Jonathan Van Ness breaks silence on tense trans rights debate with Dax Shepard
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Jonathan Van Ness has broken their silence after a heated exchange with Dax Shepherd on trans rights.
The star of Queer Eye appeared on Shepherd's podcast Armchair Expert on 25 September.
They said: "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.”
Shepherd had asked Van Ness about gender-affirming care for trans youth, saying: "To even question it makes you an enemy, I don't think that's the way forward."
Shepard - who shares two daughters with wife and fellow actor Kristen Bell - pointed out that some people question that young people may change their mind about wanting to transition.
He said: "Some people are very uncomfortable about teenagers transitioning.
“How do we know that the person’s not gonna change their mind? Then there’s another counterargument. If they kill themselves, then that’s really f**king permanent."
Since the interview, Van Ness has posted on Instagram, indicating that they do not feel ready to fully address the issues right now, but may have more to say.
They wrote: “I don’t quite have words for this yet but I will someday.”
Van Ness also posted a video from intersex rights activist Alicia Roth Weigel, whose work they referenced in the interview.
Weigel said: “My lovely friend JVN was out here defending intersex people, and it really sucks that they have to be put in that position of having to be an encyclopaedia on every marginalized community to fight the misinformation.
“And I appreciate their work that they do to lift us up so much and help clarify things.”
Weigel highlighted that while Van Ness had got some facts wrong about Weigel's experience, the pair had since spoken and Van Ness explained that they had felt 'backed into a corner' and tried to 'just spew as much information' as they could.
Weigel highlighted how sometimes people are expected to be experts in all manner of experiences, not just their own.
She added: “I wanted to take a second to share my story in my words with fully accurate information but also to bring up that again, it sucks that someone like JVN is expected to be this, like, savior of all marginalized communities in all instances. And let’s not be out here grilling folks like that all the time.”