Doctor Christian Jessen has dismissed criticism from The Daily Telegraph’s Neil Midgley of his Channel 4 documentary on gay ‘cures’.
In a review of this week’s programme, Midgley described the message at the heart of ‘Undercover Doctor: Cure Me, I’m Gay’ as “truly disgraceful”.
The journalist wrote: “The idea was to look at so-called ‘gay cures’, offered by some doctors and religious people who think they can turn gay people straight. The programme was, in essence, a stunt – Dr Christian Jessen, the gay doctor from Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, would see if his homosexuality could be ‘cured’. And he would take Cornell University’s sexual orientation test at the beginning and the end, to see if the “cures” made any difference.”
Midgley continued: “This was an admirably clear proposition for the programme, yet it suffered a fatal flaw right from the get-go: Jessen clearly had no desire to be ‘cured’, nor the faintest intention of changing his sexuality.”
He added: “Jessen’s staunch and unflinching homosexuality made him, for these purposes, a bad journalist. (I should at this point loudly disclose my own homosexuality, which by the same token makes me a biased critic.)”
Jessen told The Guardian that the programme was biased in the sense that “I don’t want to not be gay – I’m perfectly happy with how I am.”
“I suddenly went from being how you usually see me on telly, which is as a fairly calm, in-control doctor not flustered by anything, to, I think, being an abused patient”, Jessen said. “It’s not particularly nice being made to vomit, especially not being made to vomit like that. I was upset for all the people who had to go through this, sometimes enforced, sometimes voluntarily, because they were so miserable and life was so difficult.”