Doctor Christian Jessen on Ditch the Label

We had the pleasure of interviewing one of our favourite faces of the UK medial industry and one of the stars of the Channel 4 hit series ‘Embarrassing Bodies’. Yep, you guessed it – Doctor Christian Jessen!

We spoke to Christian about Ditch the Label, his sexuality, being in the public eye, Twitter and prejudice towards patients in our first of many celebrity interviews.

Ditch the Label: Hi Christian, thanks so much for your time. Are you familiar with Ditch the Label?
Dr Christian Jessen: Hi guys, not a problem. Yes I am and I think that it’s great. It is important for teens to have somewhere to go when they need advice and support.

Ditch the Label: Thank you! Now your sexuality has often been the topic of various articles and comments within the media but how did you find growing up with it? Was your childhood affected in anyway?
Dr Christian Jessen: Well I was very fortunate because my school was very open minded. It didn’t really matter what your interests were and sexuality was always seen as a non-issue. However, I do remember growing up feeling very alone – it was difficult and I remember wishing that my sexuality wasn’t the way it was turning out. I knew that it was okay to be different but I didn’t have anybody to talk to. My friends were out getting girlfriends and I felt left out and alone. I like Ditch the Label because it gives people a place to find likeminded people to talk to. Bullying isn’t always as dramatic and I think that sometimes people just need somebody to talk to and some advice.

https://twitter.com/DoctorChristian/status/227470086112440320

Ditch the Label: How did you deal with feeling like you were alone?
Dr Christian Jessen: Well I put a lot of effort into my work; not necessarily my academic work, I was very interested in music and theatre and didn’t really understand relationships. I buried it all in other activities and it sorted itself out in due course.

Ditch the Label: We all know you as one of the main Doctors from Embarrassing Bodies and many of us are following you on Twitter for your health Q&A sessions but have you ever been treated differently because of your sexuality whilst being a doctor?
Dr Christian Jessen: There is a massive prejudice around being a gay doctor. It was different for me as I have never been ‘obviously’ gay and so people are often surprised when they find out. I have been exposed to off-the-cuff homophobic comments from other doctors, especially when being trained in sexual health. Prejudice towards patients and sexual health do exist. I never hid my sexuality but never wove a flag either; I don’t see it as being relevant. I am a doctor and not a ‘gay doctor’. I have also had comments from other doctors calling me an embarrassment to the profession but the Guardian recently noted me as the friendly face of the medical profession so it’s all swings and roundabouts.

Ditch the Label: Aside from others in the profession, have you ever experienced prejudice from the public?
Dr Christian Jessen: Yes. I get quite a few hateful comments through Twitter. For instance, Alan Carr recently interviewed me on Channel 4 and spoke about my sexuality; within minutes I had lost 500 followers on Twitter, which was really sad. It’s sad to discover that some people still see it as being an issue. Twitter can be really grounding for that reason! The media also like to bring up my sexuality a lot, probably because they see it as being a revelation as it isn’t something that everybody knows about me.

Ditch the Label: How do you deal with the negative comments on Twitter?
Dr Christian Jessen: Well the best thing is to just leave and ignore them. If something is especially foul I will ReTweet it with comments and have often received apologies.

Ditch the Label: Does prejudice towards patients ever exist?
Dr Christian Jessen: It isn’t a good thing but we are all guilty of stereotyping but prejudice and health is a dangerous thing. I have always been vocal about religious doctors and am anti-religious because of the prejudice that is sometimes tied to it. There is treatment prejudice in the profession, which seems to be more towards the elderly.

Ditch the Label: Do you have any advice for people going through a situation that is similar to your own experiences?
Dr Christian Jessen: Don’t go it alone. Always tell someone but choose whom you tell carefully. If for example you are being discriminated against at work and don’t say anything until something has happened it isn’t easy to backtrack. You should always make your problems known and speak to somebody at every step of the way; either at Ditch the Label, a teacher, friend or family member; not only does it build support but it also develops evidence.

Ditch the Label: Thank you for your time! Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Dr Christian Jessen: Well I think that Ditch the Label is a really positive project and I’m happy to be part of it. I like the idea of an online support network and I could have definitely benefited growing up.

We would like to thank Christian for his time and continued support for our cause and look forward to reading your comments.

50 Comments

  1. Julia says:

    Had no idea he was gay. Not like it matters – maybe it’s a sign of my own prejudices. Great interview and a truly inspiring cause. Props to Ditch the Label x

  2. Jan says:

    Love Dr Christian!!

