Home Australia When Ben Affleck’s Daughter Comes Out, Why Are So Many Celebrities’ Children Trans and Non-Binary?

When Ben Affleck’s Daughter Comes Out, Why Are So Many Celebrities’ Children Trans and Non-Binary?

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Fin Affleck at his grandfather's funeral in Charleston, West Virginia

For Ben Affleck and his ex-wife Jennifer Garner, it was a celebration of both an ending and a beginning. During a memorial service earlier this month for Garner’s father in Charleston, West Virginia, the couple also publicly endorsed her 15-year-old son’s new identity.

Their daughter, baptized Seraphina Rose, now calls herself Fin and uses the pronoun “they.” They wore dark suits and ties, and sported distinctly unfeminine haircuts.

After making an introduction (“Hello, my name is Fin Affleck”), Fin read a Bible passage at a service that, ironically, celebrated a grandfather who Garner had previously said was so “conservative” that she and her Sisters were not even allowed to have their ears pierced.

Fin is, of course, the descendant of two movie stars who made their names embodying traditional gender stereotypes: Affleck as the square-jawed leading man in films like Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and The Town, and Garner as a willowy assassin in Elektra and The sexy double agent Sydney Bristow in the TV series Alias.

Fin Affleck at his grandfather’s funeral in Charleston, West Virginia

The Afflecks, who include Fin’s siblings Violet and Samuel, are certainly no exception to having a transgender member in their Hollywood family. The upper levels of Tinseltown are filled with proud parents of trans, nonbinary, and genderfluid children, a fact that these A-list moms and dads, suspending the usual fierce protection of their privacy, are often happy to talk about.

In fact, the Affleck clan already has Fin’s stepsister, Emme, 16, the non-binary daughter of Jennifer Lopez, who is now Ben’s wife, from her marriage to singer Marc Anthony.

Lopez first referred to Emme as “they” two years ago when she invited them on stage to sing with her at a baseball charity gala.

Garner, Affleck and Lopez join a long list of famous parents who have had to rethink their children’s pronouns: including Charlize Theron, Jamie Lee Curtis, Cher, Sigourney Weaver, Naomi Watts and her ex-boyfriend Liev Schreiber, Annette Bening and Warren. Beatty and Sex And The City star Cynthia Nixon.

Official estimates of the proportion of the US population that considers themselves transgender vary. According to the Williams Institute, a sexual orientation and gender identities research organization, 1.6 million Americans over the age of 13 identify as transgender. That equates to approximately one in every 170 people. Other studies say the figure is lower. So why does Hollywood seem so overrepresented?

Jennifer Lopez celebrates her twins Emme and Max turning 16 on a trip to Japan in February

Jennifer Lopez celebrates her twins Emme and Max turning 16 on a trip to Japan in February

Dr Hilary Cass’s long-awaited report on gender transition in the UK last week warned that many children who question their gender identity actually suffer from anxiety, poor self-esteem or body image problems. Given that being the child of a Hollywood star can be notoriously challenging (many go off the rails, sometimes with tragic consequences), could this help explain why so many people are experiencing ‘gender distress’?

Or maybe it’s simply because most of them live in the uber-liberal enclave of California – with their parents working in a like-minded industry – where gender nonconformity is welcome. And if a star has a transgender child, she may want to tell the world, since Hollywood has taken sides so firmly in the fierce culture war over trans issues. It’s no surprise that its leading figures are among the trans movement’s most vocal advocates.

Some, like actress Kate Hudson (daughter of Goldie Hawn) have even raised their children gender neutral, letting their children decide how they identify.

One thing is clear: stars who openly talk about having a trans child rarely come across (at least publicly) as anything other than tremendously enthusiastic.

Hollywood celebrities, of course, are often filming. Some admit they never saw their children’s trans issues coming.

Jamie Lee Curtis is among those caught off guard. He revealed in 2021 that his adopted son, born Tom, is now a trans woman named Ruby. Curtis said she and her husband Christopher Guest had initially had a hard time adjusting (they accidentally used Ruby’s “dead name” and messed up pronouns), but insisted she was a “grateful student.”

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis with her daughters Ruby, left, and Annie at the Halloween Ends premiere in 2022

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis with her daughters Ruby, left, and Annie at the Halloween Ends premiere in 2022

“I’m not proselytizing and I’m not trying to force-feed people something,” she told People magazine in 2021, although her attitude seemed to have hardened when The Advocate, an LGBTQ+ magazine, named her its Advocate. of the Year in 2023 for defending her cause. No doubt, by then she was already proselytizing.

“I hope to teach them that this is what you do when you’re a parent,” he intoned. ‘You put on the suit and arrive with an open heart, outstretched arms and accurate aim. And your job is to tell the haters to back off.”

