Why is Joe Biden taking trans advice from a TikTok star?

Those defending the rights of women and the safeguarding of children are on the back foot in the United States

The President seemed clueless during his interview with Dylan Mulvaney

You might not have heard the name Dylan Mulvaney, but your children might have. This 25-year-old social media influencer has 8.4 million followers on TikTok, and is currently documenting a transition to “girlhood”.

On “Day 222 of being a girl”, Mulvaney interviewed Joe Biden. Transgender-identification seemingly invokes privilege that mere muggles can only dream about, but that is not my point. Mulvaney is on a mission.


Day 222- talking to the president at the White House with @nowthis (interview goes live on Sunday Night!) #trans #whitehouse #nowthisnews

♬ Presidential Honors (Entrance of The President) – USMMA Band
Day 222 of Being a Girl

The egregious patter is self-absorbed rather than self-aware, but one focus is “trans kids”. In Mulvaney’s words: “I’m ready to step up and show that trans people are not going anywhere and that trans kids deserve a fighting chance to be their true selves.”

On this side of the Atlantic, NHS England takes a rather different view to Mulvaney. Instead of encouraging transition, medics in England are now told to take a “watchful approach” to see how a young person’s conditions develop. Quite right. Yet Biden chooses to listen to a TikTok video-maker who on “Day 74 of being a girl” dressed in tight, revealing shorts and announced that “women can have bulges and that’s okay”.

The 79-year-old US President appears to have been captured. On camera, he told Mulvaney: “I don’t think any state or anybody should have the right to [ban gender affirming healthcare].” He added, “You should have every single solitary right including the use of your gender identity bathrooms.”

In the real world — that is, not TikTok — he presumably means that single-sex facilities should be provided not according to biological sex, but to so-called gender identity. Those defending the rights of women and the safeguarding of children are on the back foot in the United States when the President dismisses any concern with statements such as “People fear what they don’t know.”

Well, Mr Biden, I and many others do know. If you weaken safeguarding measures, then you will attract those on the lookout for safeguarding weaknesses. That stands to reason. The problem seems to be that Biden does not know any of this. 

Those of us in the UK must not dismiss this as mere foreign news, something for the ‘only in America’ file. The UK-US free trade agreement that we heard so much about post-Brexit is still under negotiation. With deals come concessions. The Good Friday Agreement is one area where America seeks to influence UK policy, but could trans rights be another? The US-Canada-Mexico trade deal named gender identity as a protected characteristic. That was inserted by Canada rather than the Trump administration but it exemplifies the issue. If the UK wants trade deals, will NHS England first need to reconsider its line on the medication of children who identify as transgender?

But TikTok already transcends our borders. If, like me, you are a middle-aged parent, then maybe you should find out if your children are being influenced by the same characters who are influencing Joe Biden.

Debbie Hayton

* This article was first published by Unherd on 26 October 2022: Why is Joe Biden taking trans advice from a TikTok star?

By Debbie Hayton

Physics teacher and trade unionist.

2 replies on “Why is Joe Biden taking trans advice from a TikTok star?”

“I’m ready to step up and show that trans people are not going anywhere and that trans kids deserve a fighting chance to be their true selves.”

The first part of that statement is confrontational and adversarial, and that’s fine, since I’m sure that many trans people don’t feel accepted by society. The part about kids is what’s disturbing. The defining quality of kids is that they are immature, confused and easily influenced. I don’t think that any kid really knows what his or her “true self” is — that’s something that takes time and growth to know. Nor does a child know how he’ll feel when he is 25 or 35. The trans community seems to think that kids are small adults, like midgets or something. Their ability to make sound judgements is still developing. Bill Maher made a good point: If the desires of kids always came to fruition in adulthood, the world would be populated with princesses and cowboys. Kids must be allowed to grow up normally, at which time they can cut off their penises and breasts if they so choose. A child just doesn’t have the right to make such decisions on behalf of the adult yet to come.


When i was a child i loved Superman, wanted to be him, no one was like Christopher Reeve. I wanted to be the bionic man, loved Steve Austin. Also loved Spock and wanted to be on star trek. This didnt mean i wanted to be a boy – it meant i wanted to have super powers and help people.

At 16 in school hols, was working with asbestos and no protection, we were moved to another factory, saw ppl doing what we did behind screen, masks, gowns… we were told could get asbestosis and die in 30 years if did without protection. We said but we’ve been doing that last few weeks at last factory (dust got everywhere was horrible) then we said, 30 years oh who cares we’ll be ancient then!!

Even someone like me doing A levels didnt comprehend longevity.

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