Annette Bening shares powerful message about protecting trans son from ‘fear and ignorance’

American actress Annette Bening wearing black coat and black-and-white scarf

Actress Annette Bening has spoken out about feeling protective over her trans son, due to “fear and ignorance” surrounding the trans community.

Speaking on The View on Friday (12 January), Bening, who has starred in queer films Nyad and The Kids Are All Right, explained that she feels “very, very strongly” about protecting trans people. 

“At the beginning, I felt very protective of his privacy, because he’s the son of these two famous people,” the 65-year-old actress said of her 32-year-old son Stephen, one of four children with her husband Warren Beatty.

“So I felt very protective, and I felt it was his right to say what he wanted to say publicly, or not. And now, as time has gone on – especially now with what’s happening, unfortunately, in the political process, [with how] trans people are being used – fear and ignorance is being stoked against trans people in the most frightening way,” she said. 

She added that she has a friend who moved her “entire family” out of Texas to Los Angeles because of “Draconian” laws in the state that could affect their trans daughter.

“As you know, some of the laws in Texas have gotten very Draconian, and they’re able to actually go and intervene at the school without the parent present and talk to the child. So my friend was terribly frightened,” Bening said.

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She added: “We need the Republicans to stand up and say that this is wrong. And that this is heartbreaking.”

This is not the first time Annette Bening has spoken out in support of the LGBTQ+ community, warning anti-trans politicians in 2023 that they “do not want to make this momma mad”

“Most of my career, I’ve been a pretty private person… but over the last several years, I’ve changed my mind,” the four-time Oscar nominee told the Hollywood Reporter in October.

“I have felt the responsibility to speak out and to speak up as transphobia has invaded our government at the local, state, and federal levels. It is hurtful. It is shameful. And it is being used as a tool by the far-right to rally their base and turn out the vote.”

Warren Beatty has also previously stood up for his trans son, calling him a “genius and my hero, as are all my children” in a Vanity Fair article in 2016.