Monday, August 24, 2009

Dr. Phil's Show Continues to Pathologize Queer Identities

Dr. Phil has been on a crusade to pathologize gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people with shows about "gender confused children" "experimental bisexuality" and by giving a platform to so called experts on "ex-gay therapy" from Focus on the Family. His shows have been so controversial that he has even come under pressure and forced to cancel previous shows on bisexuality and trans children. What's concerning is that Dr. Phil has access to millions of Americans who follow his advice and subcribe to his point of view, rendering it particularly dangerous since his views on GLBT issues are wrong and immoral.

Here at Queers United we have been dedicated to monitoring Dr. Phil's programming and ensure that we hold him accountable for his actions. His upcoming shows continue to raise a red flag merely by their title and description alone and considering his past actions we do not expect any change.

One show called "Teen Experimenting With Bisexuality?" has this description:

"Did your teenager recently tell you he/she is bisexual? Maybe you caught them engaging in same sex activity? Are you torn with how to react?

Do you feel that what your teenager is doing is just a phase? Or maybe you feel like girls kissing girls is the new teenage fad? Do you feel strongly opinionated on the subject?"
This insinuates that bisexuality is not a psychologically sound or stable orientation. We would applaud a show on bisexuality, but not one that gives credence to the myths surrounding it.

Another show that is alarming is called "Struggling With Sexual Identity?"
Are you a woman struggling with sexual identity? Maybe it's causing problems with an addiction? Or maybe you feel you might be in denial about your sexuality?

Did you think you knew who you were but then something or someone opened your eyes to a new you?
It would be wrong to pre-judge or presume what the show will be about beforehand, but again there is serious concern given the track record of the show. Is Dr. Phil asserting that a GLBT identity may be related to addiction, or is he referring to sex addiction regardless of orientation? The shows title raises a red flag because proponents of "ex-gay therapy" often use the terms "struggling" and "sexual identity" to refer to GLBT people.

We urge other bloggers, and webmasters to join our Dr. Phil boycott and alert their readers to the homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic coverage that has been occurring for several months now.

Send your comments to Dr. Phil demanding he stop his anti-LGBT programming.

Sign our twitter petition demanding positive coverage now!

Dr. Phil show
5482 Wilshire Boulevard #1902
Los Angeles, CA 90036


AuthorJansen said...

Oh, come now, you know all us gender-queer bi folk are just drugged up losers. I mean, how could we possibly have normal, healthy lives with all that turmoil and confusion, hmm? ::smirk:: Dr. Phil is a bigot with a soapbox. Giving him my two cents won't matter, but I'll do it away, because I *can*. :-)

Anonymous said...

He has a openly gay producer that works on the shows. Why don't you contact him? Send me an email and I'll give you his name. I prefer that my name not be used.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Phil's show is owned by Harpo, um, OPRAH! If you're going to apply pressure, that's the best place to start. He's not going to trade ratings for "the right thing to do".

CrackerLilo said...

Thank you for the tip. Will be sending it on and writing a quick note.

Love your illustration, incidentally.

Anonymous said...

I really don't see a problem with this article or with Dr Phil's approach.
Honestly I think this article is just written by someone being hyper-sensitive and looking for a scapegoat to beat up another story on how badly "we" are treated.
Don't get me wrong, I am generally outspoken about issues of homophobia in the media, I just don't see this as an issue at all.
People do struggle with these issues, and people do have questions that they need help with - I see nothing wrong with a show on this.
As for a show on teen transgender - I lean towards agreeing that such a show shouldn't be aired... Can you imagine the fall-out for the kid afterwards in a country like America? I don't believe that with the way things are at the moment (transgendered people still struggling for acceptance) pushing kids on National (Global!) television shows is not a good idea.
A show on adult transgendered people? Absolutely!

Skeeve said...

How does this fraud still have an audience?

Anonymous said...

Eventually, Dr. Phil (McGraw) will be off the air. It happens to be best and worst of television. When he goes, he will be forgotten. On the other hand, the GLBT community will still be around. However, that may NOT be a winning proposition.

For example, the word "gay" has evolved from meaning happy, exited, and merry to refer to an alternative male sexual orientation. There is absolutely nothing to keep the word from further evolving into meaning a griping, whining, and malcontent person with a proverbial chip on their shoulder.

Groups do not get to define their own labels. Just ask the Religious Right. Conservatives are trying desperately to lose the baggage associated with that sticky sobriquet.

Anonymous said...

"Dr." Phil is a big fat bully, who seems to get off on laying into any poor unfortunate, normally a small and frail woman, who is desperate enough to go on his show. I do wish I'd bought his Diet book though... when it was out. "Hi, I'm a frigging water buffaloo with a fat head the size of a radioactive watermellon, but I've got some diet and exercise advice for y'all."

Anonymous said...

I actually went back through and read the transcript to one of these "controversial" episodes (I didn't get to see it on the air.)

Dr. Phil said nothing that would suggest that he's against the GLBT community. Nothing.

Yes, he had a guest representing Focus on the Family. He also had a guest on the show who was transgender- positive.

Representing BOTH sides of the issue is NOT a bad thing.

- Bi, proud, and not offended by Dr. Phil.

Queers United said...

I don't think it is an issue where you bring someone from both sides. You are either a psychology based show or quack. Should we have a show debating whether the Earth is flat, one side pro and the other not? Sure, we can be it's a waste of time and misinformation. This misinformation hurts lives.

Anonymous said...

I love the picture, haha; so true.

Ronda said...

That picture is perfect.
Why does anyone still watch him for any reason?

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