What the Bud Light controversy shows about transphobia in America 


Ah, Bud Light. The beer of choice for white frat guys looking to get drunk fast and lightweights who will still find a way to get drunk from drinking a beer that’s only 5% alcohol by volume. It’s the definition of an average, middle-of-the road beer that has somehow remained a perennial staple in bars and at backyard barbecues. But Bud Light now finds itself in the center of the ongoing culture wars that engulf our country due to a right wing meltdown over the brand’s recent partnership with transgender activist and TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney. The right’s outrage at Bud Light is completely unwarranted and shows the alarming levels of transphobia that have risen throughout the American right wing.  

The supposed “controversy,” if it can even be called that, began when Mulvaney posted a video to her Instagram page promoting Bud Light’s “Easy Carry Contest” and showing off a can of Bud Light that the brand sent her with her face on it. She appeared to simply be having a good time while drinking a Bud Light to celebrate her one-year anniversary of her gender transition. Upon watching this video, there’s nothing inherently controversial or wrong with it. Despite this, it launched an immediate uproar from many conservatives and right-wing figures, who were enraged that a “good old American brand” like Bud Light would sponsor a person who is transgender. Commentators like Ben Shapiro, who somehow might have a more annoying voice than Ted Cruz, quickly reacted by condemning Bud Light for sponsoring Mulvaney and whining that their beloved American beer “went woke.” This resulted in the declaration of a boycott against Bud Light, even though it’s extremely unlikely that a boycott would have any major impact on the brand’s sales. The most extreme reaction to Mulvaney’s video came from Kid Rock, who posted a video of himself shooting packs of Bud Light with an AR-15. This is counterintuitive to the boycott that people like him have advocated for, as he had to go buy the beer in order to film his attention-seeking stunt. 

The incredibly quick and angry reaction to Mulvaney’s harmless video shows how transphobia has become mainstream in the realm of American right-wing politics. Republican-controlled state legislatures have been increasingly trying to pass legislation that hurts the transgender community. This includes banning gender-affirming surgery and other treatments, “bathroom bills” similar to what North Carolina passed in 2014, and laws that would allow businesses and employers to discriminate against transgender people under the basis of the nonsensical concept of religious liberty that has been engineered by the God-fearing and Christian right. All of this legislation is deliberately designed to hurt the trans community and foster transphobia among the electorate to brainwash them into supporting these hateful laws. Republicans often try to use religion to justify these measures, as apparently God hates trans people. But there’s nothing in the Bible about discriminating against trans people, making this religious justification invalid.  

It’s strange to me that conservatives are now acting like Bud Light and its parent company Anheuser-Busch are some sort of radical far-left group that hates American values and wants to destroy the country. The right fails to realize that Anheuser-Busch donated thousands of dollars in the mid-to-late 2010s to Republican politicians who supported the passage of anti-LGBTQ and anti-trans legislation. If conservatives had any idea about this history, they would be clamoring to stores to buy as much Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch products as they could.  

But the most comical part of this whole situation is that people like Donald Trump Jr. and Joe Rogan have been voices of reason. That’s right — these two loudmouths are correct for once. The “controversy” seems like a perfect crusading point for Donald Trump’s outspoken son, but Trump Jr. spoke out against the boycott, as he said he doesn’t view Anheuser-Busch as the far left company that many conservatives are making it out to be. Meanwhile, Rogan mocked the uproar on an episode of his podcast by saying “who gives a s***?” and cracking open a Bud Light. The fact that these two had some of the most logical takes about the situation shows how greatly conservatives overreacted to Mulvaney’s video. 

Ultimately, the outrage against Bud Light and Mulvaney was completely unjustified and shows how transphobia has engulfed right-wing politics. It’s extremely concerning that a meaningless video set off an onslaught of unnecessary hatred that spreads the dangerous idea of transphobia. Though the Bud Light saga will ultimately die down and be forgotten about, it’s important to remember that the right’s hatred is not dead and must be fought against.  


  1. I have a 29 year old gorgeous transgender daughter. From the time she was 2 years old I knew something was different with her. She transitioned in the 9th grade
    I was so proud of her. She is the bravest person I know
    Transphobia breaks my heart. My daughter is so beautiful inside and out. I hate that she has to live in a society of ignorance and hate. GO ANHEUSER-BUSCH.

  2. The ideal behind this article is such a swing and a miss. The foundation behind the new campaign that AB and its brand BL is about is alienating its base to look for new brand buyers. The right doesn’t give a crap about stopping adult’schoices in a free society, but why wouldn’t BL and AB actually put people on their cans that actually buy their products? In the words of the VP of marketing for BL they are wanting to change those that buy their products. So it really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why people are taking out a boycott on AB. They made it clear they no longer want you and they are looking elsewhere. So more power to AB and BL. Hope these new marketing strategies work out for you.

  3. Maybe its not transphobia to question how a male can appropriate womanhood and be celebrated by the same people that trash greek societies for daring to wear a poncho or sombrero for 5th of May parties? Or tear up a white girl for daring to wear braids? Maybe it’s more about the hypocrisy?

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