Dr. Phil MacGraw is under fire for calling Bruce Jenner “too old” for his planned transition from male to female. Now, amid the backlash from LGBTQ activists, the TV doctor is clarifying his comments, reported People.
Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, McGraw initially mocked Bruce’s transgender journey, joking about his age. Reflecting on how he would handle the interview if the 65-year-old Olympic gold medal winner had chosen the Dr. Phil Show rather than Diane Sawyer, he referred to Jenner as too old.
“I… would just say, ‘Look, if it’s what you want to do, do it. I mean, what the hell does it matter what anybody else thinks? That’d be the first 30 seconds, and then I guess we’d spend the next hour and 59 minutes saying, ‘You’re almost 80, what’s the point? This is a theoretical exercise, right?’ I mean, he’s kind of, like past his prime, right?”
However, after getting slammed, Dr. Phil now is retracting what many considered to be rude comments.
“Bruce and I have known each other casually for a while and we’re around the same age,” said McGraw.
“I’ve said long and loud it’s never too late to make a life change, and I’m personally cheering him on. I’m glad he’s decided to set himself free in order to live his life authentically. It’s his life and his body and his decision – more power to him.”
As the Inquisitr reported, LGBT activists including the creator of Amazon’s Transparent have stepped forward to defend Bruce Jenner.
Jill Soloway said she feels speculation is not helpful.
“You know, with Bruce Jenner, people who are transitioning have such a hard time with all aspects,” said the Transparent author. “Speculation about trans people, other-izing them, looking at them and guessing isn’t what’s called for. Let them be. Let it be what it is.”
The defense from Dr. Phil comes at the same time as new details about Jenner’s transgender journey are emerging, just hours before Diane Sawyer interviews him in the planned two-hour special on ABC. Now a source is revealing that Jenner began planning his transition three decades ago, reported Entertainment Tonight.
In the mid-1980s, Bruce began the process of moving to a more feminine look. He underwent plastic surgery, hormone therapy, and electrolysis.
But according to that source, just as he started to investigate the possibility of having gender reassignment surgery, Kris Kardashian came into his life. Only recently, after they broke up, did he resolve to complete his journey.
Now Jenner plans to reintroduce himself as a woman, a source told Us Weekly.
“[Jenner will] reintroduce himself to society as a woman,” said the insider. “Bruce is very proud and excited.”
NCLR Sports Project Director Helen Carroll works with transgender athletes from age six to professional and Olympic potential transgender athletes. In an exclusive interview, she offered her view on what Jenner’s decision reveals.
“The fact that Jenner has the courage to reveal his journey with Diane Sawyer offers a positive role model to all people who are transgender, including athletes. Sports performance, which includes many years of intense preliminary training, offers athletes to live in the moment. Jenner’s accomplishments highlight the importance of how sport could be one’s entire life, especially during an Olympic performance. By having the courage to share such inmate emotions and feelings, it should not only be a proud moment in Jenner’s life, but also in the lives of transgender athletes and all the entire transgender community. In addition, the public education this TV interview provides for cisgender (or non- transgender) people is invaluable for understanding the issues facing the trans community.”
[Photo By Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]