Jonathan Van Ness is finally shedding a little bit of light on the conversation about trans rights with Dax Shepard that caused division earlier this fall.
Back in September, Van Ness was a guest on Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, where Shepard wound up questioning the validity of teenagers identifying as trans because they might “change their mind,” and complained that even questioning the topic “makes you an enemy.”
The Queer Eye star said he wished people cared more about what trans kids and teens go through and admitted that he was “scared of the vitriol that trans people face every day.” He also expressed frustration with the unexpected debate at the time, breaking down in tears as things progressed—something some listeners wound up criticizing as melodramatic.
More recently, JVN appeared on Keke Palmer’s Baby, This is Keke Palmer podcast, where the two got into what happened during the discussion with Shepard, and the response it received online.
“If you listen to podcasts, you know what an edit is,” Van Ness said. “And that was…an edit. That was an edit.”
Many of you have asked for my response to the Dax interview on Armchair Expert. This is what I’ll say for now. Also how much do we love Keke Palmer?? #kekepalmer #jvn
Despite asking for a transcript or insight into what the final edit was going to sound like, Van Ness said his request went ignored.
He also explained that there were “some significant pieces of that conversation that were left out,” insinuating that it was actually the cut discussion that left him in tears, rather than just the bits that were included in the final episode.
“Realizing that this person who represents so much of opinions in the United States has these types of deep-seated opinions” was the most “upsetting” part of the discussion, Van Ness said. “Just, like, realizing how widespread the misinformation and disinformation is around queer people.”
Palmer's entire episode with JVN is available now:
“You’re gonna be like the Black Taylor Swift” with Jonathan Van Ness | Baby, This is Keke Palmer