Alien star Sigourney Weaver is a close friend of Curtis, but she has been much more discreet about how her only son, born in 1990 to Weaver and her husband Jim Simpson, is now known as Char. In 2022, Weaver (briefly confusing pronouns) revealed: “We have a wonderful daughter who is now 32; I don’t know how, she still looks like she’s 12… They’re actually non-binary and they teach.” [digital storytelling at New York’s Columbia University].’

Some children have even been identified as trans by their famous parents when they were barely out of diapers. In 2019, actress Charlize Theron revealed that her eldest son, Jackson, 11, whom she adopted as a baby and introduced to the world as a boy, was now being raised as a girl.

“Yeah, I thought she was a boy too,” Theron told the Mail. ‘Until she looked at me when I was three and said, “I’m not a boy!”

‘There you go! I have two beautiful daughters who, like any parent, I want to protect and I want to see thrive.’

Theron attempted to explain why she had made the revelation, saying: “As she got older, it became more difficult for us that people still wrote about her with the wrong pronouns, and also I kept talking about her in the press using the wrong pronoun. “. . ‘She really hurt her feelings.’

Annette Bening and Warren Beatty married in 1994 and have four children, including Stephen Ira, a transgender poet. Like Jamie Lee Curtis, Bening has transitioned from a mother who admitted she was “very ignorant” about what it meant to be a trans child to becoming an outspoken LGBTQ advocate, accepting the Advocate Award from LGBTQ+ rights group GLSEN. last year.

“What I wish is that every person had someone trans in their family because once someone you love is trans, then you understand,” he said.

Ben Affleck with his ex-wife Jennifer Garner. The couple has three children together: Violet, Fin and Samuel.

Ben Affleck with his ex-wife Jennifer Garner. The couple has three children together: Violet, Fin and Samuel.

Famously outspoken singer Cher has been very honest about the challenges that can come with having a trans child. The 77-year-old actress and singer’s transgender son, Chaz Bono, was born Chastity in 1969 and underwent a gender transition from female to male between 2008 and 2010, long before he was a cause célèbre in Tinseltown.

Cher admitted that when Chaz first started the process, she was afraid to see him in case she wouldn’t recognize him. She even asked him to save the old answering machine greeting.

“It’s a very strange change for a mother,” she said in a 2016 interview.

Cynthia Nixon – Miranda in Sex And The City – is one of Hollywood’s progressive firebrands and her own sexual preferences have changed over time. After years of dating men, she came out as a lesbian in 2004. In 2018, she revealed that her 21-year-old eldest daughter, formerly Samantha and one of the two children she had with her college boyfriend she Danny Mozes, is transgender.

“I am so proud of my son Samuel Joseph Mozes (named Seph), who graduated from college this month,” she said on social media on the occasion of the 14th Annual Trans Day of Action.

At the time she was running as a socialist candidate to become mayor of New York State and critics accused her of trying to impress liberal voters.

Famous Hollywood attention seekers Will and Jada Smith have often been overshadowed by their children, son Jaden and daughter Willow. The latter have described themselves as “gender fluid”, although Jaden, 25, was hailed as a “non-binary icon” in 2016 after regularly wearing women’s clothing and high heels and insisting they were not ” girl’s clothes” but “just clothes’: she became the new face of Louis Vuitton women’s fashion.

Actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden Smith's son, at the Louis Vuitton Spring 2023 fashion show in Paris

Actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden Smith’s son, at the Louis Vuitton Spring 2023 fashion show in Paris

Last year, Transformers star Megan Fox was accused by a Republican politician of forcing her three young children (then aged six, nine and ten) to wear girls’ clothes while they played in a park. The politician, who was her neighbor, said that he had seen the children’s nanny comforting the unhappy children.

Fox denied forcing them, but admits that she has always encouraged them to be “gender fluid” and that her oldest son, Noah, was teased by his classmates for wearing dresses to school.

The actress claims that when she became pregnant with him, she was able to sense ‘through my mother’s intuition’ that ‘he did not subscribe to gender stereotypes, so I decided to provide him with an environment from the beginning that would allow him to discover how he wanted.’ Express oneself’.

However, even Noah’s youthful gender experimentation was surpassed by Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, daughter and eldest biological child of Brad and Angelina, who, according to her parents, has been exploring her gender since she was two years old and asked to be called John. “She wants to be a boy,” Jolie told Vanity Fair in 2010, when Shiloh was four years old. “So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boy’s clothes. She believes that she is one of her brothers.

Both parents accepted that their daughter wanted to live “like a little boy”, although Pitt accepted that some people might find it “disgusting”. Jolie said she openly supported her daughter because she found her choices “fascinating.”

In his case, however, it is said that it was a passing phase. Today, Shiloh’s parents, now 17, use female pronouns to refer to her.

However, for many other Hollywood stars, having a trans or non-binary child remains the height of fashion.

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