CNN’s Psychologist Jeff Gardere: ‘Worst Nightmare’ Of Gay + Straight Parents To Think Their Kid Is Gay

The amazing mother who defended — and took pride in — her 5-year-old son’s decision to wear a Daphne (from Scooby Doo) Halloween costume agreed to speak to CNN about the ridiculous attacks they faced from fellow parents, only to have clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere tell her on-air that gay and straight parents fear their kids might be gay. Unbelievable.

Sarah, who blogs under the name “Cop’s Wife,” was told by Gardere that “with all due respect, whether your child is gay or straight, I think you kind of outed him by putting him in the blogs. … I kinda question putting that picture out there that will be out there forever.”

This man believes “it is the worst nightmare of both the heterosexual and the gay couples to have to fathom that their child may be gay.” Sarah properly responds: “If you see his face in that costume, you see that he is absolutely thrilled.”

(NB: Tell that to folks like Robbie Williams, who wants gay kids.)

We’ve got kids bullying kids, adults bullying kids, and now adults bullying other adults about having gay kids. Gardere might be stating a fact — that, in his practice, parents worry about having gay kids — but he failed to follow up that remark by noting that fear is preposterous.

As for “outing” her son? Would Sarah have been more responsible by only sharing stories about her son’s supposed heterosexuality? Is it fair to out straight kids?

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  • Patrick

    If he was 10 years older this costume would’ve been hilarious to other parents and kids, but for someone reason because he’s so young its a cause for alarm and terror?

    Is Halloween not even sacred anymore?! (vague pun intended)

  • Derek

    Well, now I know who i’m going to be next Halloween!

  • peteNsfo

    What parents fear is the inevitable struggles that will come for their child living in a homophobic society… attitudes propelled by ignorant ‘psychologist’ talking-heads.

    If the mom is guilty of anything, it is of underestimating the vitriol of small minded people and homophobes.

    The only Halloween Costume Party I ever won, was when I went to my Boy Scout Troop on Halloween dressed as a Girl Scout. Aside; I need to remind my parents that they encouraged my first cross-dressing. lol

  • ousslander

    he’s a complete douchebag. The gay parents who think having a gay kid is their worst nightmare have a lot of self-loathing and internalized homophobia.

  • dvlaries

    Isn’t this the same ‘doctor’ who whores himself out to the Maury Povich show?! Is this the best CNN can afford in credibility…?

  • Revemupman

    Well at least the little boy didn’t choose Gaga.

  • SFDaniel

    Sorry Doc, My worst nightmare is that my kid grows up to be a Neanderthal bully. Are there really gay parents for whom having a gay kid would be “their worst nightmare”? I’d be proud as hell of having an LGBT kid. Could someone please post CNN’s contact # so we can call them up and tell them to dump this idiot psychologist?

  • Soupy

    The worst fear for any parent is that their child may be born with an incurable disease. That does not include homosexuality.

  • uu

    He’s five! The psychologist should understand the implications of that and stop appeasing the constipated objectors.

  • McMike

    This was the most offensive commentary CNN has ever produced. The worst nightmare??? WTF? A kid is going to hear this and think, yes, him being gay is the worst thing that could ever happen and then kill himself. This doctor is zoning in on a five year old being gay and it’s 100% creepy. I have lost all respect for CNN.

  • Jeffree

    On CNN, Jeff Gardere clearly *didn’t understand* why he was there because he seemed completely unaware—or confused—by the premise of the segment: Mom was fine with son dressing as Daphne but other moms at the school Halloween party were critical.

    Gardere calls himself “America’s psychologist” but nether his homepage nor his Wikipedia page seem to mention whether he is licensed!

  • Revemupman

    In high school pretty much all the dudes cross dressed for Halloween. Its the only time where you don’t have to be yourself. Any parents who think that this boy is gay is retarded. ITS HALLOWEEN YOU CAN IMPERSONATE ANYONE DURING THIS HOLIDAY!

  • Revemupman

    Now this boy might think he’s gay with all the attention he’s receiving now.

  • Revemupman

    “The gay parents who think having a gay kid is their worst nightmare have a lot of self-loathing and internalized homophobia.”

