The non-binary celebrity hairstylist, 36, who uses they/them pronouns, appeared on the actor and comedian’s Armchair Expert podcast in September.
During the interview, Van Ness took issue with Shepard, 48, branding The New York Times a “left-leaning” newspaper. Van Ness disagreed, arguing that it published “anti-trans” content.
While Shepard said that he “did not intend” to start a debate or upset Van Ness, the TV personality burst into tears.
Now, months after their impassioned conversation, Van Ness gave an update on their relationship.
“I think Dax and I are good,” Van Ness said on a recent episode of the Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast hosted by Amanda Hirsch. They admitted that they “haven’t spoken with him since”.
Van Ness further claimed that Shepard’s podcast episode was “heavily edited”. “I had a feeling that it would be edited, I just wish that I could have had a transcript or had insight into what the edit would be,” they said.
They commended Shepard for his “bravery” in releasing the episode before saying that the original take “was worse” than what was released.
“If a more accurate edit existed, I think you would see why I cried,” Van Ness said.
The Independent has contacted Shepard’s representative for comment.
What started out as a jovial and light-hearted conversation between Van Ness and Shephard in September took a turn when Shepard raised the subject of trans athletes competing in the Olympics, as well as young trans people who transitioned while they were underage.
He argued that being “critical” or “questioning” trans rights made the person into an “enemy”, to which Van Ness joked that it felt like they were “talking to my dad”.
“I’m not calling you a transphobe. You can not be transphobic and still have thoughts that espouse trans misogyny and espouse transphobic ideologies and beliefs,” Van Ness added.
Shepard, who’s married to The Good Place star Kristen Bell, 43, reassured Van Ness that “I adore you. I think that you’re hysterical and talented and I love that you’re an activist”.
“I could just cry because I’m so tired of having to fight for little kids because they just want to be included,” Van Ness responded emotionally as they broke down.
They said that they were wary of “casual questioning” of trans rights due to its impact on “healthcare” or “gender-based violence”.
“It’s a really difficult time right now,” Van Ness explained, adding that this was why the conversation had been so “trigger city”.