Dylan Mulvaney: who is the transgender TikTok star - has she partnered with Bud Light and Nike?
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TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney has scored two high profile brand deals in the past few days - first with Bud Light and then with Nike. While many have supported Mulvaney in her partnerships, the TikToker has faced transphobic backlash to the announcements.
Mulvaney is a transgender woman who has amassed over 10 million followers on TikTok, primarily thanks to the popularity of her video series called Days of Girlhood, which documents her transition.
Speaking to Variety about how TikTok has changed her life, Mulvaney said: “When I began my transition, I had no idea I could help so many others discover their own personal authenticity.”
This is everything you need to know.
Who is Dylan Mulvaney?
Mulvaney is an American actress, comedian and TikToker. She was born on 29 December 1996 in San Diego, California.
Prior to becoming famous on TikTok, Mulvaney attended the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where she graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre. Following her graduation, Mulvaney’s first significant acting role was that of Elder White in the musical The Book of Mormon. Other acting roles include starring in productions of Legally Blonde, Spring Awakening, Bye Bye Birdie and High School Musical at ACT San Diego.
When the Covid-19 pandemic brought The Book of Mormon to a halt in 2020, Mulvaney then began posting on TikTok .
She told the Observer: “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 2022, Mulvaney interviewed President Joe Biden for news outlet NowThis News and the following year hosted a livestream variety show at the Rainbow Room in Midtown Manhattan called Dylan Mulvaney’s Day 365 Live! to celebrate one year after starting her Days of Girlhood series.
In 2023, Mulvaney also appeared on The Drew Barrymore Show, in which she shared advice that was given to her by Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black, Inventing Anna), a fellow transgender woman living in the public eye, whom Mulvaney met on the Grammys red carpet.
Mulvaney said: “[Cox] said to keep some things private for myself, and I couldn’t agree more.”
She added: “There were a few moments this year where I was like, “Was I actually ready to say that?” but now, since meeting her and having that moment, I go, “Okay, what would Laverne do?” and I actually have stopped myself from making a few videos to make sure that I was actually ready to talk about those things.”
Has she partnered with Bud Light and Nike?
Recently, Mulvaney has partnered with both Bud Light and Nike, prompting transphobic backlash online.
Mulvaney announced her Bud Light partnership on her Instagram account with a video in which she could be seen with multiple cans of the beer whilst dressed like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, complete with a black dress and black opera gloves.
In the video, Mulvaney says: “So, I kept hearing about this thing called March Madness, and I thought we were all just having a hectic month! But it turns out it has something to do with sports. And I’m not sure exactly which sport, but either way it’s a cause to celebrate.”
March Madness refers to the time of year, generally mid-March through to the start of April, when the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments are held.
Mulvaney also added in the video that, marking her 365th day of “womanhood”, Bud Light sent her “possibly the best gift ever” - a can of Bud Light with her face on it.
In the caption, Mulvaney wrote: “Happy March Madness!! Just found out this had do with sports and not just saying it’s a crazy month! In celebration of this sports thing @budlight is giving you the chance to win $15,000! Share a video with #EasyCarryContest for a chance to win!! Good luck! #budlightpartner”
Bud Light has stood by its partnership with Mulvaney, with a spokesperson telling Fox News: “Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics and passion points.”
Mulvaney has also partnered up with Nike, posting to Instagram wearing some of the company’s activewear, including workout leggings and sports bras.