    I disagree, its a lot of gay parents who don’t want their children to be homosexual. Simply for family purposes, or their own selfish reasons. I wouldn’t call it homophobia. Some mothers wish they have a girl and out comes a boy. They’re not happy but that will do. That’s how I see it when gay parents want their children to be hetero.

    Homophobia is actual bashing and hate speech. But I guess we derive our own definitions of it.

  • echop

    Are they serious? a parent’s worst nightmare?

    Yeah I can’t think of anything worse than raising a gay child. I would much rather raise a meth addict, murderer, rapist, bully, etc… but OMG please don’t let them be gay!

    This type of fear mongering is exactly why bulling is overlooked in society and this is supposed to be a “professional”?

    Let CNN know exactly how you feel about this ridiculous “Dr” Jeff Gardere


  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    Parents are afraid of their kids being gay, because they’ll have to deal with douchebags like Gardere.

  • Jack E. Jett

    We are going to be seeing more and more blatant homophobic comments as the mainstream media falls in line with the Tea Baggers and Elderly Christian mean azz movement.

    Watch as the pussy dems, GLAAD, and HRC stand by with their fingers up their skank pussys and not do a Goddamned thing about it. But hell they will bust the balls of any Gay artist or filmmaker that they might be pushing the envelope.



  • MCH

    I saw this as well on CNN and I’m shocked actually that anyone with education in developmental psychology would say such ignorant & hateful & stupid things about a 5-year-old child. We are all individuals and people forget that. We are individuals first & foremost, that is what matters. I dressed up just like that as a 5 and 6 year old and I totally understand where the kid is coming from! To try & enforce an adult sexual identity on a child is just plain stupid and no psychologist should even say things like that!

  • jason

    Jeff Gardere is the black community’s worst nightmare. Maybe Jeff should speak out against homophobia in his own community.

  • Toby

    “it is the worst nightmare of both the heterosexual and the gay couples to have to fathom that their child may be gay.”

    Let’s not forget bullying by psychologists.

  • professor Moriarty

    For God sakes, He’s 5 years old. He is not gay or straight. He has not been “outed”… That is ridiculous. It was a halloween costume, so get over it. And all of the mothers who felt the need question this woman’s judgement need to remind themselves that this is not their child and mind their own damn business.

  • timucua

    @ Jaeon so homophobia is only prevalent in certain so called communities. So what about the Phelps clan then? perhaps the most vitrolic homophobes ever and they are caucasian.

  • gina

    Jeff Gardere gives a clear example of why so many queer/trans young people have been traumatized by “mental health professionals.” Gardere clearly has no idea what most parents are afraid of nor does he even understand the difference between sexuality and gender expression/identity yet feels the need to legitimize his own obsessions by pretending his job title bestows instant expertise. I would laugh at him except that I know too many children who’ve been emotionally brutalized by such characters.

  • reason

    I think the majority of parents have a genetic predisposition toward wanting their child to have the easiest path possible. Being GBLT does not exactly fit that mold being a group that is despised all over the world. Judging from what is written here, what the psychologist said is true. Don’t shoot the messenger because you don’t like the message.

  • Devon

    Well it’s CNN, so at least nobody was watching.

  • Tricky

    @jason, Can’t the doctor just be an douche based on his stated opinions? And even though he is obviously a douche, perhaps he does not define his “community” based on his skin color. I know I don’t. Everything is going splendid until some douche makes this about race.

  • the other mike in Asheville

    @No.11 Jeffree

    Alas the Wikipedia page on this douchebag states he has doctorates in philosophy and psychology from George Washington University.

    Just goes to show that first class educational institutions can produce first class jackasses.

  • B

    Re No 7 “Could someone please post CNN’s contact # so we can call them up and tell them to dump this idiot psychologist?”

    …. watch the interview, instead of just reading QUEERTY’s out-of-context headline. He said it was really important for parents to be supportive of their children (mentioning that the teenage suicide rate for LGBT teens is 4 times higher than for their straight peers), that the kid’s sexual orientation is not known (he is too young to get a reliable indication one way or the other), and the “worst nightmare” statement was probably his assessment of how many parents react, not his opinion of gays and lesbians.

    He probably gets a lot of parents coming in frantically asking him to fix their kids’ sexual orientation, and sits their thinking about how to explain to them that they (the parents) are the ones who need some therapy.

  • wtf

    @reason: you’re saying it’s true that it’s a parent’s worst nightmare to have a gay child? You’re an asshole. Fuck off.

