30 October 2008

Unabashed BS: Dr. Phil Fronts Like He's Cool With Trans Children

Dr. Phil's show yesterday was "driven by letter after letter--I'm talkin' stacks of letters" from parents freaking out 'cause their sons like pink frilly shit and their daughters like flannel shirts. Reading the telepromter very carefully, Doc explained that he would be exploring "the issues of children who don't behave consistent with stereotypical gender roles." Now, you know he didn't write that -- it sounds like something I wrote. When is the last time Phil McGraw thought about stereotypical gender roles? His goofy son is married to a Playboy bunny and his wife is like Texas' version of a geisha.

The topic screen behind Dr. Phil read, "Gender-Confused Kids." The "o" in "confused" had a trans symbol coming from it (the one to the left -- some graphic designer is really proud of himself.). Could they not fit "Kids-Who-Don't-Behave-Consistent-With-Stereotypical-Gender-Roles" on the screen? I liked that much better and there's a whole world to explore there. Implying that trans children are simply "confused" is downright offensive and biased. The kids on the show, much like the ones in the Atlantic Weekly article, seemed very clear on their gender identity. If there was any confusion, it lies within the parents who face the dilemma of whether or not to honor their children's identities in a hateful society.

Sighing constantly like he was about to lose his ever-loving mind, Dr. Phil asked a couple who have accepted their eight year-old male-to-female transgender child, if they were "aware that less than 20% of transgender children grow up to be transgender adults." Of course, he provides no source for this gem of most-certainly biased, unscientific data. It probably originated from one of the other guests on the show, Glen Stanton, a research fellow, with a Christian-based organization called, "Focus on the Family." Stanton said it hurt him to view a home video of the trans child filmed by her parents (and aired during this episode) where she describes all the stereotypically feminine things she likes including "little girls' thongs." And she wasn't talking about flip-flops. "When did you first feel like you were a girl," her mom asks. "When I was three. We were shopping at Walmart, and, um, we're in the boys aisle. And then I saw a pair of, um, little girl's thongs--undies--and I said I want to buy them." All the while, haunting, gritty music is playing in the background, courtesy of the Dr. Phil editors, guiding the viewers' attitude, telling them to be concerned about this child.

Appropriately, during the commercial break, an ad for a state proposition aired showing mythically maybe/maybe-not intersex Jamie Lee Curtis fake directing a children's choir with a fucking pencil (can't they spring for a baton? I'll buy it.). The rainbow sea of children's faces sings "Imagine" in a professional music studio, very out of tune. At least have the decency to dub that shit with a pre-pubescent boys choir or some ugly kids with good voices like they did in the last Olympics' opening ceremony. Just an aside...Cue Dr. Phil in a sit-down session with the eight year-old trans girl. Her face is not shown but you can see her sweet pigtails and red glasses. My favorite moment was when Phil asked her how she knew at such a young age how a girl or boy was supposed to feel. "Boys feel, like, hyper, and they always wanna fight and all that. I just wanted to sit down, relax, and all that." Me too, girl, me too. Let's us just rest our weary queer asses down for a moment and let the boys be crazy.

"Well," Dr. Phil challenges, "that could just be a boy who likes to sit down and relax." I don't think she meant that literally, Phil. She's a child, she's ineloquent, but you get the fucking picture. She wanted to wear a thong at age three, for Christ's sakes. Sounds like a tranny to me.

Thank Gawd, Philly brings in professor and clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel Seigel (no relation, different spelling), from UCLA to explain gender identity vs. plain ol' gender in lay-person's terms. "How you're born with your genitals doesn't necessarily correspond with your brain's development, so you should accept your child for how they're born...It's on a spectrum, so you can be feeling fully male or fully female or somewhere in between."
Okay? Thank you.
Spell it out for the people, Dr. Seigs.
Dr. Phil, I suppose, representing the voice of his audience, then asks, "Are their tests you can do to find out if that's going on?" Yes, Phil, there's a brain scan called a tranny-scanny that enables us to see that shit, you fool.

The next guest was a mother whose 16 year-old son says he used to feel transgender but is no longer "that way." His feelings allegedly changed when his mom relocated the family to a more accepting town in order to allow him to be trans, but during his first day of school he was harassed. To my pleasure, the boy was interviewed (face blacked out) and what I thought might have been a voice distortion to keep his anonymity was his actual real gayest of all gay voice. Imagine Richard Simmons' voice. Then imagine Richard Simmons' voice claiming to be hetero now, complete with a girlfriend. Dr. Phil even clarified with the mother, "So he has girlfriends," to which she giggled, saying "he has many." Well, I have girlfriends, too, they're called fag hags. In the words of our intelligent trans 8 year-old girl, this boy obviously wants to sit down, relax, and all that. Someone get him a reclining chair, please. It must be exhausting to be monitoring himself at all times to make sure he's performing his version of masculinity, thinking he's pulling the wool over anyone's eyes. Mmm mmm mmmph (head shake).

In the last ten seconds of the show, Phil asks the parents of the 8 year-old to promise him that they won't give her hormones anytime soon. "I really hope you don't consider hormone therapy at this point, but you continue to let this evolve. That would be a wrong, wrong thing to do in my opinion. I want to be very clear about that." And what's the right, right thing to do, Dr. Phil? Force this child to go through a traumatizing puberty where her outsides don't match her insides? She's been living as a girl since she was three. What is the likelihood of her gender identity shifting back to male? I'd say it's about as likely as that 16 year-old former trans girl being a straight male with a girlfriend.

2 comments:

Kate said...

Uh yes... I am wondering if you could tell me where I could get myself a tranny scanny?

Rev. Becket, Atheist said...

What the fuck were such "accepting parents" doing allowing Dr. Phil to attack the gender identity of a child?????? I wonder how much money they had to get or who was behind all that. I wouldn't let some conservative douchebag in to treat my child in such a manner.

That'd be like sending a LoveInAction counselor in to visit and interview your gay child!