Matt Walsh Debates Gender Identity on Dr. Phil; Other Guests Report Feeling Attacked — ChurchLeaders

Pictured: Dr. Phil guest named Addison (left), Matt Walsh (right). Screengrabs from YouTube.

Political commentator Matt Walsh has been making waves on social media for a recent appearance on the Dr. Phil show, wherein he debated gender identity with a couple who both identify as non-binary

Since his appearance, Walsh has shared a number of tweets about his experience on the show and his interactions with the couple, named Addison and Ethan. Addison shared via Instagram that the couple felt attacked. 

Walsh, who describes himself as a “theocratic fascist, bestselling children’s author,” is host of “The Matt Walsh Show” podcast on The Daily Wire and has authored three books, including “Johnny the Walrus,” a parable for children about gender identity wherein a child is pressured to go to extraordinary lengths to live out his fantasy of being a walrus.

During the panel discussion, Dr. Phil asked if Walsh thought there was a “construct” for those who identify with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth based on their genitalia. 

“Well, that’s got nothing to do with the realities. You can feel however you want. I mean, I could sit here and say that I feel like a tomato plant, but that doesn’t actually mean that I am those things,” Walsh said as he sat opposite two people who identify as transgender and non-binary. “You can have whatever self-perceptions you want. But you can’t expect me to take part in that self-perception or to take part in this kind of charade, this theatrical production.”

“You don’t get your own pronouns, just like you don’t get your own prepositions or your own adjectives,” Walsh continued. “You know, it’s like if I were to tell you, ‘My adjectives are handsome and brilliant, and whenever you’re talking about me, you have to describe me as handsome and brilliant, because that’s how I identify.’ It makes no sense. You don’t get your own pronouns. That’s grammar; that’s language.” 

Dr. Phil then asked if Walsh thought identifying as transgender was delusional, to which Walsh replied, “Yeah, I think it’s delusion. It could be mental illness. It’s a lot of different things.”

“Wow,” Addison interjected. 

“When it’s with children, there’s also just a basic confusion that kids have,” Walsh went on to say. “That’s why when you hear someone, a parent, say, ‘Well, my four year-old son came to me and said that “I’m a girl now” and so I’m going to raise him as a girl.’ You’re a four year-old!” 

Walsh went on to argue that when a young boy says that he identifies as a girl, what he really means is that he wants to do certain things that girls do, such as play with doll houses.

“That’s fine. Play with the doll house,” Walsh said. “But you’re still a boy.” 

Then turning toward Addison and Ethan, Walsh said, “And that’s a question I’d like to throw out to other members of the panel actually, because, just like the four year-old can’t answer the question ‘what is a girl,’ well, this is one of the problems with this left wing gender ideology…no one who espouses it can even tell you what these words mean. It’s like, what is a woman? Can you tell me what a woman is?”Page 2 of 3

“No I can’t,” said Ethan. “Because it’s not for me to say. Womanhood looks different for everybody.” 

Addison asked Walsh, “What do you define a woman as?” Walsh indicated that he defined a woman as someone with female reproductive organs. Addison then asked Walsh about instances of women who do not have reproductive organs or who aren’t able to reproduce. 

“I have answered the question,” Walsh replied. “You stood up here and said, ‘Trans women are women.’ Tell me what you mean. What is a woman?”

“Womanhood is something that, just as Ethan explained, I cannot define, because I am not myself a woman,” Addison began to reply. Walsh interjected and said, “You used the word, so what did you mean when you said that trans women are women if you don’t know what it means?” 

“Womanhood is something that is an umbrella term. It includes people who,” Addison said before Walsh again interjected, “That describes what?”

“People who identify as a woman,” Addison replied. After some back and forth wherein Walsh pressed Addison to objectively define womanhood, he said, “What you want to do is appropriate women. You want to appropriate womanhood and turn it into basically a costume that can be worn.”

After the episode aired, Addison took to Instagram to share about the experience taping it. 

“Since the taping, Ethan and I have been experiencing a heightened level of anxiety to the point that we’ve had numerous nightmares and depressions spirals over the last month (this week has been the [worst]),” Addison wrote in an Instagram story. “What ended up happening was much different than they discussed with us, and we left feeling attacked by another guest and played by the producers.”

Addison added, “Please send us both good vibes today, we could really use it. We tried our best with no preparation for what the Dr. Phil show actually had planned behind our backs, and we hope our visibility inspires viewers.”

On Thursday, Walsh tweeted screenshots of Addison’s Instagram stories, and said, “Contrary to my fellow panelists, I felt great after the taping and feel even better now. That’s because I’m 100 percent confident in my view on the topic and everything they said was blatant nonsense which did not for even a second cause me to second guess my own perspective.”

While Walsh’s tone when talking about gender identity is notably brusque, many conservatives have lauded him for his appearance on Dr. Phil, including some pastors. One tweeted, “Say what you want about Matt’s brash delivery/antagonistic nature, he’s fighting a fight many pastors don’t have the guts to fight but need to.”Page 3 of 3

Others were less enthusiastic. Author John Pavlovitz tweeted, “Gender identity and sexual orientation aside, @MattWalshBlog is a lousy human.” Walsh retweeted the statement and replied, “And you’re a sniveling pathetic weakling begging for approval while you languish in irrelevance and obscurity.”

Though Walsh’s views on gender and sexuality are congruent with the convictions that most Christians hold, some Christian authors and pastors stand in contrast to Walsh by emphasizing empathy and compassion when engaging in this conversation. 

Last year, ChurchLeaders interviewed pastor and author Caleb Kaltenbachto discuss how Christians can love those within the LGBTQ community without compromising what the Bible says.

Kaltenbach, whose parents both went into same-sex relationships after they divorced when Kaltenbach was a young child, said of his childhood experiences with Christians, “I learned this real quick from my parents: if you are not like Christians, they will not like you.”

After coming to faith in high school, Kaltenbach became passionate about helping leaders and churches walk in the tension of grace and truth. He emphasizes that acceptance doesn’t always require agreement and says that Christians should have relationships with people in the LGBTQ community that are marked by love and kindness.

“[Empathy] is extremely important,” Kaltenbach said. “I think that it’s real hard to preach on things if you don’t have moral authority to preach on those things—and the experience. Because without the experience, you’re not going to have the empathy. Because nobody’s empathetic from a distance.” 

ChurchLeaders has reached out to Matt Walsh for comment and will update this article in the event of his reply.

Matt Walsh Debates Gender Identity on Dr. Phil; Other Guests Report Feeling Attacked — ChurchLeaders

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