celebrity

20 Celebrity Parents Who Are Incredible Allies To Their LGBTQ Kids And The Community

by Angela Andaloro

Nothing can compare to the experience of a child who feels loved, respected, seen, and accepted. Sadly, many LGBTQ kids don’t get to experience that kind of support from their families.

In a society that is still widely divided on these matters, it can take its toll on their community.

A study by Caitlin Ryan, PhD, and the Family Acceptance Project found that LGBTQ youth whose families affirm their gender identity and sexual orientation are almost 50% less likely to make a suicide attempt compared to those whose families are unsupportive.

It’s for that reason that it’s so important when celebrity parents publicly support their LGBTQ kids.

Their advocacy for the community and celebration of their child’s identity normalizes it for a larger society. All steps toward helping LGBTQ individuals thrive as their authentic selves are important. It’s additionally significant in the case of celebrity parents, where their stance can, for better or worse, still impact public perception. Thankfully, many celebrity parents have publicly embraced their LGBTQ children and advocated for the community.

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union have supported their transgender daughter, Zaya, through every step of her self-discovery. Dwyane spoke with Ellen DeGeneres about the experience.

“When a child comes home with an issue, when a child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can — and that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it,” he noted.

Dwyane and Gabrielle have also emphasized the importance of education for families of an LGBTQ child. “We’re just trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be, you know, her best self.”

Cher

Cher initially struggled when then-daughter Chastity Bono came out as gay. When Chastity informed Cher of his decision to transition and live as a transgender man, Cher admits she was also thrown for a loop.

“I didn’t go through it that easily. Both times. When I found out Chaz was gay, I didn’t go through it that easily, when I found out Chaz was (transitioning) … except we talked about it a lot, actually” she told Pride Source.

“I think it’s about the fear, mostly. I felt, who will this new person be? Because I know who the person is now, but who will the new person be and how will it work and will I have lost somebody? And then I thought of something else: I thought, my God, if I woke up tomorrow and I was a man, I would be gouging my eyes out. And so I know that if that’s what you feel then that must be so painful that it doesn’t make any difference what anyone else feels or what anyone else thinks. Chaz is so happy now and we get along better than ever.”

Sadly, Chaz’s father, Sonny Bono, was never able to come around to his identity. At the time of Sonny’s death, he and Chaz hadn’t spoken in over a year due to Sonny’s ties to the Republican Party.

Warren Beatty and Annette Bening

Warren Beatty and Annette Bening’s son, Stephen Ira, came out as trans at the age of 14. In a recent AARP interview, Annette applauded Stephen’s ability to live authentically.

“He’s managed something that’s very challenging with great style and great intelligence,” she said. “He’s an articulate, thoughtful person, and I’m very, very proud of him.”

Charlize Theron

When Charlize Theron adopted Jackson, she introduced her baby to the world as a male. At 3 years old, Jackson told Charlize otherwise.

“My daughter’s story is really her story, and one day, if she chooses, she’ll tell her story. I feel like as her mother, for me, it was important to let the world know that I would appreciate it if they would use the right pronouns for her,” Charlize told Pride Source.

“I think it became harder for us the older she got that people were still writing about her in the wrong pronouns, and also I was still talking about her in the press using the wrong pronoun. It really hurt her feelings. I don’t want to be that mom.”

Magic Johnson and Cookie Johnson

EJ Johnson is an incredible makeup artist who had the support system of Magic and Cookie Johnson from the moment he came out.

“As a parent, I wanted EJ to know that we loved him and would always love him,” Magic told The New York Times.

“My job as a father is to protect him. His family and those that know him would always love him, but there would be people that don’t know him and may not approve. Some people may not be nice, but it wasn’t about him. I wanted to prepare him and let him know that I would always support him.”

Vanna White

Vanna White’s son, Nikko, doesn’t label his sexuality, but he’s a member of the LGBTQ community. His identity hasn’t impacted his relationship with the Wheel of Fortune star, despite her strong religious beliefs. She’s been photographed with Nikko and his boyfriend, although she rarely speaks on her private life.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have long been aware that their child Shiloh, assigned female at birth, doesn’t identify as such. The private family has spoken on Shiloh’s desire to be called John, and they support John’s decision to dress in traditionally male clothing. They have yet to announce John as trans and still use female pronouns when speaking about the child.

Marie Osmond

Despite Marie Osmond’s ties to the Mormon community, she has been nothing but supportive of lesbian daughter Jessica.

“I believe in [my daughter’s] civil rights, as a mother. I think that my daughter deserves everything that she desires in life. She’s a good girl. She’s a wonderful child,” she told Diane Sawyer in 2016.

“I don’t think God made one color flower. I think He made many.”

