There are many actors, musicians and athletes who have close ties with people in the LGBT community. Some of these stars have trans children, while others were raised by gay parents. Today, many celebrities support their family members regardless of their sexual orientation. Read what some of them have to say about growing up with their LGBT siblings, parents and children…
Former NBA star Magic Johnson’s son, EJ, is gay. The athlete told Ellen DeGeneres in 2017: “I think it’s all about you not trying to decide what your daughter or son should be or what you want them to become. It’s all about loving them no matter who they are, what they decide to do. And when my son came out, I was so happy for him and happy for us as parents. We love him. EJ is amazing. So you got to support your child, because there are so many people who try to discriminate against them, so they need you to support them.”
Annette Bening & Warren Beatty
Actress Annette Bening and actor Warren Beatty have a trans son named Stephen Ira. The actress told The Observer in 2017: “I’m super proud of him. I leave it to him to say what he wants about his life. I don’t think it’s fair for me to speak for any of my kids, quite frankly. Not that I wouldn’t like to!” Beatty also opened up about his son, telling Vanity Fair in 2016 that he considered Ira “a revolutionary, a genius and my hero.” Ira came out at age 14 and has been a vocal advocate for the trans community.
In 2012, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter Mary married her longtime partner Heather Poe. Cheney and his wife said in a statement: “Mary and Heather have been in a committed relationship for many years, and we are delighted that they were able to take advantage of the opportunity to have that relationship recognized. Mary and Heather and their children are very important and much loved members of our family and we wish them every happiness.” Cheney once supported efforts to ban gay marriage. However, after leaving office in 2009, he changed his position and now opposes a federal ban on gay marriages.
Hip hop star R. Kelly’s daughter, Jaya, came out as transgender in 2014. During an interview, Kelly had a difficult time coming to terms with the situation: “You don’t want to really open it up by saying my daughter is becoming my son. Don’t even give the blogs that kind of credit. Real talk. As far as that’s concerned always believe what you see, with your own eyes that is…. I’ve heard a lot of things about a lot of things, but it was never true… It’s not about me no more. It’s about three lovely, lovely kids. And then even when you see it with your own eyes, it’s a back story.”
Ally Sheedy’s mother and daughter are both lesbians. Her mother, Charlotte Sheedy, divorced her father in 1971 and revealed to Ally that she was a lesbian in the early 1980s. In 2010, Ally revealed at the Trevor Project’s 10th annual East Coast fundraising gala that her daughter, Rebecca Lansbury, was a lesbian. She told Windy City Times in 2011: “I don’t remember a time when I had the thought that, ‘Oh, my God…my mother is gay!’ because it was an ongoing conversation. Just the same, there wasn’t a day when I thought, ‘Oh, now my daughter is gay!’ It’s just a part of life.”
Cybill Shepherd’s daughter Ariel in a lesbian, and the actress is very open with her own sexuality. She appeared on The L Word and said she was turned on by some of the lesbian sex scenes. She noted in 2006: “If you look at what we know about men, women and our sexuality, a great majority of people are bisexual. So what’s wrong with that?” She added in another interview, “I have wondered about lesbianism … At various times in my life I wanted to be open to the possibility of having a woman as a lover. I am not actively pursuing it but it is not over yet.”
Cher and Sonny Bono’s daughter Chastity began transitioning to become a man in 2008. It was difficult for the pop star at first, but she learned to embrace her son, Chaz. She told the Sunday Times in 2013: “Oh yes, I had a hard time. 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.”
In 2014, Sally Field wrote a heartfelt letter about her gay son, Sam, to protest a bill allowing groups to deny services to individuals they disapproved of for “religious” reasons. She wrote: “There are people out there – organizations and politicians, strangers who have never even met Sam – who would rather devote themselves to denying his happiness. Why would anyone want to prevent my son—or anyone’s son or daughter—from having basic legal safeguards like family medical leave, Social Security survivors benefits, or health insurance? It doesn’t make any sense—but it won’t change until people speak out. I’m proud to stand with HRC [Human Rights Campaign] to add my voice.”
Marie Osmond’s daughter Jessica is openly gay, and the Mormon entertainer has been very supportive. She told Diane Sawyer in 2016: “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. I don’t think God made one color flower. I think He made many.” She told KOST 103.5 Los Angeles in 2009. “I think everybody should have the right to share homes and finances with somebody that they care about. You know on those types of things I’m very supportive. When it comes to marriage…I think that civil rights need to be for all.”
