Carissa Pinkston, a Lancaster native and model, appeared on "Dr. Phil" to clear her name after posting transphobic comments, falsely claiming to be transgender herself and losing her modeling contract last summer.
Pinkston, a 2017 graduate of J.P. McCaskey High School, appeared on "Dr. Phil" in the episode "Do Words Matter or Are We Too Sensitive?" The episode aired Friday, Jan. 17.
Pinkston's troubles began when she wrote a May 2019 post on Facebook that said, "Being transgender does not make you a woman; it simply makes you transgender."
Pinkston said she made the initial post after reading about Muhlaysia Booker, a 22-year-old transgender woman who was killed in Dallas, Texas, in May 2019.
"I felt as though I needed to create a dialogue about (Muhlaysia Booker's death)," Pinkston told Dr. Phillip McGraw on the episode.
She also claimed that sleep deprivation and exposure to mold led to her writing the post.
Her post went viral, and people started to call Pinkston transphobic, she said. Pinkston, who modeled for brands like Coach and Marc Jacobs, was dropped by her agent because of the social media blowback. She began to panic, she said.
And then Pinkston wrote a post in July 2019 in which she lied about being transgender herself, she said.
"I transitioned at a very young age, and I've lived my life as a female ever since," she wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post.
"I did it out of spite because I was upset that certain transgender people called into my agency and got me fired," Pinkston told Dr. Phil. A week later, Pinkston came clean about not being transgender, she said.
While on "Dr. Phil," Pinkston met Jayla Roxx, the first black transgender woman to ever own a cosmetics company, and Ashlee Marie Preston, a trans activist.
"I don't know that you're quite sad about your actions as much as you're sad about the inconvenience of accountability," Preston said.
Preston also questioned Pinkston's reasoning behind her initial post.
"The fact that you wanted to open up this conversation (about the death of Muhlaysia Booker) to be helpful is in direct conflict and opposition of the fact that statements such as your's are direct contributors to the violence trans people face," Preston said.
The episode also featured a separate interview with Kathy Zhu, who won Miss Michigan 2019 but was dethroned after racist and xenophobic comments posted on social media.