The scope continues to narrow: Pronouns are an ever-growing topic in this new era of identity politics.
Speaking to Pride Source, Charlize Theron discussed the ways in which her seven-year-old son, Jackson — who identifies as a girl — is referred.
“Yes, I thought she was a boy, too. Until she looked at me when she was three years old and said: ‘I am not a boy!’”
Initially, the actress had one each — son and daughter. But that changed:
“So there you go! I have two beautiful daughters who, just like any parent, I want to protect and I want to see thrive. They were born who they are and exactly where in the world both of them get to find themselves as they grow up, and who they want to be, is not for me to decide.”
Theron told Pride Source that pronouns had officially become a problem:
“I think it became harder for us the older she got that people were still writing about her in the wrong pronouns, and also I was still talking about her in the press using the wrong pronoun. It really hurt her feelings. I don’t want to be that mom, and that was really why I said what I said a while back (in an interview with The Daily Mail earlier this year, Theron revealed that her eldest daughter, 7-year-old Jackson, told her at age 3, ‘I am not a boy!’).
“I haven’t really talked about it ever since, again, because outside of just asking that respectfully of the press – and the world, hopefully – the rest is really private and it’s her story, and it’s really up to her to decide if she wants to share that.”
Charlize said her young child’s story has yet to be written; but in the meantime, she asks everyone to call Jackson a “she”:
“Well, this is all pretty new for us, so it hasn’t really kind of come into question. I don’t really necessarily know if it will. My daughter’s story is really her story, and one day, if she chooses, she’ll tell her story. I feel like as her mother, for me, it was important to let the world know that I would appreciate it if they would use the right pronouns for her.”
The Bombshell star also noted the importance of letting her kids know they can marry either sex when they grow up. It’s fun to ask them which they think it’s going to be:
“They’re a little too young, but we definitely have these conversations whenever they say, ‘I’m gonna get married’ and I’m always like, ‘What is it gonna be? A boy or a girl? What is it gonna be?’ I love that my kids just know that that’s a normal question to ask. One of my daughters (4-year-old August) is convinced that she’s gonna be married five times and it’s gonna be three boys and two girls, and I just love that she has the freedom to think that way. God knows what it’s going to be, but I love that she feels safe enough to explore in her little-girl brain that anything is possible and that she’s gonna go and discover that for herself.”
The Oscar winner is trying to make the world a different place for her kids, and when it comes to — in the words of the interviewer — “normaliz[ing] queerness in film,” enough is never enough:
“Listen, it’s never enough. I think that we can’t become complacent – that’s a very dangerous place to get to – but I feel so hopeful and optimistic when I see shows like (HBO’s queer-inclusive teen drama) “Euphoria” and I see the characters and the actors in that and, again, the normalization of it, the fact that nothing is underlined and nothing is being overly explained to you. You’re kind of just being dropped into a world of real people living their lives and struggling with real things that people struggle with – especially that young people struggle with. I’m optimistic when I see stuff like that being generated in our industry. I want more of it, and I think we’re always going to need more of it.”
It may strike some as a surprising symbol of, specifically, “hope” — Euphoria’s creator, Sam Levinson, promised the drug-addled program would leave parents “totally f***ing freaked out.”
But perhaps “hope” is a malleable term.
And malleable is the mode of the day — Hollywood seems to be moving ever closer to transitional gender identity.
In January, You, Me & Dupree’s Kate Hudson announced she and her boyfriend, Danny Fujikawa, were raising their daughter “genderless” (here).
And in an interview with People this month, actress Megan Fox — who encourages her son to wear dresses to school (here) — explained that she wants her 3, 5, and 7-year-old boys to simply be who “they were born to be.”
“It’s about releasing control, right? That’s all it is. It’s allowing them to be who they are and relinquishing control, because they were born to be who they are, and it’s my job to support that process, not to get involved and micromanage and mold them into what I think they should be.”
The children have become the teachers:
“It’s being of that mindset of realizing that they come as the teachers to us. We’re here to keep them alive, but we’re learning all the lessons from them.”
I think she’s right in line with a growing viewpoint — children will teach you…and one of the lessons will be which gender they truly are.
Hillary Clinton espoused the same, back in October on The View:
“I had a friend a few years ago who called up and said ‘I don’t know who to talk to about this, but my little girl wants to be a boy. What do I do?’ And, you know, several of us kind of — we didn’t know what to do, we never had a friend who’d faced that before. Several of us kind of read everything and talked to people and gave her advice and it was really gutsy for her to say, ‘Okay, I’m going to respect the feelings of my child, as hard as it is for me to understand this.’”
One thing is certain: Society — like some children — is transitioning.
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