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is gay, and in 2016 he learned his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, had a lesbian romance when she was 13 years old and attended an all-girls school in Connecticut. She noted, “We had this sort of lesbian relationship and it felt so great. It felt so good and yet I thought, ‘There’s something about this.”… I thought, ‘No, this is something that’s not really what I want.’ It was very brief.” She added, “I think almost everybody goes through at one point of course, the thing is, now we realize there’s no difference. Love is love.”
Barbra Streisand’s son, Jason Gould, is gay. In a 1999 interview with The Advocate, she said: “I would never wish for my son to be anything but what he is. He is bright, kind, sensitive, caring, and a very conscientious and good person. He is a very gifted actor and filmmaker. What more could a parent ask for in their child? I have been truly blessed. 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.”
JAY-Z’s mom, Gloria Carter, came out as a lesbian in a duet on the rapper’s 4:44 album, which he released in June 2017. In the song, “Smile,” both the rapper and his mother discuss sexuality. It is the first time they have publicly addressed her sexuality. JAY-Z raps: “Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian.” He added, “Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take. Cried tears of joy when you fell in love / Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her.”
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro’s father left his mother in 1946. He was an openly gay NYC artist. The actor made a documentary about his dad 20 years after his death. He told E! Online: “I was not aware, much, of it. I wish we had spoken about it much more. My mother didn’t want to talk about things in general, and you’re not interested when you’re a certain age. Again, for my kids, I want them to stop and take a moment and realize that you sometimes have to do things now instead of later, because later may be 20 years from now—and that’s too late.”
Rapper 50 Cent confirmed in 2012 that his mother was a lesbian. In an interview with Perez Hilton, he explained that his grandmother told him what that meant, but as a young boy he was confused about his mother’s relationships with other women. He said: “My mom was a lesbian. Yeah, she liked women. My whole childhood was like that.” He added, “It’s two different things too – from a female perspective, when you see two females together, you think, oh, they’re just girlfriends, they’re close. But, with my mom, the male was missing.” The rapper has been outspoken about supporting marriage equality.
Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey’s actor father, Joel Grey, revealed he was gay at the age of 82 in 2015. She told People in 2016: “I feel very happy for my dad that he has come to a point in his life where he feels safe and/or comfortable enough to declare himself in a public way as a gay man. Mostly because the more people are free to own there true nature, and can hopefully come closer to love and accept themselves as they really are, no matter what age, no matter how long it takes, to finally be free of the lies or half truths, it is freedom.”
The Hunger Games actress Jena Malone was raised by two moms. Her father was married when he got Jena’s mother pregnant, so the actress had very little contact with him when she was a young girl. Instead, she was raised by her mom and her mom’s girlfriend. She told the Daily Beast in 2014: “They were lovers. I had two moms, and it was awesome. Double the pleasure! The more love you have as a child, the better.” They didn’t have a lot of money and moved around a lot, but she called her childhood “glorious” due to all the love she felt.
Chris Evans’ brother Scott is openly gay. In 2016, the actor talked to TheFIX about his activism and explained how it amplified due to his experience supporting his gay brother. He commented, “It’s really important to put faces to the situations that we’re navigating as a society” because the United States is in “tricky times right now” following the election of Donald Trump. He added, “I’ve never felt any sort of backlash or friction as a result of the stance I’ve taken in my career in support of him or any other human rights… hopefully it stays that way going forward.”
Director Kevin Smith’s brother Donald is gay and has been married for over two decades. The filmmaker defended his brother to Piers Morgan in 2012, explaining: “My brother is gay. He’s been married, it’s coming up on 20 years to the same guy, which is like 60 years in the straight community. … He goes to church still every Sunday, my brother Donald. And I go, ‘Why do you keep going to an organization that just doesn’t want you? That wants no part of you.’ He’s like, ‘Because F them, it makes me feel good to go.’”
Colin Farrell has been supporting and defending his gay brother, Eamon, since they were children. Eamon told the Irish Independent in 2015: “Now he is eight years younger than me, but he acted the part of the big brother. Because I’m not aggressive at all, or violent at all — I hate fighting. But he would do that for me. Colin would protect me. If someone called me names on our road he would go out and kick the shit out of them. I remember one young fella out on the road shouting, ’You f—got Farrell.’ Colin went out and kicked the shite out of him.”
Ariana Grande’s half-brother Frankie Grande is 10 years her senior and gay. She was very supportive when he came out to her and immediately asked to meet his boyfriend. Frankie told Attitude magazine in 2016: “She was raised in a family where gay was not only accepted, it was celebrated. The fact that some people are in families who throw them out because they’re gay or they’re being told they’re wrong because of who they are, it’s a tragedy and both she and I feel it’s our responsibility to educate those people and help them see that we’re all the same.”