Charlize Theron just confirmed that her oldest child, Jackson, is a girl — not a boy, as many people previously thought.
Jackson has identified as a girl since she was 3 years old, and Charlize is fully committed to supporting her no matter how she identifies!
Charlize welcomed Jackson into the family back in 2012. Photographers have long captured Jackson wearing skirts and dresses and sporting long hair, leading many gossiping fans to speculate about why. But Charlize is fiercely private about her family life, and she has never opened up about Jackson’s gender identity — until now.
In a chat with the Daily Mail, Charlize explained: “Yes, I thought she was a boy, too. Until she looked at me when she was 3 years old and said: ‘I am not a boy!'”
“I have two beautiful daughters [Jackson and August, 3] who, just like any parent, I want to protect and I want to see thrive,” she added.
In response, many people on social media are praising Charlize for her “brilliant parenting.”
Charlize Theron adopted her oldest child, Jackson, in 2012. She also has a younger daughter, August, 3.
Charlize just revealed for the first time that her oldest child is a girl — not a boy, as Charlize first introduced Jackson to the world as a baby.
Jackson has identified as a girl since she was 3 years old.
“Yes, I thought she was a boy, too,” Charlize told the Daily Mail. “Until she looked at me when she was three years old and said: ‘I am not a boy!'”
“So there you go! I have two beautiful daughters who, just like any parent, I want to protect and I want to see thrive,” she added.
She went on to explain that her goal as a mother is to support her children in becoming who they want to be, not to tell them how to identify.
“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,” she explained.
“My job as a parent is to celebrate them and to love them and to make sure that they have everything they need in order to be what they want to be,” she said.
“And I will do everything in my power for my kids to have that right and to be protected within that.”
A lot of fans are seriously impressed by how Charlize is handling this situation, both with her children and with the press. A++++ parenting!
Of course, a lot of other people are confused and/or outraged by Charlize’s parenting choices here. So let’s break down exactly why it’s such a positive thing for her to support and affirm her trans child.
As trans people become more visible in the US, more kids are able to openly identify as trans. Researchers now realize that there are a lot more trans and nonbinary people than previously assumed.
“Diverse gender identities are more prevalent than people would expect,” researcher Nic Rider told the Associated Press. “With growing trans visibility in the United States, some youth might find it safer to come out and talk about gender exploration.”
A lot of trans people are quite young when they first realize that their gender identity doesn’t match up with the gender they were assigned at birth. But until very recently, that usually meant that they had to hide their true identity and try to figure it all out on their own, which is painful and isolating.
Even though trans people are more accepted in the US than ever, it’s still hard to grow up trans. Trans and genderqueer students experience bullying and harassment at disproportionately higher rates than their cisgender peers. Their rates of homelessness, depression, and suicide are also higher.
In that context, having supportive parents at home can make all the difference.
And Charlize is modeling exactly how to be that supportive parent. Many trans social media users have praised Charlize on Twitter, expressing that their lives would have been a lot different if they’d had a parent like her.
Critics on social media have pointed out repeatedly that children shouldn’t be able to make such big decisions at 3 years old. But as one Twitter user wrote, transitioning is hardly an extreme or irreversible process when you’re 3 (or 7) years old! It’s a simple pronoun change.
Also, Charlize’s daughter is now 7 years old, and she has presumably continued to self-identify as a girl for the past four years. There’s a difference between play/experimentation and identity, and attentive parents can tell the difference!
Anyway, Charlize, you’re doing great, sweetie. Thank goodness for parents like her.