Entertainment January 19, 2017
Not every parent is able to come to terms with their son or daughter’s gender transition. But several Hollywood stars are showing the way forward.
Mothers and fathers across the world can learn a lot from the celebrities who have shown understanding and affection to their transgender children.
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ENTITY looks at five famous parents of trans kids and how they reacted to the transition.
Chaz, 47, is one of Hollywood’s first transgender kids, making headlines when in 2009 he confirmed that he had begun his transition. Born Chastity, Chaz is the son of iconic duo Sonny and Cher.
Chaz initially came out as a lesbian when he was 18. However, he tells The Sun that it wasn’t until his mid-30s that he realized he is transgender.
“As far back as four or five I felt like a boy and wished I was a boy,” he told The Sun. “At that time I didn’t know anything about people being transgender or changing their sex.”
While initially uncomfortable, Cher soon accepted her son Chaz for who he is. Admitting that she “had a hard time” at first, Cher told The Sunday Times, “I didn’t have a hard time in the beginning when Chaz came to see me and told me, ‘This is what I want to do.’ I said, ‘Well, if you’re miserable, then you’ve got to do it.’ But then as it was starting to happen, you know, it’s a strange change for a mother to go through.”
Stephen was born as Kathlyn to actors Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. Now 24 years old, Stephen began his transition in 2016. He is now a transgender activist and poet.
In his first major interview in 25 years, Warren Beatty said of his eldest son to Vanity Fair, “He’s a genius, and my hero, as are all my children.”
A photo posted by Drea Kelly (@officialdreakelly) on
Jay Kelly was born Jaya Kelly to famous R&B singer R. Kelly and dancer Andrea Kelly. When he came out on Ask.FM, he admitted that he knew he was male from the age of “six or seven.”
While Jay’s mother has been nothing but supportive of her son’s transition, his father has not responded to the news as well.
During an interview in 2014, when asked to address the issue of his son’s transition, R. Kelly responded, “You don’t wanna really open it up with saying my daughter’s becoming my son,” Kelly replied. “You know what I’m saying? … Always believe what you see, with your own eyes, that is. Always believe what you see. That’s the best way to go about this business. I’ve heard a lot of things about a lot of people, and it was never true.”
On National Coming Out Day in 2016, Mickailia “Ila” Adu, son of English singer-songwriter Sade, came out as a transgender man.
Sade, who is very private on social media, did not have an official response, but a recent Instagram post from Ila shows that the two have a loving and supportive relationship. “Words cannot describe how lucky I am to have you in my life and call you Mumma,” Ila said on Instagram. “You are my whole world and I love you with all my heart, thank you for being you, the most beautiful person inside and out.”
Although “The Waltons” actor Lewis Arquette passed away before Alexis transitioned in 2006, Alexis was supported by her siblings, actors David, Rosanna, Richmond and Patricia.
When she passed away in September 2016, her siblings posted a touching statement on Facebook. “Alexis was born as Robert, our brother,” the statement said. “We loved him the moment he arrived. But he came in as more than a sibling — he came as our great teacher. As Alexis transitioned into being a woman, she taught us tolerance and acceptance. As she moved through her process, she became our sister, teaching us what real love is. We learned what real bravery is through watching her journey of living as a trans woman. We came to discover the one truth — that love is everything.”
So what can you do to support the transgender youth in your life?
Advocates for Youth suggests creating a safe space by “that supports non-stereotypical gender expression and offers a safe space for open discussion.” In addition, remember to ask them which pronoun they prefer (he, she or they) and advocate for LGBTQ youth in your local communities and at a federal level.
Are you a transgender person in crisis? Reach out to any of these transgender resources put together by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
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