Psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere Apologizes for Comments Made on CNN
UPDATE: Dr. Gardere wrote a lengthy apology and clarification on CNN's American Morning amFIX blog.
Friday GLAAD reached out to Dr. Jeff Gardere, a clinical psychologist, after he made some alarming comments during a discussion on CNN's American Morning. He was talking with CNN host Kiran Chetry and a mom from Missouri. The mom, Sarah, who only gave her first name during the interview, created a sensation online in recent days, with her blog post that defended her son after he was ridiculed at his school for dressing as the character Daphne from Scooby-Doo for Halloween. Her blog received over a million hits and nearly 20 thousand comments.
During the course of his discussion Dr.Gardere did praise Sarah for supporting her son but he also criticized her for what he called "outing" him. He also said it's the "worst nightmare" of both heterosexual and gay couples "to have to fathom that their child might be gay."
After listening to our concerns and receiving several scathing critiques from the LGBT blogosphere-- late Friday afternoon Gardere issued this apology to GLAAD:
On CNN this morning I participated in a discussion with a mother from Kansas City who was criticized for allowing her five year old son to dress as a female character from Scooby-Doo.
I misspoke when I articulated that gay and straight parents would consider it their “worst nightmare” to have a gay child.
What I meant to say is that many gay and straight 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 questioning why she put her son’s photo out on her blog.
I believe this mother has been very courageous in supporting her child. Her acceptance and unconditional love set an example for other parents in how to raise happy and healthy children.
I sincerely apologize for the hurt and confusion that some of my comments have caused in the LGBT community. Moving forward I am seeking GLAAD’s counsel to ensure that I address LGBT issues with more due care in future interviews.
We thank Dr. Gardere for clarifying his remarks and issuing a heartfelt apology. We look forward to working with him prior to future media appearances.