Reality Show Star Bethenny Frankel Draws Ire with 'Transphobic' Comments

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday September 28, 2021

Bethenny Frankel attends the 2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Pier 94 on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, in New York
Bethenny Frankel attends the 2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Pier 94 on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, in New York  (Source:Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Author, lifestyle entrepreneur, and reality show star Bethenny Frankel drew ire with podcast comments that were decried as being transphobic, Page Six reported.

The "Real Housewives of New York City" cast member and founder of relief charity BStrong slammed "the pronouns conversation" she said she had "with each teacher, each parent, each child" when she participated in a Zoom meeting for her daughter's school, the news outlet said.

"And my daughter says in school, too, that everybody has to say their pronouns," Frankel added, referring to daughter Bryn, 11.

"And my daughter didn't even know what hers were," Frankel went on to say, before relaying that her daughter told her: "I know what I am or what I think I am, but I have never said it out loud."

Frankel then told a story about a transgender youth at a girls camp who, she claimed, "was in the bunk with the girls. And the girls saw her — because it's her, because it's a male anatomy but identifying as a woman — so the other girls saw a penis."

"They're 9, 10 years old, so the parents obviously weren't that happy," Frankel added, before talking about her own daughter in a similar, theoretical situation.

"But she also hasn't seen a penis," Frankel said. "So, in a camp, she'd see girl parts so I think these conversations are also fluid."

"It's an interesting conversation about a girl, female anatomy being in a male anatomy bunk or vice versa. OK?" the reality show star added, before veering back into comments about pronouns.

Frankel went on to wonder aloud what might happen if a college-age person were to "make the decision" about their gender, only to later regret it.

Frankel made her comments on the Sept. 23 episode of her podcast, which is called "Just B."

Frankel "also questioned trans inclusion in school sports and later implied that one's gender identity could simply be a 'phase,'" the site said. Unsurprisingly, her comments drew "fierce criticism from LGBTQ advocates on Twitter," Page Six added.

Frankel clapped back on Twitter, where she invited readers to "Nominate me for cancelation...there are like five others before you so take a number."

"@PageSix says I'm transphobic so it must be true...or listen to @justbpodcast & decide for yourself," Frankel posted. "Gotta sell papers."

In a subsequent post, she added, "Listen to the podcast. Then comment. I was absolutely not wrong. And I'm going to discuss this again this week."

"Thankfully I have a platform to clarify what the media loves to distort," Frankel continued, before adding: "ps. I'm not afraid of cancelation so not afraid of charged discussions."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.