“I'm so tired of having to fight for little kids because they just want to be included," the 'Queer Eye' star said
The Queer Eye star, 36, appeared on the latest episode of Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert, where the pair started to clash when talking about recent news articles involving gender-affirming care for preteens and teenagers and whether “challenging” that issue can be interpreted as anti-trans.
“Some people are very uncomfortable about teenagers transitioning. How do we know that the person’s not gonna change their mind?” Shepard, 48, said on the show. "This whole notion that to be critical… or to even question it makes you an enemy. I don't think that's the way forward."
“I feel like I’m talking to my dad,” said Van Ness, who is nonbinary. “All I’m saying is what we know about misinformation and disinformation is when you have an outsized reaction to something, there’s a good chance that you’re being exposed to misinformation and disinformation. And a lot of the rhetoric around the anti-trans backlash does have a lot of misinformation and disinformation in it.”
"I'm not calling you a transphobe," the reality star later noted. "You can not be transphobic and still have thoughts that espouse trans misogyny and espouse transphobic ideologies and beliefs."
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Van Ness also explained that it’s “disappointing” when people claim to be fighting for women while excluding trans kids from sports. Shepard then insisted that he "did not intend" for their conversation to start a debate, telling Van Ness that he “adores” them and their activism.
Van Ness then broke down in tears, sharing why the issues are so important to them.
"I could just cry because I'm so tired of having to fight for little kids because they just want to be included," they told Shepard. "I wish that people were as passionate about little kids being able to be included or grow up as they were about fictitious women's fairness in sports. I have to tell you, I am very tired."
“I don’t know that I don’t live like this because I’m scared of the vitriol that trans people feel every day,” Van Ness added. “For people who are like, ‘You’re so authentic and you’re so brave, I’m not.’”
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