Trans People Are Not ‘Characters’ In Their Cis Friends’ Lives
Even when that friend is MrBeast.
When someone finds the courage to come out and be themselves, especially when they’re a public figure, it should be cause for celebration. Coming out is not easy, whether it’s about your sexuality or gender identity, especially in this day of age when the LGBTQ+ community is constantly under attack by conservatives trying to police our lives. We should celebrate someone living as their authentic self and then go on with our day because queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming people are just regular people trying to live their lives in peace.
However, it seems expecting people to have a normal reaction to a public figure’s coming out is still too much to ask of too many. Chris Tyson, a friend of the mega-popular YouTuber MrBeast, revealed to the world this past month that they’ve been receiving HRT treatments for about two months. Tyson (who uses all pronouns) went on to explain that gender-affirming care “saved my life” and expressed dismay at how difficult it is to access that care.
Thankfully, Tyson seemed to receive a lot of support from his friends both online and in real life. But, because the world is a nightmare, wolves also soon descended.
Transphobic attacks on Chris Tyson
A number of TikTok accounts have been banned due to their transphobic targeting of Tyson after he came out. Some of these videos have amassed millions of views and are usually degrading Tyson for their looks and transition journey. In one video, a user showed pictures of Tyson now and then with the caption reading “I miss the old Chris” and “I hate the new Chris.” In a deep dive done by Insider, it was reported that some of the clips “featured pictures of Tyson with their child, with on-screen text from creators that they ‘felt bad’ or ‘felt sad’ for the child.” Tyson does share a two-year-old son with their ex-partner and it’s incredibly disgusting to drag someone’s child into a situation they have nothing to do with.
The use of Tyson’s child as a way for people to denounce their transition and call them “selfish” and a “bad” parent didn’t just stay on TikTok. Many, many tweets have been launched accusing him of abandoning his son and “ripping a father figure” away from a child that no one knows. Tyson, of course, hit back against these trolls in a series of tweets calling people out for “dog whistling that somehow trans and gnc folks aren’t safe around kids.” They went on to defend their parenting abilities, saying their son will only know love and that showing up “as my best and happiest self” is the best thing they can do for their son.
Trans people are not “characters” in cis stories
As if using a child to bully someone for their gender identity isn’t horrifying enough, YouTube bigots took to dropping videos criticizing Tyson for how their transition might affect the career of MrBeast, with his 145 million subscribers. According to these people, Tyson’s transition is going to be the crack in the foundation that makes it all come crumbling down. These ghouls referred to Tyson as MrBeast “nightmare” and accused her of putting MrBeast in an “inescapable situation” because MrBeast didn’t immediately kick Tyson, his childhood best friend, out of his life for being trans.
One video in particular that seemed to spark a lot of backlash was from the YouTuber SunnyV2. In his video, SunnyV2 condemned Tyson’s transition and equated their presence in MrBeast’s videos with Hollywood adding an “over the top” LGBTQ character to a show or movie. He called Tyson “selfish” for not taking MrBeast into account before he started his gender journey and even said that Tyson should quit the channel so that MrBeast’s brand doesn’t suffer from his presence. The entire video was absolutely abhorrent and showcased how people like SunnyV2 don’t see Tyson as a person—they see her as a character on the MrBeast show. Fortunately, many people on the internet saw this video for what it was and called SunnyV2 out for being incredibly transphobic.
In a very surprising twist, one of the people who called SunnyV2 out was MrBeast himself. While responding to a tweet in which someone criticized SunnyV2’s for being incredibly invasive, MrBeast declared that Tyson is his friend, not his “nightmare,” and that all the transphobia being aimed at them was “starting to piss [him] off.” It was awesome to see MrBeast, who usually stays in the center when it comes to political or social issues, stand up for his longtime friend after they dealt with so much dogpiling from conservative ghouls.
Naturally, because MrBeast decided to stand by Tyson and not completely abandon their decades long friendship, bigots absolutely lost their minds and accused MrBeast of trying to “shove the trans agenda on children.”
It seems like because MrBeast has been so apolitical in the past, his more prejudiced fans thought he would be as soulless as them and leave his friend behind. And honestly, transphobes weren’t the only ones who were surprised to see MrBeast speak out on this issue. MrBeast has had some controversies in the past that he didn’t respond well to, so most people thought he would just let Tyson get eaten alive to save himself.
At the end of the day, Tyson and MrBeast are public figures that most of us don’t know anything about. But Tyson is not some character on MrBeast YouTube channel—he is a human being who has his own thoughts and feelings. He didn’t need to check with MrBeast about starting his gender transition because it’s his own life and journey. And I’m glad MrBeast has done the right thing and stood by his friend. To see the biggest YouTuber take a stand for trans rights is huge as millions and millions of young people will see that being trans or having a trans friend (and standing up for them when needed!) is completely normal. Let people just live their lives and stop injecting yourself into the lives of people you do not know.
(featured image: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]