  • Cam

    That psychologist is no different then the racist govt. employee in louisianna who wouldn’t give marraige licenses to interacial couples because it was bad for the children.

    The only reason parents think their gay kids will have a rough life is because of people like that psychologist!

  • Kieran

    Imagine a white psychologist on CNN talking about the “worst nightmare” for white parents…..having a daughter who dates a black man.

  • Samuel Robles

    What is appalling is that this mother, the CNN psychologist, Queerty, and the commenters on Queerty all seem to accept the premise that dressing up as a woman is related to sexual orientation. Most cross-dressers and transvestites are straight and most gays are not cross-dressers or transvestites. This is a foul stereotype that gays fought against for a long time. We should be fighting against that stereotype now, not accepting it as an unquestioned premise, or even worse, celebrating it by using idiotic terms like “LGBT”, where the “T” includes crossdressers, to define gay people.

  • Nathan

    @Cam: Parents think that they’re gay children will have a rough life because it is true. Didn’t you read about the gay youth suicides? Parents hear about that on the news and the obvious implication is that it’s hard to be a gay youth. Instead of demonizing this guy for stating the facts we ought to get out there and make the world more gay-friendly. This idea that somehow parents watch this psychologist say that its a parents worst nightmare to have a gay kid and their worst fear changes to that because of those words is ludicrous.

  • reason

    @wtf: Look at the number of people that support marriage equality in the parent age groups, does that answer your question. If the majority of people don’t want you to get married why the hell would they want to have you as a child. Top it of with a good percentage of the few that wouldn’t stand in our way still wouldn’t want a gay child. I don’t like it anymore than you do, but it is the truth. We still have a long way to go here in America, and around the world. So, to reiterate, don’t shoot the messenger because you don’t like the message.

  • reason

    @Kieran: Some of the most renowned psychologist have stated that the majority of Americans are unconsciously prejudice, https://implicit.harvard.edu/ , most people study the facts and accepted the results. A lot of people have learned from them and have made strong efforts to not let such things cloud their judgment. How can you correct a problem if you are not aware or fail to believe that one exists. It would be like a Jew in Nazi Germany getting angry at a journalist for saying that the majority of the Nazi’s want you dead.

  • Brutus

    I HOPE my son is gay.

  • Kieran

    To say that it is the “worst nightmare” of parents that their child might be *GASP* gay, is an extraordinarily ignorant and blatantly homophobic thing to assert, even for this CNN affirmative action hire. Here I’m thinking the worst nightmare for parents would be if their child was blind or deaf or terminally ill or physically deformed or mentally handicapped.

  • freghjui

    Oh for fuck’s sake, seriously? Just because he dressed up as a female character for Halloween this moron thinks his life is going to be fucked up?

    Noone tell Jeff Gardere about cosplaying. Seriously, people dress up as characters of a different gender all the time without anyone batting an eye.

  • PJ

    When I was a kid, I would go in drag for Halloween. I chose my costumes and my parents facilitated it. I went as a nurse, hula dancer, old woman,and the Statue of Liberty. When I was in my late teens, I went as a pregnant haus frau. No parents complained about my costumes. Most parents laughed at my costumes. I always took a prize in school costume contests. This was in the 1970s.
    When I came out to my parents, they were warm and accepting of me. They accepted that I had to be who I was. I came out when I was 25. It wasn’t because I feared how my parents would take my homosexuality, it was because of other parents and my schoolmates. It was only during Halloween that I ever gained any modicum of respect while I was in school because my costumes were daring and it took courage to wear them.
    This shrink is a f*ck-up. It is not a parent’s worst fear that their child be gay. It is a parent’s worst fear that their child becomes a drug addict or a rapist or a murderer. It is a parent’s worst fear that their child dies in a car accident or drive-by shooting. It is a parent’s worst fear that their child commits suicide because they aren’t accepted. At least, that was MY parents’ worst fears.
    What can I say? I had parents. I didn’t have bullies dictating to me what I should be and how I should think. I had guardians and mentors. I didn’t have religious lunatics telling me that I was messed up. I had people who loved me for who I was.
    “Cops Wife” is a parent. IMHO, she’s a damn good parent. People should be taking lessons from her on how to stand up to bully parents. She is awesome and I give her kudos for allowing her son to be whoever he wants to be. The kid is 5-years old. If he wants to go out as Elvira, let him. Let me tell you, it was one of my favorite costumes. But then, I guess that doesn’t count since I have become a parent’s worst fear – I grew up to be gay.

