Happy Pride Month!
Earlier this month we shared some LGBTQ+ celebrity parents such as Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Elton John and David Furnish, Jillian Michaels, Karamo Brown and many more, who are celebrating LGBTQ+ history month with their kids.
And did you know there are plenty of stars who also have LGBTQ+ kids? Most of those we wrote about below are straight and/or cisgender, and they’ve stood proudly behind their kids as they’ve come out through the years. In some cases, that’s happened early, and in others, it’s been a case of multiple coming outs as someone arrives at a sense of identity after decades.
Supportive parents mean the world to LGBTQ+ people, and unconditional love makes all the difference no matter one’s age. Scroll on to learn about parents in Hollywood and the music world who have had their children’s backs and learned and grown with them.
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
The couple have been nothing but supportive of Zaya since she came out, with Dwyane recently opening up about how much his daughter inspires him. He shared how Zaya knew she was trans when she was three years old, and has said it’s important for him and Gabrielle to let Zaya lead them in her own journey.
“We’re just trying to figure out as much information as we can go make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be, you know, her best self,” Dwyane told Ellen DeGeneres last year.
In a piece for TIME magazine’s TIME 100 last year, the two spoke about how it has been important for them to create an environment for Zaya to be who she is.
“[She] has freedom to be exactly who she is, who she was born to be, to be her most authentic self,” Gabrielle shared. “She doesn’t ask permission to exist. That is wildly inspiring.”
Earlier this month, Zaya and Michelle Obama sat down together for an Instagram Live, in which Zaya also credited the former U.S. first lady for the advice she’s given her throughout her journey. Gabrielle and Dwyane shared clips from it on their own Instagram pages, gushing over how proud they were of their incredible daughter.
Jason Gould is Barbra’s son from her marriage to actor Elliott Gould of MASH and Friends fame. The now 55-year-old came out as gay when he was 21, in 1988 – still a difficult time for LGBTQ+ people.
“I would never wish for my son to be anything but what he is,” Barbra told The Advocate at the time. “He is bright, kind, sensitive, caring and a very conscientious and god person. He is a very gifted actor and filmmaker. What more could a parent ask or in their child? I have been truly blessed.”
Cher’s son Chaz, who was assigned female at birth, came out as a transgender man in the late 2000s after living as a gay woman for years. While the superstar has been supportive of him throughout his journey, she’s often corrected journalists who have told her she’s “never struggled” with Chaz’s transition, saying it was a process for her, too, and there were things she needed to unlearn.
“It wasn’t easy,” she told Christiane Amanpour last year. “Like I remember calling, and the old message – the old Chaz message was on the phone – and that was very difficult. But then you have one child, but you don’t really lose them – they are just in a different shape.”
The 75-year-old told the veteran journalist she has loved seeing how Chaz’s transition has changed this life and made him “so unbelievably happy.”
The Oscar winner’s son, Sam Griesman, is gay, and she’s always firmly supported him. In 2012, they both attended the Human Rights Campaign gala, in which he presented her with an award for her commitment to equal rights for LGBTQ+ people.
“When I came out, she didn’t bat an eye,” the writer and producer, who is Sally’s son from her second marriage, said as he introduced her. “In fact, she was overjoyed. Being gay was just one more thing she loved about me. She couldn’t be more supportive of me; if anything, I wish she was a little less supportive of me.”
— Sally Field (@sally_field) February 17, 2018
Hilariously, Sally went so far as to try and set Sam up with Olympian Adam Rippon earlier that year. She and Sam had been texting back and forth about the crush Sam had on the figure skater, when Sally retweeted Sam’s screenshot of the convo – which had been kept anonymous – and tagged Adam’s account in the process.
Thanks, mom. pic.twitter.com/m25Er4EEfD
— sam greisman (@SAMGREIS) March 11, 2018
A flustered Sam messaged Adam to apologize, to have Adam tell him he admired Sally and hoped one day they would meet. And they did – a month later! Sam shared a photo of him putting his arm around Adam at the Human Rights Campaign gala. It captioned, “Thanks, mom.”
Last year, the Sex and the City star revealed her son Samuel, who goes by Seph, told her he was trans while he was at university. There was no question about supporting him, she said, and has been one of her son’s biggest advocates since. Cynthia, who has been married to education activist Christine Marinoni since 2012, has also become a strong ally to the trans community.
“You can make all the arguments that you want… but the fact is, a parent, as a human, you should listen to what people tell you about themselves,” she told actor Alan Cumming and Chris Sweeney on their Homo sapiens podcast in 2020.
The Nigerian-born singer’s son Izaak is transgender and came out in 2016. She’s stuck by his side through his physical transition, and he’s often taken to social media to share how much she’s helped him through the process.
In 2019, after having recovered from surgery, he shared a sweet snap in a restaurant with his mom, putting his arm around her while she beamed at the camera.
“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.”
The former Los Angeles Lakers star’s son EJ is gay and came out after photos of him holding a friend’s hand were published in 2013. Magic said at the time that it didn’t surprise him, and there had never been any question that he would support and love EJ, who is a reality TV star know for no matter what.
“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,” he told Ellen in 2017. “It’s all bout loving them no matter who they are… When my son came out, I was so happy for him and happy for us as parents. We love him. EJ is amazing.”
The sitcom and Hollywood star is the parent of two LGBTQ+ kids – daughter Clementine Ford is bisexual, while daughter Ariel Shepherd-Oppenheim is gay.
Clementine, who has been married to actor Cyrus since 2013, was once in a relationship with singer Linda Perry, and she and her mom both starred as a mother and daughter navigating their own queer identities on The L Word in the mid-2000s.
There wasn’t any question that Cybill would support her kids, since long before they came out, she was an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
“I think to infringe on anybody’s civil rights is a crime, and I absolutely believe [LGBTQ people] should have the right to marry,” she told Larry King in 2000.
Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith
Earlier this year, the two were joined by actress Niecy Nash, who married Jessica Betts in 2020, to talk about queer identity, and Jada said she could eventually see Willow dating women.
The pop star, who adopted two teenagers who were “aging out of the foster system” in 2019, shared last year that one of them had told her he was gay.
“He’s just blossoming and is the light of my life,” she told the Daily Mail . “I love him so much.”