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Theo Von Responds To A Transgender Man Asking Him For Advice On 'Being A Dude'

Photo: miro382 / CanvaPro; @theovon / Instagram 
Comedian Theo Von

Despite the often transgressive and controversial nature of the comedy scene, figures like Theo Von provide hope that we’re moving towards a future where humor and kindness can peacefully coexist. 

Comedian and media figure Theo Von is known for his recent popularity on social media, where he hosts the podcast "This Past Weekend." Before delving into the world of social media, he was a frequent comic in the stand-up scene, as well as a reality TV personality and occasional actor.

His real popularity, however, has stemmed from his online success, and, with the help of social platforms like TikTok, Von’s podcast started garnering a lot of attention, despite being started over seven years prior. 

But it’s not just fame and fortune — Von also has a knack for connecting with “the average person,” whether that be at events or online through call-ins to his show. 

Theo Von responded to a transgender man who called into his podcast requesting advice on ‘being a dude.’ 

In a clip from his podcast in early February, Von watched a young man’s call-in message, sitting patiently while listening to his story. “Hi, Theo — my name is also Theo! And I am also a transgender man. I’ve been transitioning from female to male,” the viewer shared.

   

   

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“I do not know the first thing about being a dude,” the caller honestly admitted. “I was wondering if maybe you had any advice?” 

Every transgender person’s experience is wildly different, but there are several common experiences that people in the community bond over. Whether it be choosing a new name or adopting “traditional” gender expressions that feel validating in their journey, sometimes, seeking approval through the eyes of the gender binary can be oddly reaffirming.

While it’s not for everyone, some transgender folks find that adopting “traditional” clothing, mannerisms, or language of their “transitioned gender” is an avenue to feeling empowered in their identity. 

So, while “being a dude” or expressing yourself as a man realistically looks different for everyone, there are stereotypes many men follow that give them a sense of community or at least “safety” in the traditional social constructs of gender. 

“You showed up at a really wild time,” Von honestly responded, likely referring to the ever-growing transgender hate and harmful transphobic rhetoric in the media. “That’s got to be a brave journey.” 

Amid silly jokes and honest clothing suggestions, Von ‘welcomed’ Theo on his journey. 

“I’ve done some different things in my life — community college, I got poison ivy, tried to learn Spanish six times — but I’ve never been through anything like that,” Von jokingly admitted. 

Like Von has mentioned many times, he doesn’t believe in steering away from the “uncomfortable” conversations. As a white, cis-gender male, he knows he doesn’t deserve a seat at every table, but still tries to understand, learn, and cultivate healthy spaces for often-silenced experiences. 

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So, while many people in his industry and beyond would prefer not to speak to this young man — or spew ignorant hate at his existence — he honestly tackled the question as best he could. “Yeah, so how do you be a dude? You could do chewing tobacco if you want…” 

Theo Von Responds To A Transgender Man Asking Him For Advice On Being A DudePhoto: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

“I don’t think you have to do steroids anymore,” he joked. “Maybe, some nice slacks?” His delivery simultaneously poked fun at the undeniable “expression” of many cis-gender males, while still validating this young transgender man’s yearning to find community in his identity and expression. 

“I would say maybe spit on the ground sometimes," he suggested. "I think a hat if you like to do a hat — some guys do a hat.” 

“No matter what, we're happy to have you,” he said, "That's a wild journey you’re on. And I love you Theo, and welcome Theo! This is crazy, it’s almost like I’m talking to myself.” 

Despite the stereotypes of the industry, this wasn’t Von’s first time welcoming someone from the LGBTQ+ community to share their story on his show. 

Even with the occasional joke, Von’s response to this young man had an incredible reach, with thousands of people commenting on his talent to lighten up difficult conversations, validate people’s identities, and simply radiate an aura of kindness, love, and empathy to everyone he meets. 

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“I love how he has no idea what he’s going to say,” one commenter wrote, “but you just know it will never be something negative or defamatory. I respect this so much, along with his kind heart and humor.” 

   

   

This wasn’t the first time Von openly discussed identity with someone from the LGBTQ+ community on his show — in fact, he welcomed comedian Robin Tran in April 2018. Alongside discussions of comedy and other struggles, Tran opened up about her “coming out” experience as a transgender woman with Von, admitting that it was similar to “a religious experience.” 

Listening and providing occasional commentary, Von gave up his platform to let Tran share her vulnerable and beautiful story, something that not many comedians in the space would do

Von’s witty and kind personality brings a refreshing platform for people to share their most vulnerable journeys amid the harshness of the internet and comedy space. 

It might seem innocently silly to give him so much credit for doing the “bare minimum” in inviting diverse guests on the show, but the truth is that it doesn’t make it any less important. With his incredibly diverse audience, simply acknowledging and providing space for these guests is planting a seed. 

If that means one or one hundred thousand of his fans become a better, more welcoming person, it would be worth it. With his humble character and honest integrity, Von has trailblazed a new era of comedy and social media stardom — one that welcomes people from all walks of life. 

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture and human interest stories.