Fans of The Bachelorette got a chance to meet the 31 men competing for Rachel Lindsay's heart this week and were quick to point out that not all of the suitors were as woke as they hoped. While Lindsay's season is already being called the most diverse of The Bachelorette franchise, two suitors were called out for making transphobic comments in their bios, but one of them, in particular, was concerning.
When Bryce Powers, a 30-year-old firefighter, was asked for his biggest dating fear, he answered, "The chick is actually a dude." Now, ABC has released a statement regarding Bryce's troubling comments before the season 13 premiere on May 22.
“This comment does not reflect the views of ABC, Warner Horizon or bachelorette Rachel Lindsay,” an ABC spokesperson said in a statement to TheWrap. “We have removed it from ABC.com.”
If you go to Bryce's Bachelorette bio page, it is true that the question and his answer have been removed, but it doesn't mean his answer has been forgotten. Or that it should be just because the network decided to delete it so that you'll be able to focus on the fact that his favorite actor is Matthew McConaughey or that a handwritten letter is the most romantic gift he's ever received.
Luckily, Twitter won't let anyone forget. Shortly after reports of Powers' comments surfaced, many people fired back, including RuPaul's Drag Race winner Sharon Needles. “Bryce from the Bachelorette’s biggest fear is trans women who are attempting to conceal their birth sex. I see why yer single, douche bag,” Needles tweeted.
"Dear Bryce," trans actress Jen Richards tweeted, "on behalf of trans women I can assure you: none of us want to date your bland preppy 1980's teen movie villain rhombus ass."
Powers' comments are a prime example of transphobia that shouldn't be swept under the rug but should foster a conversation. These kinds of comments about the trans community are harmful, and unfortunately, they're not uncommon. "I think most people think we are too 'dangerous' or complicated to love because of the misconceptions in media and communities that we are deceitful or lying about who we are," Sasha Alexander, co-founder of Black Trans Media, told Mic in February. "Imagine your whole life you were told that no one would love you because of who you are, that no one would love your body because you are trans, that not only will no one love you but someone may try to hurt you."
It's why The Bachelorette and ABC shouldn't just delete the comments Powers made, but start a conversation around them. That is how the cis-gender dating series would show that they're allies to the trans community. It would also be the best way for ABC to show that Powers' comments really don't reflect their views in any way shape or form.
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