Former reality star Derick Dillard wants fans to “get over” his transphobic comments about author and activist Jazz Jennings, but he still doesn’t seem to get why people are mad.
“Oh get over it already,” Dillard tweeted earlier this week in response to calls for him to “apologize” to Jennings over a 2017 tweetstorm in which he misgendered the I Am Jazz star. The 30-year-old, who is married to Jill Dillard Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting, suggested she was being exploited for being allowed to transition at an early age.
“Any comments were directed @TLC and the parents,” he added. “I love @JazzJennings__ We have got to protect children!”
His non-apology raises a number of questions: Why does Dillard insist Jennings needs protection from her parents — who love her, support her, and have helped her to live her most authentic and happiest life? And what on earth kind of protection does he think he can offer Jennings that her family and loved ones can’t?
In 2017 Dillard was fired from Counting On — a spinoff of 19 Kids and Counting, which was cancelled over abuse allegations against brother-in-law Josh Duggar — over his attacks on Jennings. In a series of tweets, he called trans identities a “myth.”
“Gender is not fluid,” he said. “It’s ordained by God.”
Dillard’s comments only got more personal and more hateful from there. “I pity Jazz,” he tweeted, going onto refer to her by male pronouns. “4 those who take advantage of him in order 2 promote their agenda, including the parents who allow these kinds of decisions 2 be made by a child.”
When Dillard finally decided to “defend” himself against criticism of his transphobic remarks, he actually ended up doubling down on his misgendering and hate. “Jazz is being taken advantage of, as a part of a larger agenda,” he continued. “I really have nothing against the kid and wish him all the best in life. I just hate seeing him used this way.”
TLC cut ties with the reality star soon after, banning him appearing on Counting On.
His most recent tweets show Dillard hasn’t learned anything in the past two years. He doesn’t say he’s sorry for what happened, instead taking the “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach. He still thinks it’s bad parenting to allow a trans child to get the life-saving support and help they need to transition to their true gender. What's more, he never even deleted the tweets that got him fired.
But whether or not Dillard musters up an actual apology, Jennings has already moved on. In a 2018 interview with US Weekly, she said the extended Duggar clan member is “irrelevant” and that she doesn’t give him “any of [her] attention.”
“I don’t even read the tweets that he sends out anymore because I just don’t care,” she added. “He can say whatever. I think he’s doing it for attention.”
Dillard’s famous family also has a history of transphobia. Mother-in-law Michelle Duggar lobbied against an LGBTQ+ inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in her home state of Arkansas, warning that it would allow men “with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls.”
Counting On recently wrapped its ninth season on TLC.