Bening shares transformative lessons from her transgender son, Stephen, highlighting love, acceptance and personal growth.
The LGBTQIAP+ movement for equal rights has bought the concerns of many people who previously struggled to fit in with society to the forefront. There are many cases where parents do not take well to their child defying norms and adopting a new authentic identity that they are more comfortable with. However, Annette Bening, who is a proud mother, actress and activist, has learned much from her own son Stephen, who is transgender.
She told The Hollywood Reporter, "I have a trans son and he is such an inspiration to me. Certainly, what's happening in the political world with trans people is concerning and so dire." She went on to state that the situation would only worsen once the election cycle began. Being a member of the famed Screen Actors Guild, she kept the conversation focused on her responsibilities as the chair of the Entertainment Community Fund and her political aspirations.
Bening shared how she felt compelled to speak out for causes that mattered to her, seeing the emerging radical elements within the country. She became motivated to do so after noticing that right-wing groups were spreading false information about the LGBTQIAP+ community, which resulted in unnecessary tensions and problems.
View this post on Instagram
Being a supporter of the cause, she explained how certain groups were attempting to create a sense of fear about transgender children among parents and using that same fear to create legislation against them. She said, "This should not be scary to anybody else. This is a private, legitimate, complex, deep, spiritual, physical, psychological experience that must be respected and honored."
She is a mother of four children and her son Stephen coming out has allowed her to understand the transgender community better. She reflected on their relationship, "To love your child so much is the greatest way to learn about what trans people are all about. I get to say this because I'm the mother: My son is incredibly brilliant. He's someone I do admire, and I've learned a lot from when he first came out."
Before her son came out, she was dismissive of the LGBTQIAP+ community. She openly admitted that she just wanted to protect her kids and make sure that they were okay, but she ended up having to learn a lot. Despite not knowing what to do with every situation, she managed and now is an ardent supporter of the cause. She also spoke extensively about how there are increasing feelings of transphobia amongst the public. Bening suggests that if someone had a trans person in their family, they would "get it." She also shared her worries about the "coldness" and "lack of compassion" that she saw in people. Bening can inspire other parents who might struggle to come to terms with their child wanting to move beyond conventional identities.