  • Daez

    I would think that any parents (especially gay ones that know what it is like) would be initially afraid of having their kids be gay/lesbian because of the stigma, pain and suffering attached to it thanks to people that do not now and probably will never understand anyone being different than themselves.

  • Mathew

    This is a little off-topic, but this all reminds me of the time I got a “Beauty and the Beast” cake for my 4th birthday party. :)

  • Jeffree

    @#26 (The Other Mike):
    Yes he has the PhD, but Jeff Gardere isn’t necessarily *licensed*/board certified. Typically that would be in a bio/wikipedia page because it means that the PhDprogram is APA approved, he did a supervised internship, passed a board exam & follows a code of ethics.

    Licensed or not, he showed a serious lapse in preparation and judgement on CNN. Talking about parents’ worst nightmares being gay offspring seems illogical.

    The mom (Sarah) wasn’t worried about the son being gay, she was offended by the harsh comments of other moms at school.

  • irisgirl

    Most of the other commenters have artfully expressed my own outrage.

    I just want to mention how utterly adorable this kid is in his costume!

  • McMike

    @timucua: Homosexuality is rampant in almost every community. It’s just a sad fact it’s the most rampant in the black community. You know, why should they be in favor of equal rights for everyone when they’ve fought so hard to get theirs?

  • JC

    Last time I checked was a parent’s worst nightmare is their kid ending up DEAD. This douchebag of a medical official has no business making commentary. Last time I checked the medical community is supposed to help people and not cause more harm to it. I hope all media organizations think twice about having him on again.

  • afrolito

    Why are people in here pretending that most parents are less than thrilled with the idea of having gay kids? Gay youth aren’t just commiting suicide because they are bullied by classmates. Fear and self loathing starts at home with parents. I guess all those gay adults who still bury themselves in the closet, are doing it in spite of the love and support they receive from their parents and family. Riiiight.

    This Doctor was a bit insensitive in his remarks, but what he said was essentially true of many straight parents. Sad but true.

    I also question the wisdom of this mother for putting that pic of her son all over the net. There’s nothing wrong with his outfit, but what is he gonna think of it in the future? Kids are cruel, and bullies don’t forget.

  • Jack

    He is five, the only thing that is different between little boys and little girls is their genitals and the way they wear their hair at that age. Calm the fuck down.

  • Kenny

    Well, fuck. I’m straight; I guess. I’ve never had the desire to wear clothes typically associated with females, so I guess I’m not a gay man.

    Why is it assumed he’s gay simply because he wants to wear this costume? Why isn’t it equally probable that the kid is transgendered? “Transgendered” and “gay” are not synonyms. While gays have made progress in gaining acceptance, trans folks are still treated badly by both the gay and the straight communities.

    What a wonderful opportunity this might have been to discuss trans issues and help make the world a safer and better place for them, as well.

  • Mysanthropic Destiny

    Its true, but it is not because there is anything inherently wrong with being gay. The reason it is most good parents greatest fear is because they have no inkling of what their child will face, but they know how bad it can be. Its knowing that people will discriminate against your child and even hate, hurt, or kill your child because of one aspect of their person. Even if it hurts no one, they know, that there are people out there that will never see it that way and society will turn a blind eye because religion sanctions such treatment.

    That is what it is most good parents worse nightmare, not including whatever prejudiced attitudes the parents may have of their own.

    I want to be a psychologist, I strive to be one, but I believe on the original Hippocratic Oath: “Do no harm.”

    This psychologist should review it since he is using his “opinion” (just because a psychologist has an opinion on something does not mean it is backed by the APA, they can be just as fucked up as other people) as some sort of public advocacy for personal gain.

  • Ogre Magi

    That Doc is a Donkey’s Ding-Dong!

  • Patrick


    Thank you for pointing out what most people seem to ignore. This would make it genderbending, not sexuality bending, and at 5 it’s probably not about either.

    And yes, transgendered people experience ridiculous amounts of hatred and phobia from the gay community. I am trans, and gay. I expected intolerance from the cis and straight community. Never expected it from the LGB’s too.

