Dr. Jeff Gardere Says “I Take Full Responsibility and Apologize”

Earlier today, the gay blogosphere took note of comments made by Dr. Jeff Gardere who appeared on CNN to discuss the Missouri mother who wrote a moving blog post about her five-year-old son dressing up as Daphne from Scooby Doo.

During the segment, Dr. Gardere said several positive things about the mother being supportive of her son, although he did criticize her for outing him. Unfortunately, he he also started off his comments by saying, "It is the worst nightmare of heterosexual and gay couples to have to fathom that their child might be gay."

AfterElton.com just spoke with Dr. Gardere who wished to clarify his statement.

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. 

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