    • Kasnar says:

      I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. He’s such an attractive man and obviously keeps himself in wonderful shape ( if that doesn’t sound like a stereotype). I cannot wish him anything but success. I’m curious about those fellow doctors who claim he’s an embarrassment to the profession. If they, in fact, said that is it something to do with his practice? Might it be his TV celebrity? I would find it hard to believe another doctor would make that remark solely on his being gay. That would be unbelievably shallow.

  3. Jj says:

    Haven’t been on here in a while and it’s completely transformed! As if there’s celebrities behind this now. So cool

  4. jess says:

    easily my favourite interview, would love to see gok wan!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Follow him on Twitter, had no idea he was gay but why should it even matter?

  6. Michelle M Ruiz says:

    Good post! This is the kind of information that should be distributed on the online community. I would like to read more of this.

  7. James Coleman says:

    interesting to see dr perspective

  8. Neil says:

    You should have asked about the gay blood ban and regulations, that would have been really interesting. Regardless a very good interview.

  9. Lisa says:

    He;s soooooo hot!!

  10. Tanya S says:

    like many others had no idea he was gay but is it really right to judge somebody by the way they act? or by the career they pursue?

  11. Danny F says:

    Incredible interview.

  12. Moncler says:

    ty for posting this. going to send to my cousin who is gay

  13. Jordan says:

    Wicked interview, definitely what the Doctor ordered ;-)

  14. Lydia says:

    Had no idea he was gay, was surprised as he’s not obvious with it! It shouldn’t make a difference and doesen’t to me : )

  15. linda slater says:

    i think Dr Christian jesson is lovely gay or not. love super size super skinny . Love him to be my gp he is so sexy

  16. bella says:

    It doesn’t matter what sexual orientiation Dr Christian is. His private life is his own business!
    What matters is that he is good at his job as a Doctor and should not be judged by some type of label gay or not, which of no relevance to me or anyone else.
    Charasmatic and charming tv media doctor thats all I can say.

    Bella

  17. PAUL wAGDIN says:

    As a man inhis late 70s my torso is covered in large dark moles. I still like to swim and sauna but as I look like a Dalmatian Dog I get embarrassing comments. “Have you got a skin disease?”. Doctors just dismiss as the effects of aging. O.K. so nothing can be done about it, but people should remember we all get old with different results.

  18. jennax says:

    had no idea he was gay!!! but i guess thats just my own stereotypes. such a good interview x

  19. Martin ferrera says:

    please doctor help fight htlv 1/2. Virus. 25 milion infected poeple on the word ,no efective treatment for this virus

  20. Tony dewit says:

    Please doctor Jessen help fight with The virus. Htlv 1/2. In uk and on The word. 25 milion cariers infection this virus and no efective treatment , this is virus like HIV

  21. Ken says:

    Good on you Christian, it shouldn’t matter who you are, a great personality that’s all that counts, I had a GP who was a transsexual, it was weird only in the sense, a small town on the coast. One summer I can remember, standing in the pub having a pint and the GP was stood at the bar just like always. He then said he was going on a long holiday, and next think was he was a she. I wont say where I lived because she is entitled to a private life too. A great bloke and a lovely woman.

  22. michelle says:

    At the end of the day ur sexuality whether straight of gay shouldn’t come into it like wise ur gender/ethnic bk ground. All that shud matter is that he is competent in what he does as a Doctor in the medical proffession in the way he treats & deals with his patients people r still so prjudice when there’s no reason to b when it comes to peoples sexuality. I think we shud have more doctors like dr christian as then it’s showing equality & promoting sexuality in a positive way as there probably many gay people that wud love to work in the medical proffession but r doing other things as they feel they wud b discriminated against so if I was a gay person I wud use Dr Christian a a positive role model to show that my sexuality isn’t a negative thing & that if I wanted to work in the medical proffession I can do so, so well done Dr Christian it’s a brilliant thing that u do love all ur programs xx

  23. Cindy says:

    I don’t care if he is gay,i love him sooooo much <333
    he is so hot <3
    great interview:)

  24. maggie says:

    I too, had no idea that Christian was gay, but im more interested in the programes that he puts out than his sexuality, love his personality and just the way he is. Maggie Davidson ( district Nurse)

  25. Andi Goodier says:

    Dr Jessen is the kind of doctor who would inspire people to seek his advice on any medical or personal problem. He has a caring and professional manner and this takes away the fear many prople have when visiting a doctor.

    All prospective doctors and nurses could learn so much from Dr Jessen’s approach to medicine.

  26. Daniel says:

    I love DTL and I love Dr. Christian, he’s my biggest tv crush…so I’m happy nowww

  27. Ben says:

    I want to be a doctor when I’m older thanks to you Dr. Christian! Hearing your story really inspired me I’m going to try even harder in class now :)

  28. Jennifer says:

    We need more role models like him…for everyone…

  29. Danielle says:

    Loving the new embarrassing bods! Keep it up Dr Christain!

