Annette Bening on transgender rights: ‘It’s not a threat to anyone else if someone has a different gender or identity’

‘These are evolving issues for a lot of people,’ the Oscar-nominated actress says

Rachel Brodsky
Los Angeles
Thursday 24 December 2020 19:06 GMT
Annette Bening opens up about parenting her transgender son

Annette Bening has opened up about trans rights in a new interview.

The Oscar nominee and mother of four spoke candidly to The Daily Beast about her experience parenting her son Stephen, who is trans, saying he "taught me a lot about what it means to be a human being, and be responsive to your own development, and your own notions of self".

Back in September, Bening gave a speech at the Human Rights Campaign gala about trans rights. Further expanding on that speech, she went into detail around what her son, who is now almost 29, has taught her.

"These are evolving issues for a lot of people, and that’s why some people don’t come out until they’re older – or they come out and as they come out, they might shift and change the way they express their sexuality or their gender," she said.

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"I think seeing this close-up as well as having friends who are trans – this is a great boon, because it emphasizes how important it is that we tolerate, and love, and understand other people in the way they choose to represent themselves. It’s not a threat to anyone else if someone has a different gender or identity. That is important to me, and being part of that message is important to me."

Bening also commented on comedian Eddie Izzard's recently claiming she/her pronouns, saying, "I think what Eddie Izzard did recently has been really important — the fact that she has claimed her pronouns and the way that she is."

Additionally, Bening expressed disbelief at the negative way Harry Potter author JK Rowling has publicly spoken about the trans experience. "Yeah, I don’t understand it," she said. "I certainly can’t explain it to you. I don’t understand it at all."

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