  • Mk

    Yea, I gotta say that I would think a parent’s worst nightmare would be for their kid to somehow die, get seriously ill, abducted, or abused. This doctor’s statement is absurd on its face.

  • EdWoody

    The person in question has apologised, fully and completely:


    Said Gardere, “What the full statement should have been and what I always say because I do work with straight and gay parents, it is a real issue for them because they are afraid, and this is the part I didn’t say and what I should have said, and you can go back and research it and you’ll see that I’ve said it in every other place. And that is my fault and I accept complete responsibility for not saying that. Those parents, even gay parents say it, as controversial as that will sound, do not want their children to have to deal with the pain and the isolation and a lot of the emotional trauma that they have to go through as far as coming to terms with their sexuality. They know that they went through it and they prefer that their kids not go through it. And that’s what the full statement should have been.”

    Asked about having criticized the boy’s mother for “outing” him, Gardere says, “It was never my intention to criticize this mother. I think what she did as far as supporting her child and allowing him to express himself in anyway possible is 100% admirable. I think at this point in our history this is what more people need to be able to do, to step up in that way.”

    Gardere again emphasized he was taking responsibility for his words:

    I accept full and total complete responsibility for using that unfortunate choice of words. I think if I were able to say the other part of that, that it wouldn’t come out that way. But I think that is a lesson for me to learn to be even more sensitive even though if you Google my name, you’ll see anything that I’ve ever written or said about sexuality has always been 100% positive for whatever someone’s sexuality might be. But certainly, I feel horrible about it. And I’ve gotten some call from some folks — I can’t talk about who they are — but some folks who want to exploit it. Who say, “Come on and you can say what you want about it.” But I say “No.” I was absolutely wrong and I understand why people are upset about it and I need to learn from that situation. Again, I accept full responsibility and offer a full apology.

  • Dale

    Gardere’s ‘logic’ is so disturbing and homophobic. He says he chastised the Mom because no one wants a gay kid because of the pain they will experience. He is lying his ass off because I guarantee he doesn’t preach that all African-American parents wished their kids were pure and white so they wouldn’t experience discrimination. Gardere has done an incredible amount of damage by perpetuating his own bizarre homophobia. Shame on CNN for going out of their way to find an anti-gay psychologist just so they could say “see, we balanced out the homosexual agenda.”

  • skzip888

    Parenting culture today is so freaking paranoid. They claim to love their kids unconditionally, but if there’s even a slight chance the child might be too short, too fat, too tall, too dyslexic, too autistic, or, all forbid, gay, the parent freaks out as if they’ve just been sold a used car with bad tires. Here we have one decent, reasonably-minded parent and this Dr. Phil wannabe scolds her for it? Show some character, people.

  • Jeffree

    @EdWoody (#52}:
    Thanks for the update! Good to hear that Gardere responded to the flurry of calls/emails he received.

    It was his expression “worst nightmare” that caused the greatest number of comments and I think that should *still* be addressed by Jeff Gardere as well.
    Death or serious illness would sure seem to be even bigger nightmares to parents.

    I also fault the CNN journalist for not stopping him after that off-the-wall and unsubstantiated statement, to question what he meant. It was off topic because the issue wasn’t the Mom’s fears of her son being/becoming gay, but the reactions she got from other mothers about her son’s costume. The interviewer could have kept the exchange more focused.

    And yeah, despite thousands of positive comments, “Sarah” still had the usual vocal contingent of people outraged she let her son dress up as Daphne !

  • Cassandra

    “it is the worst nightmare of both the heterosexual and the gay couples to have to fathom that their child may be gay.”

    So, according to Gardere, the possibility that your child is gay is worse than the possibility that your child has leukemia or any of the other terrible, terminal diseases that can strike in childhood. According to Gardere, finding out that you kid might be gay is worse than finding out that you child has committed murder or rape, tortures animals or has been molested.

    AS long as kids don’t grow up to be hank shrinks on CNN cuz that would be a nightmare.

  • timucua

    @ NO. 43 MCMIKE I don’t understand your reply it is meant to be homosexuality or homophobia?. No one knows don’t know groups are more or less homophobic from the so called “communities”. The commmentators who bring ethnicity because of an individual skin phenotype is just a veneer for their own prejudice.

