When Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce Jenner) revealed her true self via a stunning series of photographs shot by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair, “#CallMeCaitlyn” and “Caitlyn Jenner” began trending immediately as her fans and family alike came out in droves to support her transition.
However, support was not necessarily the unanimous reaction. Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell was met with animosity on social media after he Tweeted on Monday, “Sorry…still calling you Bruce” in response to Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover story reveal.
According to GLAAD, one should always refer to a transgender person by their chosen name. “They should be afforded the same respect for their chosen name as anyone else who lives by a name other than their birth name (e.g., celebrities).”
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[BRIGHTCOVE “20927612” “” “people now” “no” ]
It didn’t take long for Bell to delete his Tweet, later writing, “That’s bravery!”
Famous for his role on Drake & Josh, Bell, 28, continued to defend himself from his critics: “I’m not dissing him! I just don’t want to forget his legacy!” he wrote in a follow-up Tweet, according to CNN. “He is the greatest athlete of all time! Chill out!”
All of Bell’s Tweets concerning Jenner have been deleted, though ample screenshots remain.
Interestingly, Bell also identifies by a different name than the one he was given at birth. His first name is Jared – Drake is his middle name.