Jonathan Van Ness claims ‘significant’ parts of trans rights interview with Dax Shepard were cut

Side by side photos of Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness wearing a white outfit and Dax Shepard wearing a red shirt with grey stripes

Jonathan Van Ness has claimed that listeners didn’t get the full story about their tense discussion about trans rights on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. 

The Queer Eye star broke down in tears during a heated appearance on Shepard’s podcast in September. During the discussion, Shepard said some “people are very uncomfortable about teenagers transitioning” before questioning: “How do we know that person’s not gonna change their mind?”

Van Ness explained that a “lot of rhetoric around the anti-trans backlash” includes a “lot of misinformation and disinformation”. He added that he “could just cry” because he’s “so tired of having to fight for little kids because they just want to be included”. 

The author alleged that “significant pieces” of the conversation with Shepard were “left out that did ultimately have [Van Ness] in tears” while speaking on Keke Palmer’s podcast

“If you listen to podcasts, you know what an edit is — that was an edit, and that was an edit that I asked for approval or insight into, and was not given,” Van Ness said. 

“So, after that conversation, I did ask for a transcript and what that was going to look or sound like, because that was quite a conversation, and I was not given insight into that. 

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“There were some significant pieces of that conversation that were left out that did ultimately have me in tears.”


Many of you have asked for my response to the Dax interview on Armchair Expert. This is what I’ll say for now. Also how much do we love Keke Palmer?? #kekepalmer #jvn

♬ original sound – JVN

Palmer asked Jonathan Van Ness what had them in tears. The TV personality said it “wasn’t what he [Dax Shepard] said it was”, and the realisation that Shepard, who they said “represents so much of [the] opinions” in the US, has this “type of deep-seated opinions”. 

“What was really upsetting for me was just realising how widespread the misinformation and disinformation is around queer people,” Van Ness added. 

PinkNews has reached out to representatives for Shepard and the Armchair Expert podcast for comment. 

Elsewhere in the Armchair Expert discussion, Shepard told Van Ness that he wished that trans women had “access and could play and follow her dream[s]”. But he thought, by recognising trans women as women, society is “pretending that women aren’t the ultimate marginalised class throughout history”. 

“I wish that people were as passionate about little kids being able to be included or grow up as they were about fictitious women’s fairness in sport,” Van Ness told the host. 

Shepard offered an on-air apology to Van Ness and said the fellow podcaster must be “disappointed” in him. To which, Van Ness responded: “I’m not disappointed in you, I’m just emotionally exhausted.”

Nevertheless, Jonathan Van Ness told Keke Palmer that she was “grateful that [Dax Shepard] had the courage to release that episode” because she thought that “he brought a conversation into more people’s homes than would have been having that conversation would he not” have released it.