Fox News is not benching “Dr.” Keith Ablow for his rampant transphobic comments about Chaz Bono joining Dancing With The Stars as a contestant — they’re giving him more air time. Ablow railed against Bono last week, suggesting parents should not let their kids watch DWTS because seeing Bono (who is transgender) will encourage “toxic” gender dysphoria in them. For whatever reason, he was on Fox Business’ America’s Nightly Scoreboard to continue his hurtful, unprofessional screed against transgender people:
ABLOW: There are a lot of kids who will be watching. Look. Kids go through phases. Adolescents. There may be tomboys watching who are girls. They don’t really need to be encouraged to say, “Hey, wait! Wait a second. Maybe I’m not just a tomboy. Maybe I’m a boy!” [...]
Human beings have their behavior kindled. They model their behavior on others. And listen, if we had somebody who couldn’t walk on Dancing With The Stars, I’d applaud unless you told me, “Hey, by the way, do you know he cut off his own legs?” Then I’m not applauding! [...]
The emperor has no clothes. Chaz Bono is not a man! Alan, Chaz Bono is not a man!
Bono rebutted these claims yesterday, telling George Stephanopoulos that “people who don’t have gender dysphoria aren’t going to catch it by watching me dance on television.” If anything, Bono said, young people who actually do have gender dysphoria will benefit from having a role model they can identify with.
It’s quite clear that Ablow really does not understand the first thing about gender identity (like that it’s not contagious) and that he has no concern for psychological professional standards, which all call for the affirmation of gender identity. Given that Fox News has no problem endorsing his views as a member of its “Medical A-Team,” the network seems more interested in propagating transphobia than actually educating its audience.
The president of the American Psychological Association, John M. Oldham, has responded to Ablow’s claims:
OLDHAM: The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recognizes gender identity disorder (GID) as a psychiatric disorder that involves significant distress or impairment in functioning. The APA supports access to appropriate diagnosis and treatment for persons with GID and recognizes that the decision to undergo gender transition is a deeply personal one. The APA opposes all forms of discrimination against persons with GID. There is no evidence that viewing a television game show with a transgender contestant would induce Gender Identity Disorder in young people.