
be allowed to do that. Night also wanted to read
you a quote that I had had read before this interview,

(01:39):
and I took to heart. This is Dylan mulvaaney quote.
She says, I'm really uncomfortable calling myself an activist. I'm
only one year into my transition. I'm a musical theater major.
I love Broadway. I can talk on my own personal experiences,
but I get really nervous sharing about my community at large,
as far as trans people. So I want to come

(02:02):
from a personal place, like all of our journeys. Beautiful sentiment,
really well said and well thought out. And you know,
I took that to heart, and I got to spend
an hour with her, and she was just wonderful. She
warmed my heart, she really did. And I got to

(02:24):
ask her a couple of questions about things that you know,
my kids make fun of me about, like you know,
when I will say something wrong and they constantly correct
me on all of this stuff, on pronouns and on
what you can say and what you can't say. And
you know, it was my ten year old daughter who

(02:44):
said to me, you know, mommy, some kids in my
class don't know their gender. And I said, well, you know,
it's pretty easy to tell. You know, you're a boy
or a girl, right, And she said, no, mommy, there's
two sexes. There is lots of genders. I was like,
hold the horses. Year. This kid's ten years old and

(03:07):
I'm a sixty one year old lesbian activist and They're
able to put words to it in a way that
I haven't really fully learned yet. And I'm so supportive.
I'm a member. These are my family, this is these
are my people LGBTQIA. I'm one of them, forever and always,
and I want to support the young ones coming up.

(03:29):
Let me just take a moment to say, the younger generation,
the Dylan Mulvahy's, you know, all those children, all those
eighteen year olds who marched in Tennessee to say you
must stop killing us, you must stop killing us in schools.
It's the youth of today. That's the kids of today
who were going to change and save this country. And

(03:53):
you know, and about the rest of what's happening in
the world, what can I say. It's been a lot
of stuff going on, and I don't really know exactly
how I feel about all of it. But the Tennessee
situation overt systemic racism. You know, there's no two ways

(04:15):
around that right there. This is what happened. This is
like we're reading the fascist handbook, people, So we gotta
stay alert. We gotta stay alert. Regarding Dylan. You know,
Kid Rock shot up some bud Light because bud Light
sent her a congratulatory six back with her face on it,
and Kid Rock had to take an assault weapon and

(04:37):
shoot the boxes of beer, like proving what I mean.
Beer companies have been supportive of the lgbt QIA community
for decades. This is not the first time. You know,
who do you think sponsors Pride? Come on, gay people,
trans people, we drink beer too, oh man, put down

(04:59):
your gun. Kid Rocket's in bad taste, especially after what
happened at the school in Nashville. Okay, well, Dylan's here.
I hope you enjoy it. I hope you leave a
comment for me on my TikTok or my Insta, or
you can send me a voice memo that we might
use here on the show. And all you have to
do is go to Onward Rosie at gmail dot com.

(05:22):
What is that Onward Rosie at gmail dot com. Leave
a little voice, memo, a question, a comment, things you like,
things you don't. It's all good, people, It's all good.
Dylan mulvaney, and we kind of jump right into this
because I was talking to her at the beginning, trying
to say you're safe here and I care about you,
and I'm on your side and everything's good, and you know,

(05:44):
I don't do gotcha interviews. We were talking on the
couch and my producer Laurie is there and she's going
get by the mics, get by the mic. So we
stood up and still talked as we were walking to
the mics. So when it starts and it's gonna you're
going to well, you'll be in the middle of an
interview without an intro. I hope that's okay. All right, people,

(06:05):
peace out, Listen to Dylan. I don't want to say
the wrong thing. And that's the funniest part is like
I am not that person that you would ever have
to worry about like hurting, because I grew up with

(06:29):
a family that is so deeply conservative and Catholic that
like me and you are as close like it's it's
it's a breath of fresh air sitting next to another
queer person, because I didn't grow up with queer people, right,
And so, well, now, where were you raised? I would
saying I was raised in San Diego, which in theoretically
sounds very um, you know, open minded, but totally liberal. Right. No, No,

(06:51):
I would know that the farther away from the ocean
you get there, the sort of more conservative it becomes.
And I was in a tiny little town called Alpine,
and it was truly a very tight knit community of
like just conservatives. And did you go to Catholic school?