  • Stephen Thorn

    As both a gay man and a parent ( my partner and I have six grown children between us ), I find this psychologist’s statement that “having a gay child is a parent’s worst nightmare” to be extremely homophobic, just like the statement “having a child of color is a parent’s worst nightmare” would be extremely racist. This insensitive and ignorant therapist owes the LGBT community a huge apology-as a mental health professional, he of all people should have known better…

  • chris

    I hate the “dr.’s” smug little facial expressions throughout the video

  • samthor

    So, what you dress up as at Halloween determines what you will be in life?
    I should have dressed as Superman.

  • Hugs

    I love being gay but that pic is tragic.

  • Marvin Vann

    Jeff Gardere does not have a smidgeon of scientific research to back up his bigotry-based opinions. He uses his “resident expert” bully pulpit in a manner that clearly hurts gay folks, then turns and blames the same behavior on this supportive mom. Ever heard of the term “projection,” Jeff?

  • Marvin Vann

    PS: I have two wonderful daughters. The thought that either or both could turn out to be gay is not even on my list of worst fears. That they could turn out to be bigots, on the other hand, is–though, thank God, they have shown not the slightest inclination in that direction.

  • eagledancer

    The comment I left on Gardere’s website:

    As a Family Therapist myself, I find your recent inaccurate and homophobic remark that gay and straight parents fear their kids might be gay to be unacceptable. It’s precisely this sort of careless and dangerous remark from so-called professionals that helps justify the self-hatred and shame that has resulted in the publicized deaths of young gays and lesbians. I’ve done sex research on same-sex couples. I assure you their greatest fears aren’t around their kids not being heterosexual, just as having a gay or lesbian child is not the ultimate fear of all heterosexual parents.

    Perhaps because your clinical experience has been limited to people “in trouble” (or they wouldn’t be seeking your help) you have never had a chance to interact with families who aren’t in a crisis situation. It would be instructive for you to have contact with healthy families and individuals.

    I also find disturbing your apparent inability to distinguish between the two distinct categories of sexual orientation and gender orientation in your surface assessment of a five year old in a Halloween outfit, neither or which is relevant in this particular case.

  • Jeffree

    @Martin Vann: (#64):
    Gardere still hasn’t provided, to my knowlege, any evidence or logic behind his comment on parents “worst nightmare”, which may mean he was just pontificating.

    I emailed an uncle of mine who is a licensed clinical psychologist and asked him the question you referred to: what fears do parents have about their children and is there research on this: His answer back was long & complicated but I can summarize:

    –Not a lot of research specifically on the topic of parents’ fears, but similar questions have been asked in broader surveys of a) new parents b) parents of adolescents
    –Among the answers most common (not ranked):
    a) Under age 3 (Sudden Infant Death syndrome or other phys. illnesses, autism, household accident)
    b) Adol. (Car accident, drug/alcohol abuse & addiction, educational failure, illness)

    Clearly there may be studies he hasn’t seen or read, but at least these seem to be responses far more likely to be on parents radar screens than what Gardere claimed.

    Perhaps CNN needs to find another “expert”–one who has expertise on the topic at hand?

  • reason

    @Dale: Very interesting statement you made, you don’t consider African Americans to be pure. There is a very large difference between an African American child who will not only be accepted and similar to his parents, but accepted by the wider African American community, and the majority of the European American community. A gay child is all to often rejected by their own parents, friends of their parents, majority of Americans across the spectrum, and the majority of the rest of the world. The facts are the facts, and we cant change them if we don’t know them.

  • reason

    @eagledancer: I think we both know that he meant a significant fear, and that he is absolutely correct. If you consult the literature you will find a number of studies that have found GBLT parents have increased anxiety toward making sure their children follow gender norms and turn out heterosexual. There could be a number of reasons why, not limited to escaping blame for the outcome of their child’s sexuality. With the majority of Americans not supporting all GBLT rights it would be obvious that they wouldn’t want a GBLT child. There is no rational that would suggest a parent would want to put up barriers to personally block their own child’s success, so it’s safe to hypothesize that they wouldn’t want a GBLT child. Trying to make the argument about the semantics of whether it is the “absolute worst” or “number 1 fear” is intellectually dishonest.

  • afrolito


    Completely agree with this.

