AceShowbiz - With the rise of support for LGBTQ+ community in general and transgenders in particular, more people have bravely come out of the closet and publicly addressed their sexuality. While this move will always be met with pros and cons, the debate would only get hotter when the individual is still young, prompting the naysayers and nitpickers to judge if it's the right time for someone to make gender transition.
In case like this, the role of those close to the person involved is crucial in helping the individual get through the difficult time. Unfortunately, not all kids and teenagers are blessed with families who can fully accept their gender transitions.
Since celebrity families are always put in the spotlight, their reactions and actions when dealing with this kind of issue are often exposed. Learning from recent and past cases, here are celebrity parents who raise transgender child. Not all of them, however, reacted positively to their child's decision to transition.
Having been one of celebrity couples who are dubbed a role model, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union have set an example of being supportive parents. The retired professional basketball player and his wife had multiple times defended Zaya, who was born Zion, against Internet trolls who criticized the way she dressed, before Dwyane confirmed that his child is a transgender during an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show".
Dwyane's announcement was met with both supportive and negative responses, with Boosie Badazz a.k.a. Lil Boosie among them against it. Those critics mostly argued that Zaya, at 12 years old, is too young to make the decision. Regardless, the former Miami Heat star and his actress wife continued to show their unwavering support after Zaya made her first red carpet appearance after she came out as transgender at the Truth Awards in March 2020 along with her father and stepmother.
Cynthia Nixon, who shares two children with former longtime partner Danny Mozes, revealed in 2018 that her older child is transgender. In an Instagram post celebrating her child's graduation from the University of Chicago, she wrote, "I'm so proud of my son Samuel Joseph Mozes (called Seph) who graduated college this month." As his graduation day coincided with the 14th Annual Trans Day of Action, the "Sex and the City" star added, "I salute him and everyone else marking today's #TransDayofAction. #TDOA."
The 53-year-old actress also sang praise for Seph, who was born Samantha in 1996, during an interview with Us Weekly. "I'm very proud of him," she said in 2019. Addressing people's reactions when she first publicly shared Shep's new gender identity, she admitted, "There was some general, you know, voicings of support but generally it was not a big deal... I was kind of shocked at what a non-event it was, which is just how far we've come in such a short amount of time."
Ally Sheedy's only son with actor David Lansbury is a transgender. Born Rebecca in 1994, he is now called Beckett. "He had been identifying as gender queer and gender fluid and now he was saying he really feels that he identifies with being male and that the hormones were going to help him on his journey," his mother explained on "Boom! Lawyered" podcast in 2017. "I just got, I didn't have a judgment call on Beck himself, I was just afraid. I was really afraid of the whole [transition] process."
Admitting she was quite clueless about his transition process, Ally shared, "I needed two things. I needed him to educate me in a very patient, loving way, not feel like I was making judgements just because I didn't understand. And also I needed to understand, I had to educate myself about what the hell the hormones were and what was going to happen." She added, "I just love Beck, so I wanted to support -- I've always wanted to support Beck on whatever the particular journey is."
Warren Beatty and Annette Bening have four children, and their eldest child is transgender. Speaking publicly about Stephen Ira, who was born Kathlyn Elizabeth, the "Bonnie and Clyde" star said in a 2016 interview with Vanity Fair, "He's a revolutionary, a genius, and my hero, as are all my children."
Annette has also sung praise for her transgender activist son, who started transitioning at age 14. "I'm super-proud of him," she told The Observer in 2017. She also gushed about how he gracefully navigated his journey after identifying as transgender, telling AARP the Magazine, "He's managed something that's very challenging with great style and great intelligence."
Cher's son with the late Sonny Bono, Chaz Bono, is one of those well-known figures whose gender transitions were widely covered by the media. Born Chastity Bono, Chaz first publicly came out as a lesbian in 1995, before he identified as a man in 2009. In 2010, Chaz legally changed his gender and name after undergoing a two-year transition process. He shared his journey from female to male in 2011's documentary "Becoming Chaz".
In 2013, Cher admitted that accepting her child's gender transition was "difficult in the beginning." She told The Mirror, "I was really supportive as we had talked about it over the years. ... It was hard for a mother. I had this one child and I was waiting for the new child." But the transition brought them closer to each other. While she admitted that she does miss Chaz's old voice, the "Believe" singer said, "The loss I thought I was going to feel, I don't feel one iota."
Fellow singer Sade also shared the same experience with Cher. Her child with her ex, Jamaican music producer Bob Morgan, came out as transgender in 2016 on National Coming Out Day, identifying himself as Izaak Theo Adu. After undergoing breast removal surgery in 2017, Izaak had "painful" gender reassignment in 2019 at 23 years old.
He later thanked his mother for staying by his side throughout the process. "It's been a long hard road but We did it!!" he wrote on Instagram. "We are coming home!!!! Thank you for staying by my side these past 6 months Mumma." He added, "Thank you for fighting with me to complete the man I am. Thank you for your encouragement when things are hard, for the love you give me. The purest heart. I love you so much. Queen of queens."
While R. Kelly has been lately often talked about a lot due to sexual abuse and misconduct allegations leveled against him, not much is known about his three children, whom he shares with ex-wife Andrea Lee a.k.a. Drea Kelly. One of them is Jay, who was born Jaya. Although born female, he's identified himself as male since around 6 or 7 years old. When he came out to public in 2014, Jay revealed he first told his mother via a text message, believing that "she would love me no matter what."
Jay admitted that he was "kind of" scared to tell his father because they had a complicated relationship, though he felt the singer "probably does know." In a radio interview taking a few weeks later, Kelly appeared to be still in denial about his child's transition, but later in the same interview, he voiced support for all his kids, saying, "No matter what they are or who they are, they're still your kids, you love them, you know? You've got to support them. You want to support them. ... At the end of the day it's not about me no more. It's about three lovely, lovely kids that I am in love with and that's in love with me."
Charlize Theron adopted her first child, Jackson, in 2012 and she introduced her baby to the world as boy. But after some controversies because Jackson was seen wearing a dress, the "Bombshell" star told Daily Mail in 2019 that Jackson is a girl. "I thought she was a boy too," she said, "until she looked at me when she was 3 years old and said, 'I am not a boy!' "
Charlize, who also has a daughter named August whom she adopted in 2015, said of becoming a supportive parent for her two daughters, "They were born who they are and exactly where in the world both of them get to find themselves as they grow up, and who they want to be, is not for me to decide." The 44-year-old actress also stressed the importance to address Jackson with the right pronoun. "I think it became harder for us the older she got that people were still writing about her in the wrong pronouns," she told Pride Source, "and also I was still talking about her in the press using the wrong pronoun. It really hurt her feelings."