(07:13):
I went to Catholic school for yeah, twelve years, I
did go. I went to dance class though, at this
little studio, and I was the only boy in the
dance studio. Old were you? I started when I was three? Wow,
I came out to my mom when I was four
as a girl. Now I want to I want to
talk about that, yes, because I've read that. And I

(07:33):
read that your mother said, well, listen, God doesn't make mistakes, right,
And what did that say to your baby brain? Well,
I think I trust you know, the adults in my
life growing up, anything that they said. I took as
the word because I wanted. I've always been a people pleaser.
I've always wanted to make others happy. I've always wanted

(07:53):
to entertain people. I think we can relate, and when
it came to the God asked act of it, I did.
I grew up believing that like it was his way
or you know, or this this spirit's way or the highway.
But it was a strictly Catholic yes, So I don't
think when my mom said that, though, that it meant

(08:16):
that like me feeling that way was a bad thing.
I think it was just like a reassurance of like, no,
you're you're who you're supposed to be. Because it was
the year two thousand and again lived in a very
small town. They did bring me to a few therapy sessions,
but even you know, during that time, kids really did
not have access to any of those things. It was

(08:36):
such a rarity to explore gender for a child. And
now it feels very you know, blown up in common,
but but way to have a question. So they brought
you to therapy, your parents did, because you said you
thought you were a girl. Yes, yeah, And did the
therapist try to convince you out of that notion. You know,
I can't remember, and I think that there was also

(08:59):
so much going on. My parents were going through divorce
at the time when you were four, yes, right around
that time, and so I think that, honestly, all of
those thoughts sort of got locked away, And what ended
up happening was that my queerness coming out as a
gay boy, you know, in my early teens, ended up
being such a issue in itself that there was no

(09:22):
room for transnis on the table because I already thought
that being gay was the worst thing that could happen.
And so if I was to add that extra layer
of like, oh no, I'm a woman, that I probably
wouldn't be here right now, because I truly thought being
gay was so evil. I was told in Catholic school.

(09:42):
I remember my freshman year, I was like the best
Catholic kid. I mean, I would read it Mass. I was,
you know, getting a's on all my Bible homework. Were
you an alter boy then? I you know, I never
did the altar boy thing. I did the choir and
shepherd me, oh God, and I went, you know what,

(10:03):
I can recite the entire Catholic Mass, No through him
and him with Him and unity of the Holy Spirit.
All glory and honor is yours all, my Mighty Father,
now forever. Yeah, exactly I can do. Because I went
to Catholic school. They teach you, you know, all the
prayers in French, right, um. But I went into this

(10:24):
uh oh, what's it called when repentance reconciliation, when you
repent your sins. And one of my sins had something
to do with being gay, who knows what. And the
priest looks at me and goes, I'm so sorry, but
I can't repent your sins, but I wish you well.
And I in that moment, I snapped because I was like,
I have done everything right. I have been you know,

(10:47):
I followed every other word. This is like one part
of my life, and I said, screw it. And I
really pushed back in a way that I was like,
if if these people are telling me that God doesn't
love me because of this one thing when I'm doing
everything else right, then maybe this isn't the support that
I should be looking for. And I ended up leaving

(11:07):
Catholic school. I went to an art school. I went
through a very dark period of time in my life
because I lost my faith, but I also, um, you know,
it was trying to come out to a family that
didn't fully understand what I was going through. Now, tell
me the siblings and the family. When you're four and
then I have two older half siblings through my mother

(11:32):
my dad, you were raised with um yes, yeah, I
mean they were sorry, they were much older. So I
was kind of just looking to them as you know, like, uh,
the cool kids that I wanted to hang out with.
And then my dad had been previously married and wasn't
able to have children, and so I was sort of
this surprise they you know, he didn't ever expect to
be able to have kids. And what's been really cool

(11:53):
about him is that like he's like a football loving
you know, like guy, I saw him, Man, your a
rainbow room special? Oh thank you? You know it's very sweet.
Was that unexpected? When unexpected? I was like breaking down crying.
He stood up, and at first I remember me thinking like,
oh God, is he making this about him right now?

(12:14):
Like what is you know, why are you taking the spotlight?
Get Adam? I like, Dad, Yeah, he needed He was
the one that needed to hug me because I was
with um my friend a looke do you know a
Looke on Instagram, an amazing non binary human being that
no but I would love to follow them. M A
Looke was sitting next to my dad and said that
my dad was like shaking throughout the show and like

(12:35):
JO had to console my dad. And so that moment
was so sweet. And I think that it meant a
lot to queer kids that don't have a parent that
would hug them in a moment like that. And I
actually think, you know, because I'm so under fire right
now from certain news sources, that that's like their worst
nightmare is seeing a parent comforting their trans child. And

(12:58):
you know, even I'm an adult, but I think at
the end of the day, that's still my dad. And
for them to, you know, to a show of like
this is apparent child connection and that comes first before anything.
And I'm sure that now you've told me that you
have children, I do at your age, yes, and you're
right in between my first and second. Oh my god.

