It might sound like an April Fool’s joke, but unfortunately, it’s not. Yesterday’s Dr. Phil show had a mom, Diane, who thought putting her now 26-year-old daughter Doreen in softball at a young age made her turn gay. In the first clip, Doreen talks about how she feels ashamed for being a lesbian because she hates making her mom feel so disappointed in her. Diane explains that she thinks being gay is a choice and that is one Doreen is making consciously.
Dr. Phil, thankfully, tells Diane that she’s “just dead wrong” in thinking being gay is a choice and that Noreen can be changed through therapy. He says “I don’t believe there’s any such thing as ex-gay.”
Doreen has a fiancee named Ana, who she’s been with for 10 years. Ana spoke about Diane’s poor treatment of her from her seat in the audience. Among other things, Diane has called Ana “fat” and “a whore.”
The tragic addition to this is Doreen was sexually molested as a young girl. Dr. Phil offers Doreen help, which she graciously accepts. He also wants her to stop blaming herself for being who she is, because if she has any “issue” it’s stopping her negative thinking patterns that cause her to wonder why she’s alive.
By the end of the show, Dr. Phil encourages Doreen and her mother to continue a relationship, and for Doreen to give her mother time and room to accept her sexual orientation. This advice is a little troublesome, as Diane seems to be disrespectful of Doreen and Ana both, and is not giving any sort of recognition to her daughter’s feelings which she spoke of like this: “Why am I here? If I was going to to be gay, and I have to struggle with this the way that I do, I blame myself for being gay. I wish that I could be straight for having to deal with all of this.” How can any mother sit and listen to her daughter say that and still ignore the research she refers to as “media bias” and claim to love her daughter and want the best for her?
“Respect her enough to give her a chance to work with this,” Dr. Phil says, and maybe that advice can work, but for someone who is as happy to be as ill-informed as Diane, some time apart might also do Doreen some good.
For the most part, Dr. Phil was a fair mediator in a tough situation that many gays and lesbians must go through in coming out and living their lives openly. His use of facts, though, didn’t seem to do much persuading, as is sometimes the sad case for people like Diane, and maybe even your own mother. Perhaps you’d have some better advice to offer Doreen.