    Burying your head in the sand and calling him a homophobic quack doesn’t change the facts one bit.

  • Hunter

    I once heard a woman say if her son came up to her and told her he was gay she said it would be like him saying the sky is blue, it wouldn’t be a big deal, and I feel the same way as her, it’s not a big deal. and no, being gay isn’t a choice, but being “openly” gay is a choice in most circumstances.

  • eagledancer

    @Reason I’ve often said I can cure ignorance, but only God can cure stupidity.  I’m a person of color.  Based on your logic, this so called mental health professional  should have told CNN viewers as a Black male, the facts are parents of a Black male child should be more worried about the fact they are much more likely to have a kid who will end up in prison or murdered by a White police officer than ending up gay.  Wow—facts are facts, and so helpful. http://topics.sfgate.com/topics/BART_Police_shooting_of_Oscar_Grant 

    As a mental health professional myself, I feel it’s massively irresponsible for someone to take his 15 minutes of fame and tell a loving a supportive parent her greatest fear should be about having a gay child. But hey—don’t listen to ME,  Reason—listen to HIM. Here’s his e-mail response to me after I wrote him about his unacceptable remarks:

    Hello Ty,  I misspoke when I articulated that gay and straight parents would consider it their “worst nightmare” to have a gay child. I did not articulate my full thoughts on this and should have. What I meant to say and have often said is that many straight and gay parents I’ve worked with have voiced concern when they believed they had a gay child because they worried that their children might face hostility and bullying from people who are anti-gay. My comments about the mother “outing” her child were not related to his sexual orientation.  I was simply questioning why she put her son’s photo out on her blog. As I said in the interview I believe this mother  has been very courageous in supporting her child.  Her acceptance and unconditional love is a model for other parents in a similar situation.  Still I completely apologize for hurting yours or anyone else’s feelings.   I am attaching my phone number if you want to discuss this with me personally. Dr. Jeff917.312.4497Dr. Jeff Gardere   Sent from my iPhone – please excuse any typos. – Show quoted text -****

    And here’s what I wrote back:
    You know, years ago I was part of an NBC community group when Seattle had an situation where a cross was burned on the lawn of a Black family.  This was SEATTLE, where, “we” don’t do things like “that.” But the reality is–there’s an inverse relationship between overt racism and the economy.  When one goes up, the other goes down.   

    I’m American Indian.  When I pointed out some of the problems the NBC affiliate had in terms of dealing with the various communities of color (26 of whom were represented at this meeting—the most diverse group I had ever experienced), the station manager replied, “Well, we here at KING-TV consider ourselves to be pioneers…and you know what they say about pioneers—you can always recognize them by the arrows in their back.” The audience of people of color drew in their breath.  I responded, “That’s not the most appropriate metaphor you could have chosen.” 

    He then ended the meeting. He turned to me and said, “I know a lot of people of color think all decisions to keep them down are made by White males in a smoke filled room.  But it happens like this—this is something I’ve said for years, and never once thought about what it really meant.”

     And I answered—“It really doesn’t matter if you said this out of carelessness or out of racism—the results are the same.” And “Dr. Jeff—America’s Psychologist”—your remarks have the same results in terms of directly harming both children and parents.  Your apology to me or to a few individuals won’t clean up the stain you’ve smeared against innocent children and their loving parents on a national level.  If you’re actually sincere, and not just trying to do damage control—or trying to prevent me from filing a formal complaint at an APA or licensure level—then make the same statement on CNN.

  • reason

    @eagledancer: I could careless if you are Black or Orange, doesn’t take away from the facts. Absolutely, depending on where that African American parent lives and the factors surrounding that area should make it a worry. That goes for a parent with a child of any ethnicity. There are factors in this world that can lead a child astray. You can turn a blind eye and say they don’t exist and watch your child end up in jail or worse. A prime example is the GBLT community and HIV you can pull a Ronald Regan and deny that a problem exist, we know the result of that, or we can recognize the problem and implement strategies to blunt its impact.

    What do you expect, of course he is walking back his comments because of the implications of telling the truth. It doesn’t hurt him though, it hurts the GBLT community. After all it is our ranks that are suffering the consequences with increased suicides, mental illness, and lower quality of life. We can all play dumb to save face, and continue to suffer for the rest of time. But to let you know we aren’t saving face becuase behind closed doors people are recoiling at the state of our community. Now instead of trying to provide some insight this psychologist can retreat to his office forget about the GBLT community and work to address somebody else’s problems. Hey, but at least you will feel better.