(13:18):
I have a son who one day I would love
for you to meet them. I have a daughter who's
twenty five, a son who's twenty three, a daughter who's
twenty okay, and a ten year old. Oh my God, Okay,
you hit it when now I'm your twenty six year
old there you go. I so your dad was supportive,
always your dad relatively. I think there was when you
came out as gay at twelve thirteen. I came out

(13:40):
at fourteen because my mom read my text messages. I
was with an Eagle scout. We had been kissing and
like he was like sweet as can be. But my
mom that was like a shock and fun you know.
I was like, I was the gayest kid ever. I
saw you on Prices right. You were right, Yes, you
were the gayest kid on Prices right. But it's so

(14:00):
funny because there was a boy in my school who
came out to his parents and said, I'm gay, but
I'm not Dylan Mulvaaney gay. And I thought that was
the most offensive thing I'd ever heard, because I was like,
I'm not that gay, Like what are you talking about?
And now I was like, oh, babe, Like that femininity
that was there that I was like forcing down so
desperately was actually just my transnis that didn't have like

(14:23):
a way to get out, and it didn't have a way,
And it was so funny too. I went to college
for musical theater. And where'd you go? The Cincinnati Conservatory?
You say, wonderful school for that, and we we gotta
get to Broadway. I there, I really tried to shed
so much of that feminine energy because I would, you know,
they train you to be these like ensembles strapping, you know,

(14:46):
jocks that can lift girls. And I tried to be
that and I failed every time. And now it all
makes so much more sense because I was basically conforming
to this industry that I didn't see trans people on Broadway.
I didn't, you know, I was so scared that to
get because those thoughts were always there in my mind

(15:07):
ever since I was young. And I'm staying with you, yes,
but I truly I've always been such a glass half
full type person that I knew that, you know, since
transnis wasn't an option for me then, because it was
so terrifying that like, I was still happy. And I
think there's this notion of like every day that a
trans person you know, doesn't come out, that it's like

(15:28):
truly horrible, right, But I was able to suppress it
in a way that like I still was able to
experience joy. I booked, you know, the Book of Mormon,
and I went out on tour and that was a
dream come true because all I wanted to do was
sing and dance and make people happy. But I wasn't
fully me. And so I look back at that time

(15:49):
and I don't resent it because I was just doing
my best, and like I was, I know that that
was specifically like the journey that I've been on. But
I all so now cannot even imagine going back to
that gender, because I will say that, like, even with
all the hate and the controversy or whatever it is

(16:12):
with me, that just because I'm trans, it's still worth
it because I wake up every day a little bit
happier than I was before. So your whole life, starting
at four, which is really the earliest memories, right, you
knew that you were in the wrong body, Yes, and no.
I think yes in the way that those thoughts were

(16:34):
always there. I think body wise, I am still making
some of those decisions I was. I got my facial
feminization surgery, and I'm having to be very particular on
how I share my physical transformation because I never want
anyone to feel like this is the one way to
be trans or like these are those steps you have

(16:55):
to do to be considered a trans woman. And so
I also know I have a lot of kids following me,
and I really want to make sure that those decisions
that they're making are not influenced by me. And even
that word influencer terrifies me because I'm like the fact
that you know, somebody would buy a, you know, a
skincare product, let alone want to you know, meal or

(17:18):
their gender. Yet right in a way, and I find
it interesting because there's a lot of people that are like, oh,
it would be my worst nightmare if my kid came
to me and said that I want to be like
Dylan mulvaney, And it was so insulting. Who said that
to you? Oh gosh, strangers on the internet. They don't care.
The Internet, Okay, the strangers don't care. Well, if somebody
was to say I want to be like Dylan mulvaney,

(17:39):
if the child was to say that, it might not
be because they're trans, but maybe they want to wear pink,
or maybe they want to make jokes, or maybe they
want to try new things. Because that's what I've been
doing this past year. And a question that I had
for you. So we're now Instagram friends and you're ruling TikTok.
Have you now seen of this, like gender stuff come

(18:01):
up on your timeline and you're for page, Well, for
for sure. I have friends whose children have transitioned um
three friends, and it's female to male, and so I've
been very involved in the process and helping the moms
that I know going through it, and uh, you know,

