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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kutztown chapter.

Note: After writing this encomium for one of my classes, I decided that I wanted to post it as an article. Everybody should know what a fantastic, down-to-earth individual Dylan is!

“Days of Girlhood” videos have crossed the For You Pages of millions of TikTok users. Dylan Mulvaney (she/they) has been documenting her experience as a transgender woman for the past year, in which she discusses milestones, concerns, and reflections of how womanhood has impacted her. Her videos immediately gained recognition for their positive attitude and radiant personality, although she certainly addresses serious, troubling topics that are equally as engaging and important. Dylan Mulvaney’s TikTok videos showcase the beauty of authenticity, as they simultaneously uplift other transgender people and educate cisgender people. 

Dylan currently has 10.8 million TikTok followers. She utilizes her platform to advocate for the trans community, and her followers idolize her for that reason. They follow her for her bubbly personality and excited attitude, as well as her informational videos. Dylan loves to use their platform to annihilate transphobes with her feminine charm. Under Dylan’s video discussing their “365 Days of Girlhood” special show, somebody commented “Still look VERY much like a man. So sorry you are not getting the results you expected.” For context, Dylan recently had facial reconstruction surgery, which changed their face shape to appear more feminine. Rather than letting the transphobic man get away with a hateful comment, she replied to the comment through another video. She began by correcting the man and emphasizing that she is not a man. To counter his attack on her appearance, they said, “You know, you’re right. I’m actually a lot prettier than I expected! And if this was your way of flirting, then, I’m interested. I like a little cat and mouse game. Love ya!” Dylan is known to expose hateful people with elegance, which they have done multiple times in addition to this instance. 

In another video, Dylan addresses people, especially cisgender women, who criticize her for nearly everything. Women on Twitter specifically attack Dylan for carrying tampons with her—they suggest that because Dylan carries tampons, she is contributing to the tampon shortage and withholding period products from cisgender women. Although not only cisgender women menstruate, mainly cisgender women appear to have an issue with it. Dylan acknowledges that although she does not have a uterus and therefore does not get a period, they like to have period products in case other people need them. One outstanding point that Dylan expresses in the video is, “The bigger problem at hand is that you feel me carrying a tampon around is a threat to you and your womanhood. How is someone doing something nice so repulsive to you?” Dylan’s words cultivate a larger conversation surrounding transphobia perpetrated by cisgender women, which she endures daily. She then makes another point, saying, “If a man kept a tampon for you at his house just in case you needed it, you’d gush over him. You would run to brunch on Sunday and tell all your gal pals that he’s so thoughtful and he cares and he listens. A trans woman does it, and all of the sudden I’m the reason there’s a tampon shortage.” The women who are angry at Dylan for having tampons are blatantly transphobic, which she handles with grace. Rather than yelling at them or getting defensive, she tenderly conveys how she cares about other women and wishes she was born in a female body. By delivering sincerity, vulnerability, and gentleness to hateful people, Dylan sets a fantastic example for other trans people on how to handle hate. Additionally, by being a role model of kindness, Dylan educates non-trans individuals by showing that trans people will not surrender to malicious intent.

Similarly, Dylan’s positive mindset radiates in all aspects of her life. When her personal phone number was leaked on social media—known as “doxxing”—rather than being angry at the person, she posted a calm, collected video giving them the benefit of the doubt. She expresses how her privacy was violated, but they suggest that the person who doxxed her may have had good intentions and leaked her information because they enjoy her content. They remind their viewers that many people do not like her because she is a trans woman, and that some people have bad intentions when it comes to her privacy and safety. She unfortunately blames herself in the video by saying, “Maybe this is just something I have to get used to, having a platform.” She also stands her ground by stating that if her fans called her with the leaked number to ask her to follow them back, she feels that they breached her trust and she cannot follow them back, as the relationship is tainted. Although her love for her supporters is infinite, she must maintain boundaries and acknowledge when lines are crossed. Despite enduring a nightmarish situation such as getting doxxed, Dylan handled the situation tenderly, when most people would not be delivering the same energy. Her somber, yet forgiving tone encourages other trans people to discover a sense of sweetness in a bitter world, which cisgender people can learn from as well. 

When she reached day 365 of being a woman, Dylan decided to celebrate in a unique way. In one of her videos, she describes how she did not want her big day to be “just some big party.” Instead, she had a musical event with singing, dancing, special guests, comedy, and an orchestra to celebrate a full year of womanhood. Since they used to tour on Broadway pre-transition, she figured the anniversary would be the perfect time to debut onstage as her new identity. Rather than the event being in-person, she chose a virtual route. By having the event live streamed, anybody, anywhere could access the show. The tickets were $5 each, and every cent made from the tickets was donated to the Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is a nonprofit organization that aims to prevent suicide in LGBTQ+ individuals with a focus on young, queer people. Rather than pocketing the money from a production that was most likely expensive on Dylan’s part to perform, they gave back to the LGBTQ+ community. This not only exhibits generosity, but it upholds the idea that Dylan supports and inspires other trans people while educating non-trans people on how to be an ally to the trans community. 

Dylan Mulvaney is a high-spirited, charismatic, and courageous woman. Coming out as transgender—especially in the public eye—can be intimidating, yet Dylan handles the obstacles with courage and vibrance. In a world that strives to belittle her identity and revoke her rights as a woman, she exemplifies what it means to remain sympathetic and optimistic when cruelty bombards her. By seeing Dylan’s narrative on TikTok, other trans women are elevated by their liveliness. Their impact on non-trans individuals is extensive as well because for people who do not identify as trans, they are able to understand the life of a trans woman through Dylan’s content, resulting in a better understanding of diversity. It is the hope of 10.8 million followers on TikTok to see Dylan, years from now, still documenting each step of her girlhood. 

Sarah Mengel

Kutztown '23

Senior English major with a minor coffee addiction :)