3/2/13

Dr. Jim Sear's Excuse is Not An Apology For Transphobic Bashing of Coy Mathis

Dr. Jim Sear's offered an excuse for his transphobic opinion he expressed on the 27th issue of CNN Newsroom when questioned about how he felt about a transgender girl using the same bathroom as cisgender girls:

SEARS: I have three kids, a daughter and two boys, and as when my daughter was that age, I would have been very uncomfortable if there was a boy with a penis walking around their bathroom. And you say that the stalls are private. You know, at that age, most boys especially will use the bathroom then leave their pants down while they walk to the sink to wash their hands and then pull it up. So it's going to be very uncomfortable for the other girls seeing a penis in their bathroom.

JENNIFER HUTT: She's a girl.

SEARS: She has a penis, though.

From Glaad who opened the apology flag box and ran one up the pole:

Glaad: We received several incident reports about the segment and reached out to Sears, who apologized for his comments and said he was drawing on the wrong experience.

Sears: "I made my comments based on the fact that I would be uncomfortable if there was a boy, who acted like a typical boy, in the girls' bathroom with my daughter. I understand Coy as transgender is not likely to display those same tendencies. I do not know Coy or her family personally, but I do apologize for implying she may display the same behavior as I have seen with young boys her age. Coy has shown a tremendous amount of maturity and courage for her young age and I wish her and her family all the best."

Glaad: We thank Dr. Sears for his timely and thoughtful response. This statement from Dr. Sears underlines what is probably the most important (and yet simplest) lesson that we are trying to get across by telling Coy's story - transgender girls are girls. Simple as that.

Its not "simple as that" Glaad! First of all if it had been a heartfelt apology Sear's would have posted it to his twitter or blog and it was not. It only showed up on Glaad's blog, a bone thrown. It's painfully obvious to everyone an apology from a bigot means squat when a person is simply saving face. If Sear's had said he was surprised he felt that way and was in the process of confronting his transphobia, now that would be a meaningful message.

It's clear Dr. Sears still holds the outrageous belief it's typical behaviour for cisgender boys to emerge from a bathroom stall with their penis hanging out. The truth is Sears who holds great sway with parents of adolescent children made that comment in context to a transgender girl in the girls room and until he addresses his internalized transphobia and comes clean about it nothing has changed.

Without sounding totally unappreciative of Glaad I think think it's time for them to open the right flag box.



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