(18:22):
it's always been an interest of mine. I can't say
that I fully understand it. Dylan. Yeah, And I don't
want this to be offensive. I hope you're not taking
it as a fa I never once thought, as a
tomboy gay woman that I wanted to be a boy.
And how did you know when you were kissing boys

(18:44):
that that wasn't the end all for you? Like, how
did you know? Do you know what I'm saying? Well,
I want to first actually congratulate you on that statement
of the fact that you're you're leaning into your masculinity
without taking on like trans manhood, Like that's not what
you are and that's correct, that's not I And it's

(19:06):
interesting too because I think on the flip side of it,
there's many um men who would like to be more
feminine or or I remember being a gay boy. You
know they call them twinks, right, I know that. Yeah,
And there are plenty of gay men that are just
feminine and aren't looking to transition to be women, and

(19:27):
we need to celebrate those humans as well. Yes, But
there was always this little buzz in my mind, and
I remember even hooking up with gay men like as
as one, thinking like, oh, this, this isn't fully right,
and it's and you know, in the contrast, I actually
think it's now having taken all these steps and realizing,

(19:50):
oh my god, this is right for me. And I
actually haven't um started dating yet. That's not something that's
that's come up, just because I've been doing so much
work on my own transition and that I think it's
scary to then have someone come in and when you're
in the middle of like transitioning and you know, my
autonomy might change my anatomy, and I think that I

(20:14):
do fear where my romance will come from. Is it
going to be I get really scared that if it's
with a gay man, it's because they still see me
as a man, or if it's with a straight man,
is it they are they fetishizing me. But at the
end of the day, I know that I'm worthy of love,
and I'm worthy of something more than just you know,

(20:37):
some sexual experience, because I will be a great girlfriend
one day. I do want kids, and that's a very
controversial statement to make as a trans person because we
are so under fire right now as these like groomer
predator types, and it breaks my heart because to think

(20:57):
that's that would limit my abilities to have children makes
me really sad. Yeah, I can understand that, I really can.
We'll be right back with more. Jillan mulvaney. Did you

(21:32):
get any hostility towards you when you were adopting those
kids as a queer person, No, because I wasn't really
out when I was adopting them. When when my show started,
it was nineteen ninety six and I was born and
you were born, and I had one child, and you know,
gayness wasn't spoken about. Gayness wasn't something that people did.

(21:54):
People assume I thought they assumed. But then when I
actually said after nine to eleven, you know, I'm a
gay woman, and it seems like this is the time
to say it, especially because I was also a foster
parent and I tried to adopt the foster child I
had raised, and the state of Florida banned gay people

(22:14):
from adopting the forces to children that they raised because
they found that the State of Florida in a poll
preferred that baby stayed in an orphanage or a group
home over to gay people too with a gay parent. Yes.
So when that happened to me, I was like, well,
it's time, you know. I felt like God was going

(22:36):
your up, kid, And so then I told everyone, and
that was two thousand and two. So I was off
the air a few months after I officially came out.
But I was very surprised that people were surprised. And
the most big comment that I got was, well, you
said you loved Tom Cruise, and I'm like, right, But
I never said I wanted to get naked with him

(22:58):
in bed and to nasty. In fact, I made it
a point to say I wanted him to mow my
lawn in a white T shirt and get me lemonade.
Like he to me is the perfect image of a man.
And Nora Ephron used to say, of course you love him.
He's almost as beautiful as a woman. Right, she would
say that to me, But you know, I don't know.
I never wanted to do him. So to speak, I

(23:21):
never wanted to hook up, but I love you know,
I esthetically as a woman, as a gay woman, can
see a gorgeous man and appreciate how gorgeous they are,
like the statue of David. Yet I don't want the
meat potatoes happen in anywhere near me, Thank you very much.
Now do you feel like when that was like under five,
was it controversy that you were gay? Not really? I think,

(23:45):
you know, I came out and then my show was over.
Then I got sued by a magazine. Then I you know,
I mean, it was a tough time for me. But
but no, I don't think so. It was relatively accepting.
It was relatively but remember this is nineteen ninety six.
You know that my show started and they told me
that there was a new show coming out where a
gay guy was going to live with a straight girl

(24:07):
and have a gay best friend and Will and Grace,
and I thought, that'll never go on the air because
shows mine too. I was on it even but um, well,
I can't wait to have that moment for like trans people.
You know, we've gotten posed now there's been you know,
we've Laverne Cox, who's doing all these great projects, but
I want to see trans rom coms. I want to

(24:29):
see you know, sort of those early two thousand's never
been kiss types with trans people because the problem is
we're so easily sexualized. We're often just in ncis. We're
like the dead prostitutes. Yes, and why why can't we
show a trans woman in like a happy relationship with
a straight man? And and that's how I think people

