Update: CNN expert says having a child who might be gay is every parent’s “worst nightmare,” later apologizes


Halloween is for cable ratings, not children.

Earlier this week, we were all moved by the mom who supported her preschool son when he wanted to dress as Daphne from Scooby-Doo. She wasn’t afraid your kid would grow up to be a real ninja, so she didn’t think you should worry about how her son dressed. But even if her son’s costume did mean something beyond a love of solving mysteries, such as saying something about his eventual sexual orientation, she still didn’t care what others thought:

Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son. And he is 5. And I am his mother. And if you have a problem with anything mentioned above, I don’t want to know you.

Cue the experts. Good Morning America had two women on this morning who scolded the mother. Meanwhile, CNN brought Dr. Jeff Gardere, a clinical psychologist, on air with the mother to inform her she was wrong to do have done what she did. The money quote is when he tells the audience that "It is the worst nightmare of heterosexual and the 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.