1. patrick nyc says

    Bravo to these great Moms. How lucky those two boys are, not to mention how fucking cute they both are. I also give credit to NBC, first for spending almost nine minutes on the story, not just a flash sensational spot. Second for having a different Doctor, one who seems to know something about the subject, and is comfortable about it.

    That is what bothered me about Gerdere on Friday, not just his horrible twisted comments, but his body language was so uncomfortable, he looked like he was going to jump out of his skin. He clearly has some underlying issues with sexuality, not saying he’s gay or not, perhaps he was bullied himself either way.

  2. Steve says

    This is far better than most parents would react, but I am less enthusiastic about the doctor. He seems to hedge – in his view, it’s a problem if a boy only wants to wear “girl’s” clothes, or vice versa because that could indicate “significant issues” with sexuality or “gender confusion” (what a loaded term). As if it’s okay for straight little boys to play dress-up with women’s clothes, but there’s a problem if we have a young queer or trans-person here.

  3. Andrew says

    @Steve interesting I didn’t take what the doctor said as negative at all. I saw it as not a “Problem” if its a transgender or queer child, but rather you’d need extra support and therapy if the child was born in the wrong sex. I would imagine that for a child born a boy but the brain tells that child that he is a girl, that would be a significant issue for the child and would need to be dealt with appropriately, I.E. Gender Reassignment Surgery, extra therapy and care, or whatever. I mean that is how I interpreted the interview.

  4. says

    “very supportive & loving” – this would not be the Christian brand of support and love that throws a kid out on the street, right?

    Great women, by the way. I’d vote for them for president.

  5. Alexandre says

    I want to preface my comment by saying that I don’t think there is anything wrong with cross-dressing at any age. I just want to say though, there are plenty of gay men who go their whole lives without ever dressing up as women. I don’t know why so many people see dressing up as a woman as an indicator for homosexuality in males. If anything, I think more straight men have cross dressed in their life then I ever have, and I am as gay as the day is long!

  6. says

    I think it’s awesome when parents let their little boys wear dresses. It doesn’t surprise me that they want to wear dresses, they’re pretty!
    I had a guy friend when I was in elementary school who wore dresses to every birthday party and other occasions.

  7. Where Was Peter LaBarbera says

    I am shocked they didn’t have Peter LaBarbera on. He’s an authority on children and gender issues, and healthy parenting. He has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology (with emphases in human development and evolutionary psychology) from the University of Chicago, and has written or co-authored of dozens of peer-review professional journal articles on human development, most based on careful empirical research. He’s one of the most intellectually curious people I’ve ever met, with a deep appreciation for the scientific method. Maybe “Today” tried to contact him — it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t — but he was tied up in some project with the NAS.

  8. says

    I appreciate the fact “Dr. Jeff” has been busy apologizing all over the place for realizing he screwed up in a major way. I’m also frustrated with his original inability to recognize the difference between gay and transgendered, which is something that keeps getting dropped as a concern, since most Americans aren’t educated enough to distinguish between gender and sexuality basics—which is one of the reasons why there’s a “T” in “GBLT.” I notice a number of those who comment on Towleroad and other sites are responding to his apology, and not to his original verbal and non-verbal statement that required the apology.

    This is not about “oh, yeah, being Gay is often a challenge.” His original statement is something that creamed the panties of homophobic extremists who firmly believe most of the people on a site like this are too stupid or too sinful to know they can become “good human beings” (i.e., heterosexual fundamentalist Christians) if they just pray hard enough (and give a lot of money to their church). His original statement is exactly the sort of ammunition anti-gay marriage and anti-gay everything are hungry to hear, because it upholds their beliefs Gay people should be eliminated. As an American Indian, that sort of attitude is chillingly familiar…our Native American history of the federal government is: “Exterminate, Assimilate, and Legislate out of existence.”

    I’m a Family Therapist with a background in child development. The other terrible problem with his original statement is the fact children—particularly young children, are what we call in psychology “ego-centric”—they are at the stage of development where if their parents divorce, they blame themselves, because if they were “better” children, their parents would still be together. They are at the most vulnerable stage where hearing a “grown up” explain on television “You are your parents’ worst nightmare” is toxic.

    Queerty just posted information about a kid’s suicide that belongs in the category of “we killed another one” who died after a diet of statements like the original one of Dr. Jeff.

    I’m happy he’s apologized…but his original words are the ones extremists are going to use. And if you know how the Internet works, a young person hitting the computer is going to read those original words as the first set of “hits” before discovering the apology—particularly if the apology has been buried by fundamentalist sites crowing over the fact “Dr. Jeff” has told them what they already “know.”

    And as a therapist and sex researcher, I find unacceptable for anyone with professional training to start off with the implication a 5 year old playing “dress up” is going to end up gay. In some studies, only 15% of self-identified gay and lesbian adults were gender non-conformists (i.e, boys who play with dolls, girls who play with trucks)as children.

    Young children as mentioned in the Today clip are more “fluid” in their concept of gender, but what that actually means is they are developmentally unable to have a “fixed” point around gender the way adults do. Developmental psychologist Piaget called this “conservation.” Pour water from a tall, thin container into a flat, shallow one, and little kids think you’ve done magic. They aren’t developmentally ready to understand the volume of water (content) remains the same despite its container.

    Just so, a (gay) friend of mine is a pre-school teacher with 3 year olds. For Halloween he came to work in drag, and literally scared some of his students who were convinced he had turned into a “girl” because of his clothing.

    This is something very hard for a lot of casual adults to understand. When a little kid plays “dress up” and “pretend,” he/she is not processing these actions as an adult or an older child would. They are in the process of becoming what they imagine. Little kid A becomes Batman. Little kid B becomes a Disney Princess. Then, when play time is over, they go back to being a little kid. There is a very different dynamic when a child consistently insists he or she is NOT the gender he or she has been assigned. If you have been following the stories of both “Beau/Daphne” and “The Princess Boy,” their behavior is well within the “standard” range for their age group.

    In other words, “Dr. Jeff” when asked, did not respond to the ACTUAL FACTS of the situation, but used his national forum to give even more poisonous reasons for young people to kill themselves because they’ve realized they are the “worst nightmare” of their parents. “Dr. Jeff” had a national moment of opportunity to say “this is well within the standard range of healthy behavior for children, and how fortunate your child is to have a loving and supportive parent.” He blew it.

    He did what we in psychology call “projection” where he tossed his own sexual insecurities on the American stage, which is frankly, unethical for someone who is supposed to promote mental health. This isn’t about him not being “PC”–that’s so not the point. It’s about him being wrong…and his apology is a public acceptance of having been wrong.

    Btw—he’s been e-mailing me since I wrote to him criticizing him for his CNN comments—here’s his most recent response:

    Dr. Jeffrey Gardere to me
    show details Nov 7 (2 days ago)

    Hello Ty,

    Please go to and take a look at what I have written concerning homosexuality and the black church. I think that speaks to itself as to what my views concerning sexuality are.

    Just to let you know, I have responded to every email sent to me, have apologized to each ad every person, have apologized on and GLAAD. I have reached out to CNN to go back and explain my words. The reality is that I do not have a free pass to go on. It is up to them.

    Bottom line Ty…I am doing my best. Feel free to call me and discuss.

    Dr. Jeff