(24:49):
learn as much as they can go on TikTok and
watch a video. I really think through scripted and through
comedy actually is such a healing art form of like learning,
and it not be being is intimidating because there's like
a level of like, you know, mystique still involved, right right,
But that would have changed my life, I think growing

(25:10):
up and seeing someone on television that was trans other
than just a prostitute, because we still there, you know,
the majority of trans women in America right now still
have to resort to sex work, right and you know
it said it's terrifying and it's also very dangerous, especially
in this climate that we're in right now with all
this anti translator. Let's talk about that for a second. Okay,

(25:34):
First of all, there was big controversy when Drew Barrymore,
the adorable Gertie from Eat Yeah, got down on her
knees like she does often, very wild flower child, hippie girl,
and she gets down on the floor when she gets
emotional and hugs people's legs and sits on their laps.
And she did that with you. She felt very connected

(25:55):
to you. You could tell there was a vulnerable moment
you had good you know, chemist Tree, and she did
what she always did, and it becomes a big thing.
I mean, and I will tell you I have tried
to be the most uncontroversial person this past year, and
somehow it has made me controversial still. And I think

(26:15):
it comes back to the fact that these people they
don't understand me, and anything that I do or say
then somehow gets taken out of context and is used
against me. And it's so sad because everything I try
to put out is positive. It's trying to connect with
others that maybe don't understand me. It's to make people

(26:37):
laugh or to make a kid feel seen. And I
think Withdrew, we still haven't seen a ton of trans
people on do the talk show circuit right, And and
she and I I think have such a similar sort
of innocence towards life and just seeing the best in
others and gushing over each other. And I left that

(27:01):
interview thinking, oh my god, that was the best that
was the best day. And then they took it and
they turned it into something ugly. And what did they
turn it into? That she shouldn't kneel to you because
kneeling as subservient? What was the process of it's the attack? Like,
what was the instigator? What was their point of view?
Bullying in the fact that they want anyone who associates

(27:21):
themselves with trans people to be under fire. They want
to essentially shame people into thinking that if you associate
with someone like me, that you are to be laughed at,
or that you are now the crazy one. And oh,
because you're giving into someone's identity or you're simply just
like acknowledging their their humanity. Yeah, what about that she acknowledged?

(27:46):
And this is what changed it for me though, was
that if someone like shouldn't I be listening to the
Drew Barrymore's or the rosies and not the other side
of things? Because these are the people that I emulate,
these are the people that I look up to my
role models are now inviting me into their spaces to
join and hold hands and to talk and to get

(28:08):
to know each other and call each other friends. And
I think that's what I'm trying to focus on. Funny enough,
Chelsea Handler, who I grew up loving her comedy, she
gets a lot of the same hate that I do
from some of the same people. And I was like, wait,
this is one of my favorite people and they're under
attack from the same you know, humans that are going

(28:29):
after me. I think I like this side better that
I'm on, of course, and yet because of the people
pleaser in me, I'm going, oh, how but how can
I show them that, you know, I'm not this monster?
How can I you know, appease them? I don't know
the answer to that right now. It's gotten so bad
to the point for the community and with all these

(28:49):
bills that I'm like, we just have to stay alive
and we this is the time I think, for not
only just every day straight people, but we need that
the letter alphabet to show up for us because I
think it's all hands on deck. It is not a
time to you know, sit idle. I started my transition

(29:11):
just a year ago publicly. I had been taking hormones
before that, I'd come out to my family and friends,
but I have watched it get so much worse as
my timeline has gone on, and it's been very kind
of odd to compare the two my transition as well
as all this anti trans legislation simultaneously. And the reason

(29:32):
that I think I am so I'm an easy target
is because I'm still new to this. I think going
after a trans woman that's been doing this for like
twenty years is a lot more difficulty. Good luck, Yeah,
And so I think maybe they think there's some sort
of chance with me that they can But what is
their first of all, You're you're very young, honey. Yeah,
and I don't mean that in any way In Celtic.