Sade

Sade’s transgender son, Izaak Theo, praised his mom for her support in an Instagram post following his gender confirmation surgery.

It’s been a long hard road but We did it!! We are coming home!!!!” he wrote. “Thank you for staying by my side these past 6 months Mumma. 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 ♥️ .”

Cynthia Nixon

Cynthia’s support of her trans son, Seph, isn’t too surprising considering she is also a member of the LGBTQ community. She first shared that Seph was a trans man in 2018.

In an appearance on the Homo Sapiens podcast, she put her decision to be supportive plainly.

“Before I ever had an inkling my kid might be trans I read a really extensive article … [about] all of these parents of pre-pubescent kids who were really struggling with this. There was one dad who said ‘At a certain point, the decision seemed to me I could have a dead son or a live daughter,'” Cynthia recalled.

“After you say that, what more is there to say?”

Sting and Trudie Styler

Sting and Trudie Styler’s daughter, Eliot Sumner, says that her parents always knew she was gay. As longtime supporters of the LGBTQ community, and particularly of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, it comes as no surprise.

“They knew already. So I didn’t need to. I’ve never come out to anyone. My friends always knew and I always knew.”

Isiah Thomas and Lynn Kendall Thomas

Isiah Thomas and Lynn Kendall Thomas’ son Zeke came out in 2008 as a sophomore in high school.

“My parents like to say they always knew I was gay. I came out to them, and they were very accepting. I always knew they would be accepting,” Zeke told Out in 2013.

“Growing up, I had gay uncles, like every kid in America. I never was so scared that my parents were going to shun or disown me — the horror stories you hear.”

Dean McDermott and Tori Spelling

Dean McDermott revealed his oldest son, Jack Montgomery, is gay on an episode of his Daddy Issues podcast.

“My son Jack is gay. He’s this beautiful, 6-foot-4, beautiful Adonis … He’s just a gorgeous kid.”

Tori admitted that Jack coming out brought them closer together. “I was so proud of his confidence. He was who he was and he was proud of it. And, then we bonded again. We found each other on a new level with a whole new respect for each other.”

Mia Farrow

Mia Farrow has a very close relationship with her son, journalist Ronan Farrow. Ronan publicly came out in 2018. “LGBT people are some of the bravest and most potent change agents and leaders I have encountered, and the most forceful defenders of the vulnerable and voiceless, because they know what it’s like to be there,” he said at the time.

Marlon Wayans

Marlon Wayans has spoken out in support of the LGBTQ community since revealing that his daughter, Amai Zackary Wayans, is part of it.

“Happy pride to my pride and joy,” he captioned a photo of Amai celebrating Pride Month. “I wouldn’t change one effing thing about you. Love you to the moon around the sun through the galaxies and back again.”

Sally Field

Sally Field became a favorite among celebrity parents of LGBTQ kids when she adorably tried setting up her son, Sam Greisman, with Olympian Adam Rippon. Sally has also taken serious stances on the treatment of members of the LGBTQ community.

“As long as I am upright, I will fight [so] that Sam and everyone’s children and grandchildren and sisters and brothers will be protected in every state of the United States,” she said in 2019 of why she is a part of the Human Rights Campaign’s work toward the Equality Act.

Marcia Gay Harden

Marcia Gay Harden’s son, Hudson, has identified as gay since he was 13 years old. “The cause is dear to me, yes,” Marcia said at an appearance at the Family Equality Council’s Impact Awards in 2018.

My son is gay. I just want to make sure he gets to have a family when he wants one.

Cybill Shepherd

Cybill Shepherd received the GLAAD Golden Gate Award for her work increasing visibility and advocating for the LGBTQ community. She was presented the award by her two LGBTQ daughters, Clementine Ford and Ariel Shepherd-Oppenheim. The two praised her for her continuous support.

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand’s son, Jason Gould, was outed publicly by tabloids in the ’90s. He was already out to his parents, however. Afterward, Barbra sang her son’s praises at every chance she got.

“He is bright, kind, sensitive, caring, and a very conscientious and good person … What more could a parent ask for in their child? I have been truly blessed,” she told The Advocate in 1999.

“Most parents feel that their child is particularly special, and I am no different. I have a wonderful son. My only wish for my son, Jason, is that he continues to experience a rich life of love, happiness, joy, and fulfillment, both creatively and personally.”

Cindy Barshop

The Real Housewives of New York star has openly discussed transgender son Jesse, who came out at 6. She told People, “Trans children, they know their identity.”

“It’s not about sexuality and that is the most important thing. Because people are like, ‘Well, how do they know?’ It’s an identity change, not a sexuality. So that’s the one clarification I want to make. And you have to be open with your children.”