  • reason

    Way to report the gentleman’s cell phone on a public blog, I am sure he gave that to you to address your personal concern not for you to publish it so some low lives can harasses him. You are a real class act.

  • Stephen Thorn

    This is addressed to the commenter, Reason. In regards to Eagledancer publishing Dr. Jeff’s tel. number on this public blog, Eagledancer had every right to do so. Dr. Jeff’s public comment that “having a gay child is a parent’s worst nightmare” on CNN was so extremely homophobic and harmful to the LGBT community -particularly LGBT kids & teens- that Dr. Jeff deserves to suffer the consequences of his thoughtless remark, no matter what his intent (supposedly) was in making this observation. A telephone number can be easily changed; unfortunately, comments such as the anti-gay remark he made (no matter what the purported intentions) can not be so easily detracted once millions of television viewers have heard it. A psychologist who puts himself in the public eye, like Dr. Jeff, has a tremendous responsibility to choose his words very carefully, when discussing a sensitive issue like this on TV; Dr. Jeff failed to do so, and should deal with the consequences…even if they include irate telephone calls. Personally, I think Dr. Jeff is getting off lightly; I think his state license to practice psychology should be held in question- since he has such an obvious bias against LGBT children…

  • ewe

    Would he be labeled as potentially gay if he had dressed up as a BEAR.

  • reason

    @Stephen Thorn: I am sorry but you can’t revoke someones licences for expressing an opinion, especially one that is true. You clearly don’t know the amount of work it takes to get a Ph.D if so you would never make a comment like that.

  • Jeffree

    @Reason: #76:
    You’re confusing licensure with degree. Gardere may not be licensed as a psychologist although he holds a PhD in psychology. Neither his Wikipedia page nor his homepage state he is licensed.
    CNN doesn’t refer to him as a “licensed psychologist.”

    To become a licensed Psychologist, he would have to have gone through an APA approved PhD program, an internship, and board exams.

    If he were licensed, someone could file a complaint with the state regulatory board and they would investigate any legal/ ethical issues—and depending on the state, they could issue a warning, or limit or revoke his license, etc. Complaints may be filed by agencies, individuals, peers, clients, etc.

    None of that would affect his PhD. For example, Dr. Phil still his PhD so he’s still called Doctor, but he is not a licensed clinical psychologist, nor does he need to be to write books, have a TV show, or lead seminars!

  • reason

    @Jeffree: The majority of research psychologist and psychology professors are not licensed to practice because they have no interest in practicing. But their research is what is setting the guidelines and providing the knowledge base for those that are practicing. I would say that he has more credibility if he is a researcher then if he is just a practicing clinician. It would be extremely difficult if not impossible to find a psychology Ph.D program in this country that is not APA certified. Once you are at that level the fly by night programs don’t exist.

  • gtsanity

    not really they know what their gay kids will go through in life…. he just quoted research

  • FlopsyMopsyCT

    It really is an adorable picture. He seems like a great, happy guy.

  • The Ones

    @jason: @Kieran: @McMike: Yeah. Racism. That’s always fun.

  • ewe

    This is slanderous oppression and targeted toward females more than gay males. It fosters the idea that femininity takes a back seat to masculinity and that being female is deserving of second class citizenship. Just another horrible unnecessary stereotype being disussed as such. I say no. Everyone should stand up and say this is charming, enlightening, colorful and fun.

  • eagledancer

    Just discovered there were some additional comments after I stopped checking on this thread. I had switched over to Towleroad.com where the “conversation” was also taking place. “Dr. Jeff” sent out pretty much the same e-mail response to a lot of others as he did to me, including his phone number, which was shared on Towleroad by a number of other posters. I wasn’t the first to share it–I suspect I won’t be the last. In a follow up e-mail to me (and I assume the masses) he stated he’d be willing to retract his comment for CNN, but he had no control over being invited back on to the airwaves. In the interim, the Today show did an interesting extended piece not only on the boy of this thread but also the earlier covered “Princess Boy” from Seattle, along with the parents, and a psychologist who covered the topic in a much better way than Jeff had done.

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