(29:52):
I just literally am your mom. We met seeing Sunday
in the Park with George. We love the because we
are both Broadway people. Yeah we are. And thank you
for for the exposure you gave the community on your shoes?
Are you kidding me? What was your first Broadway show
that you were in? Was it? It was Book of Mormon.
I was touring with that show, um, and then now

(30:15):
I have yet to take on a character as a woman.
Have you did you do it on Broadway as well?
Or were you all know I was just tour. You
haven't been. I haven't made my debut debut yet. Oh interesting?
And now do you go around again to all the
same casting agents. Do you go to Bernie Telsey? Do
you go with him today? He's fantastic, He's the best.
I think what's so exciting was that I was just

(30:37):
at the beginning. You know, I had graduated when I
was twenty two. That was my first audition was Mormon,
and so I hadn't met most of the people in
the industry yet. So they're most of these people are
now meeting me as a woman, and so it's nice
that they don't have to sort of correct themselves because
they aren't Like I even think it's very stressful to
imagine if somebody was already in the spotlight and famous

(30:59):
and then having to transition. You know, I'll get Elliott
Paia Page and it's that's intense because you are now
trying to correct you know, all of your fans, you know,
interpretations of you and the way that people view you
were as truly because this all started through my transition,
people do see me as as a woman, except sometimes

(31:20):
like I'll be on the street and they'll be like,
oh my god, it's it's the boy from TikTok and
I'm like, no, it's the girl from It's like all
like that's my whole platform, right, But I wanted to
ask you something. You know, you come to throw my videos.
You're like, you're a woman, not a girl, right only
when you graduated after after your Now, do you ever

(31:41):
call yourself a girl anymore? Or do you always refer
to yourself as a woman? I think a woman? Yeah,
just you know. Also, I had kind of a hectic
childhood to put it mildly, but um, you know, I
think that being a child for me was so much
more difficult than anything I ever had to handle as
a woman. Right, So you know, I'm proud to be

(32:01):
a woman. My mom died, well, my mom died when
she was thirty nine. So I wanted to retire at
forty and I did, and I was like, wow, and
raise those kids, and you know, here I am with
another little one. But yeah, you know, I'm kind of
one of those people who loves being a mother so
much that it kind of trumps everything. Yeah, you know,

(32:23):
everything for me to get to stay home. You know,
people like, well, let's go out on Saturday. I'm like, well,
I have my kid, you know, like, well get a babysitter.
But we can't preach his autism. And she's very sensitive
to the noise and places, so we don't go to
many restaurants. She has a very limited diet. First, I'm
a mom first and h and I always have been,

(32:45):
so trying to do it differently wouldn't have worked for me.
You know Howard Stern always says to me, you walked
away of hundreds of millions of dollars. I'm like, honey,
once you have a certain amount and you think you
still need more, you should go to the shrink. Yeah right,
you shouldn't go to work, you should go to a shrink. Well,
and I think there's such a scarcity complex in this
you know industry of like more is more and I

(33:08):
now I think about you know this social media. There's
there's all these brand deals and you know, getting these offers.
But at the end of the day, like I want
to go sing and dance, and I know that that
won't you know, compete with some of you know, these
these checks that are come in through social media, and
yet that's what I really want to do. Well, there's
there's limited artistry on TikTok oh, yeah, And there's tremendous

(33:32):
artistry in the world outside of TikTok, the entertainment world.
And I can imagine you on Broadway. I can imagine you,
you know, doing something new and wonderful and and and
quirky and funny. You know that. Uh well, I have
to remind myself that I think, you know, all of
these people that we love, especially from the Broadway community,

(33:53):
if my age might have been doing TikTok, you know,
they might have a singing on there. And now you're
on there. Yeah, not singing, thankfully. What got you on there?
Originally my daughter, who she's now twenty, she's a college
she's on the dean's list. I'm very proud of her.
She said to me, Mom, you gotta go on TikTok.
I'm like, I don't want to dance with you. It's
so silly. I'm not dancing and your sweat. So she

(34:14):
got me to do this one dance in my sweats
and some very famous TikTok or whose I don't remember
his name right now. He did an impression of me
and then I tagged it whatever, yea yeah, and we
started and then she goes, you see, now everyone's just
have to do something, just talk a little something. So
it took me a while to learn how to do it.

(34:34):
You know, it took me a while. And just like
with this podcast that we're doing now, you know, I
kind of thought to myself, like, you're at the beginning
of your career, right Imagine being sixty one, having five children,
having done all these things that I got to do,
and then going how do I want to finish my
life and career. There's something about performing live to some

(34:58):
an audience that's going to feed. Drew back right away,
and there's nothing so gratification, nothing as good as Broadway
and stand up. And I moved out here and well,
we were doing Book of Mormon at the Almondson Downtown, LA,
and I fell in love with it while I was here.
And when I lived in New York briefly, I was

(35:19):
living with like three roommates in a one bedroom in
Times Square and they were stealing all my packages and
so I was like, oh, I'm from San Diego, La.
Sounds really good. So I was at home for the
pandemic and San Diego obviously going through all this gender stuff,
and I was like, I need to get somewhere else.
So I moved to LA started doing stand up because
it gave me that same feeling that theater gave me.