  30. Dan says:

    SUCH A LEGEND.

  31. Tom says:

    SO sad that he lost so many twitter followers after the Alan Carr interview!! So that is 500 homophobes!

  32. Sarah says:

    Good reminder that bullying doesn’t just happen at schools with kids but also happens in any profession. Good article.

  33. Joseph says:

    I am shocked that other doctors called him an embarrassment to the profession! Seriously they are meant to be educated smart people not bigots!

  34. Robert says:

    I want to be like him when I’m older, although I’m not sure I could be a doctor myself though but shows your sexuality doesn’t limit to a stereotypical job like in fashion or something

  35. Beth says:

    He’s AMAZE. Nothing else to say! ;)

  36. Joanne says:

    As both a lesbian and a medical student I really look up to Dr Christian – I’m not sure I know of any other celebrity gay or lesbian doctors though, we need more positive role models in professions like this!

  37. Ash says:

    So so fab to know that even celebrities have had experiences like the rest of us

  38. Alex says:

    Such a good role model…great interview

    • Mrd says:

      Nice gentlemen, good cause. Difficult struggle for people who struggle with same sex desires and deal with people bullying them or verbally saying hurt full words. God passes judgement and love. Each of us will have to come to terms to that and if we’ve come to christ or turned our back and do things our way. Good job Dr. For thinking for others and providing healing.

  39. jennie says:

    Ah I love Dr Christian so much, love the show too!

  40. j-dawg says:

    Love DR Christian!!!! <3

  41. Jeff says:

    Interesting interview, don’t know why his sexuality should ever affect things?!

  42. Andrew wing Australia says:

    Dr Christian is a great role model and I really appreciate what he does for the public. Bringing so much knowledge to the public. I enjoy watching his show. And would like to meet him one day. Love this person and it doesn’t matter if he is gay

  43. Andrew wing says:

    Such a great inspiring person. Educational. Love this person. I’m a fan

  44. Andrew wing says:

    Such a great inspiring educative person. Love him. I’m a fan

  45. Cassidy says:

    Hey, this was great to read and I’m proud there are people out there that we admire openly admitting that they’re gay and having people support them. Not to good for me developing a little celebrity crush(; but it’s great for my brother who is gay and has had problems surrounding it a couple of times. I shall be showing this page to him when I next see him, thank you so much Christian and Ditch The Label.

  46. Kayla Monet says:

    Oh geeez, I did not know he was gay, but I think he’s so inspirational for saying all that he did. He’s sooo good looking too lol.

  47. VF says:

    Wish there were more good doctors like Dr.Christian. Love the show embarrassing bodies and Pixie Mckenna and Dawn Harper

  48. Mela says:

    Truthfully, Dr. Christian’s hair and choices of shirt colours had me suspecting a gay factor, but he is also a learned and personable physician who truly cares about ALL human beings and their health and does so in a manner that encourages his patients (and tv audience at home) to try to look after themselves better. I’ve been the victim of doctors who lived comparatively easy, “normal” (heterosexual) lives enhanced by the privileges of their profession who were absolute nightmares to deal with as doctors because they were so stuck on how important THEY were. Dr. Christian’s affinity with the common lot has given him a gift for REACHING people, something that only people who have known true hardship can do. Seems to me that the more people rail at his gayness, the better physician and humanitarian he will become as a result of the struggle: like a Phoenix from the flames. I’ve lost 5st 8lbs largely in part to watching his programmes, and no American documentary has ever come CLOSE to having such an effect. Onward and upward, Dr. Christian!

    • Seanchk says:

      I’ve only just discovered the show Embarrassing Bodies as I don’t live in the UK.

      I’m totally straight but I’d love to know where Dr. Christian buys his shirts as they are totally the type of thing I wear.

      Anyone have any idea?

      Great show and obviously a very good doctor!

  49. Claire Michelle Hawkins says:

    Great read.

  50. DEN says:

    I wish he practiced medicine in my town. Or at least we had a gay friendly doctor. I live in a large metropolitan city in the US middle-west. As far as I can find there are only 2 gay/gay friendly docs in the entire area. Neither of which are accepting new patients.
    Consequently I have to see a straight doctor and hide my sexuality. I made the mistake of coming out to my previous doctor, who has since retired, and after I did so I felt that the level of care went down.
    He never even bothered to check my B/P after that.
    People can suck… and that applies to doctors too.

  51. sally says:

    Great doctor, compassionate man, interesting human being, inspiring role model. Nothing more to say!

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