In a recent interview, Annette Bening, the American Beautyactress, came out and praised her son, Stephen Bening, for dealing with public backlash and gossip for his transition at the age of 14. Stephen is now 27.
“He’s managed something that’s very challenging with great style and great intelligence,” Bening said of her son. “He’s an articulate, thoughtful person, and I’m very, very proud of him.”
Back when Stephen began his transitioning, the media placed him into a spotlight, constantly running stories on him in a negative light. Luckily, because of said spotlight, Stephen was able to find his voice at an early age. According to Yahoo Entertainment, “[Stephen] spoke out publicly against Chaz Bono for the image of trans people he presented, taking issue with Bono.
Stephen has responded by saying, “I just don’t want anyone thinking that he’s qualified to offer Trans 101, you know?” Indeed, this is the case with many minorities in America; when a public figure rises up to be the voice for their community and isn’t the only viewpoint.
Despite Stephen’s strong opinions against a notable trans figure like Bono, both his parents applauded him for his courage. Back in 2016, his father, actor and director Warren Beatty (Bonnie and Clyde, Reds), called Stephen “a revolutionary, a genius, and my hero.” The following year his mother went on to say, “I learned a lot and he taught me a lot.”
What makes Stephen’s story with his parents so special, among the many out there of positive parental support, is that they were brave to deal with it in under such a public light, and with such elegance and intelligence. It serves as a good guide to parents who are confused, but still wish to understand their transitioning children, because we often forget it’s as much of a new thing to parents as it is to the kids.