(35:41):
And I don't want to be a stand up comedian,
but I think everybody should try it at least once,
because it's the most terrifying thing to me. And now
I feel like I could do anything because I did that. Scyeah,
that's very very h nerve wracking when you start. Yeah,
I remember I was only sixteen when I started doing it,
and the nightclub that a student I was, a guy

(36:03):
who was a student with his ten year older brother
opened a nightclub and said why don't you come down?
Because I did like a plague at the school with
his brother, and I started at sixteen years old. I mean,
imagine that the hutzpah of a sixteen year old kid
going up there to people who paid all that money.
And what I find fun about it now is that,
like I think my persona online is very innocent, it's

(36:26):
very I try to be very appropriate, and but with
stand up, and now I'm writing a book. I get
to kind of be a little edgier, I get a curse.
I get to you know, talk about things that I
try to censor for the kids watching me, because truly,
like anything right now trans related will get taken used

(36:48):
against you. And I almost feel like I lean on
more of like the infantilization, just because they're so quick
to sexualize trans people. Yes that I feel like that
is why it's a it's a tough line to walk. Yeah,
I can imagine it really is. I know that my
moms who've had trans kids, you know, they go through

(37:10):
their own journey. And you know, sometimes even with gay kids,
people write me and say young kids will write me
and say, you know, I want to come out to
my mother, but she just doesn't seem And I'm like,
how long did it take you to come out to yourself?
You know, it takes you a little bit of a
time to find a be able to say it. And
I said it in a car when the doors were
locked and I was driving with my permit. I am gay,

(37:32):
Like I couldn't believe I was. I was getting it out.
I was saying it. You know, there was not a
place in the world that it was safe or felt
safe to say that back in nineteen seventy eight. And
I think because of social media being so fast and
furious right now that people feel this like pressure to
like make a decision and like announce it like right away.

(37:53):
And I think that's what's funny with like my whole
day one of girlhood video was like I had come
out far before that I had actually my pronouns were
they them? A year before coming out As that was
I quickly realized that I was not just non binary.
I was a woman, and that's when I took hormones.
But I don't want anyone to like look at my

(38:15):
content and be like this was some decision that she
made like overnight and woke up and said, it sounds
fun to be a girl today. Let's make a video
because this has been an ongoing battle throughout my life
and something that I took very seriously. It is not casual. No,
oh my gosh, it's probably the least casual thing, and

(38:36):
right now, especially with so there's so much on the
line when it comes to my future in this country
and a lot of other humans futures that we can't
be casual about it anymore. No, without a doubt and
people one has to stick together, allies, straight end gay
or you stand up for our trans brothers. And because

(38:58):
you're being killed and now you're being legally discriminated against,
and it's like a calling card to psychos for violence,
you know. Oh yeah, I'm not worried about the people
you know that are talking about me on their podcast.
I'm worried about their listeners. And I also I think
that we're just who it's. It's a heavy time and

(39:20):
it's it's just it's the time to step up for sure. Yeah,
And I'm proud of you. Thank you. I think that
you've done really well for being so young and to
sort of shoot yourself out of the cannon like you did,
you know, And I don't know that you expected to
ten million followers on TikTok. I mean that's kind of
a Kardashian level fame, right, It's crazy that but it

(39:45):
feels like ants on a screen, like it literally like
it's it doesn't compute. And then it's when I'm walking
through Times Square to go see a Broadway show and
it's like, oh, but I do I love getting to
see these people, especially so much of my audience is
queer or you know, they're um, you know, teenage girls
and their moms that follow me together. But it is uh,

(40:07):
I just wonder what like the trajectory of all of
this is with social media and like what do you
think do you like, do you think TikTok is going
to be around for no? I think the government's probably
going to take it down because it's really a free
way of everyone talking and communicating and setting up protests,
and it's you know, we're we're in a really dangerous,

(40:28):
treacherous time in this country. For you know, democracy to survive,
we're going to have to make some pretty quick changes.
And I think we're moving towards that. I have to
believe we're moving towards that, or there's no you know,
hope left. But all we have is hope that the
goodness of the American people will rise above the insanity

(40:48):
and all of the hatred perpetrated by the orange snotbag
that has fitted and grown into some horrible hate old
stu that they're being fed every day by propaganda on
Fox News, by news newspeople like Tucker Carlson who says

(41:09):
that he you know, he lies and gets paid to
lie and feels fine about it. I don't know how
these people live with themselves. So we're in a dangerous time.
And it's for all of the minorities in this country
because we're all as one. Well, I will say just
the fact like being here with you today and you
being like still willing to learn and to sit down

(41:34):
with a twenty six year old trans girl to be like, okay,
what's going I think that is what has to happen
for everyone in our community, especially because we can't we
have to learn about the other letters. We have to
be friends, so we have to protect each other. And
I hope that I never stop learning. And I think
this is this podcast for you, is that you like

(41:55):
are still like evolving and growing and thank you for that. Well,
I hope, you know. I hope that's what we all
get to do as artists, you know, in society, and
that you find a way to fit your career and
your life together in a puzzle that will, you know,
nurture and sustain you through the difficult trials and tribulations

(42:19):
that we go through as humans. You know. Yeah, yeah,
you're lovely, Thank you. I will definitely stand up for
trans people anytime. And then I always have and I
always will. Thank you, and don't worry about the negativity
that you're getting. Just keep onward, hunting, move onward forward.
Deal deal deal. All right, welcome back, and we have

(43:03):
some questions from you the listener, so let's take a
listen and I'll answer them. Hit it Hi, Rosie Trend
here in Atlanta. Thank you for coming to us on
this platform and shining your light once again with such
great guests. I have the sweetest memories watching your daytime
show as a kid raised in South Texas, thinking that

(43:24):
I could shine one day two. But my question is
about your awesome acting projects. Leak at their Own is
my all time favorite movie. If you could share the
screen with anyone from that great cast, Tom Hanks, You're
budding Madonna, Gina Davis, who would it be and what
would that screenplay look like? Thanks Rope? Oh God, can
I call you that? You totally can, Honey, you totally can.

(43:47):
What a lovely message. Thank you so much for that
really touches me, and I'm sure you have been able
to shine throughout your life. You have a sunny voice
and you make me smile when I hear you. The
League of their Own was the most fun that anyone
could have making a movie, really, and I think if
I had to pick someone, I would probably pick Tom Hanks.

(44:12):
I think he's one of the best actors living and
I would do anything to work with him. Again, I
was lucky I got to work with him in League
of their Own and in Sleepless in Seattle, so, you know,
to have two experiences with this, you know, amazing, amazing,
multi generational guy. This you know, Tom Hanks, He's cream

(44:37):
of the crop people, He's a cream on top. Thank
you for the question. Hi Rosie, my name is Megan,
and I just want to say I'm so glad to
be able to hear you interview people again. I pretty
much grew up watching your show from about seven years
old to thirteen, and you've always been a strong role
model in my life as somebody who is plus size

(44:58):
and did not get to see the represent growing up,
and also being LGBTQ just a little bit different from
mainstream media, especially in the nineties, it was so nice
to have that to look up to and to look
up to. So thank you. Very important person in my life,
and I love you, even though you don't know who
I am anyway. I was wondering if you had any

(45:21):
life advice for somebody in their early thirties who doesn't
really know where they're going in life, feeling a bit stagnant,
and who has too many creative passions and no idea
how to narrow them down. Thank you, by mate, And
what a beautiful, beautiful little message. Thank you so much.

(45:42):
I love the message feature I get to hear from you, guys.
It's it's really nice. Well, thank you for your kind words,
really and advice. You know. I will tell you this,
It goes way too fast. I'm sixty one. I'm sitting
here going how did I get to be sixty one?

(46:04):
I was listening to Carol Burnette speak recently on her
ninetieth birthday a celebration, and she said, she still feels
like she's in her forties or something, you know, And
I gotta tell you, honey, it goes quick. So follow
your dreams and narrow them down, and pick one thing
and focus, because you know you can't do everything all

(46:24):
at once. You got to take one thing at a time.
So if you're lucky enough to do what you love
and somehow get paid for it, you've won the life lottery.
You know, no matter what that is. I have friends
who are painters, and although they've never really sold a lot,
they paint every day and they take lessons and they
learn and they study and it's a fulfilling, fulfilling life

(46:46):
for them. And you know some of them have other
jobs too. In order to get to a point where
you can quit and do your full time passion, you
know that's very likely in today's world. But follow your heart.
Never never lets you down, and never lets you down,
and know that you can't take it with you, so

(47:08):
live up, you know, live it up while you can.
Thank you everybody. We'll see you next week, where our
guests will be Brookshields. We talk a lot about the documentary.
It really moved me. It's on Hulu. It's pretty Baby
Brookshields next week Here on Onward with Rosie O'donnald
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