Some topics trend for a day or a week, and others trend for months. One such example is that of individuals who are transgender. It was once a hush-hush topic that people couldn’t even put a name to. Now, it’s all the public wants to talk about. And as per usual, celebrities are a focal point. It is often through celebrities that the mainstream public gets to explore the new and different, to live vicariously and to form opinions. If it weren’t for Magic Johnson, the world would have been slower to understand HIV/AIDS. Had it not been for Carnie Wilson, gastric bypass surgery may not have been so quick to catch on. And had it not been for Will & Grace, there would definitely be no Cam and Mitchell on Modern Family. Whether one supports the transgender community or not, most would agree that it takes a lot of guts for celebrities to become public with their lifestyle. But along the way, transgender individuals inadvertently expose their family members to public scrutiny as well. Some families celebrate the bravery of their loved ones, whereas some hide in the shadows, so much so that one may be surprised as to which celebrities have transgender people in their family tree. Below is a list of a dozen celebrities you didn’t know had transgender family members – from the functional to the dysfunctional and everywhere in between.
11. The De la Hoya Family
Remember the pint-sized reality show vixen Daisy from Rock of Love and Daisy of Love on VH1? Turns out this stripper with a heart of gold has some famous family – she is the niece of boxer Oscar de la Hoya. Once most famous for his prowess in the ring and his luck with the ladies, Oscar is now most associated with the pictures of him cross-dressing that surfaced several years ago. In 2011, he admitted they were real. While Oscar hasn’t formally come out as transgender, there is a medical term for men that enjoy the eroticism of dressing up as women in the bedroom: transvetistic fetishism. Close enough.
Oscar seems to have faded into obscurity since these pictures circulated. He was once a champion boxer that won numerous awards. He was also known for being a ladies man, having dated Paris Hilton and Shanna Moakler. It’s likely that the picture of him in fishnet stockings and heels led to his decline in popularity. It’s too bad for him that Caitlyn Jenner didn’t transform sooner, so that more boundaries could’ve been broken. If that had been the case, maybe Oscar would have a more thriving career now.
10. Warren Beatty, Annette Benning And Son
Warren Beatty has been a heartthrob since he began his career in the 1950’s, and his wife Annette Benning, is known not only for her acting chops, but also for being the one woman who could tame Warren’s wild ways. They were a Hollywood power couple, and seemed to have it all. But it has been revealed that their family had struggles – just like any other family. Their teenage daughter dealt with gender identity issues: “Kathlyn” came out socially as “Stephen” at 14 years old. Stephen is now in his 20’s and is an activist. He identifies as a “gay trans man.” While Stephen wears men’s clothing, he insists that he also enjoys women’s accessories. He says that he wears necklaces, ribbons and rings. He calls his style a “fem presentation.” Stephen is also very firm that he wants to have a family. He told ABC News in an interview: “I am going to have babies and give them onesies with ‘This is what a transfeminist looks like’ on them.”
9. R. Kelly And Son
When people hear the name R. Kelly, all sorts of images come to mind: his marriage to Aaliyah when she was a teen, his singing career, his feud with Jay-Z and of course, the notorious pee incident which was lampooned on The Chapelle Show. A lesser known fact is that R. Kelly has a teenage daughter, Jaya, who has come out as transgender and now goes by the name of “Jay.” It has been reported that R. Kelly didn’t take the revelation well, and even went so far as to say people shouldn’t refer to her as his “son”. R. Kelly was even quoted as having said, “You don’t really wanna open it up by saying my daughter is becoming my son, because if that were true… Don’t even give the blogs that kind of credit. You know what I’m saying? Real talk.” Despite R. Kelly’s widely known lack of support, Jay says that he is glad that his father finally knows the truth. Jay has also reported that his mother has been encouraging and sympathetic.
8. Ally Sheedy And Family
Ally Sheedy’s heyday was in the 1980s, when she was a member of the famous Brat Pack with such stars as Demi Moore and Rob Lowe. Now she is making headlines due to her daughter, Rebecca. The two have confirmed that Rebecca is “genderqueer.” According to Urban Dictionary, the term is used to refer to a person that believes their gender doesn’t fit into socially described norms; thus, their gender can be anywhere on the spectrum between male and female. Sheedy has been fully supportive of her daughter’s identity. This comes as no surprise to those who know Sheedy best, as she grew up with a lesbian mother.
Sheedy is an advocate for her child, as well as others. She has been quoted as saying, “I do feel like I have a social responsibility. I feel that if you are a well-known person and you have a voice to bring attention to something, it’s nothing but honorable to do so. I specifically have my heart in the LGBTQI cause a lot of it is very personal. I feel obligated to do this work but, at the same time, it’s a pleasure.”
7. Magic Johnson and Daughter
Magic Johnson shocked the world when he came out as being HIV positive in the early 1990’s. Then the Johnson family shocked the world again when it was revealed in 2013 that their son, E.J., was gay. But things didn’t stop there. E.J. has since been photographed wearing women’s clothing and accessories, including fur coats, leather leggings, hot pink handbags and nail polish. This has led to tongues wagging that E.J. will be the next celebrity to come out as transgender, as reported in People magazine. E.J. is starring on the reality show Rich Kids of Beverly Hills and apparently has already chronicled some of his alleged transition, including gastric bypass surgery as well as wearing dresses, and high heels.
The public hasn’t exactly warmed to E.J., but it isn’t because of how he identifies. Many are turned off by the way he flaunts his wealth. He constantly has shiny new things. This has led to public criticism noting that he didn’t earn his wealth, and that he is too materialistic. Of course, we should point out that many girls get away with much worse.
6. Jamie Lee Curtis and Parent
Jamie Lee Curtis is so famous in her own right that fans often forget that her father is screen legend Tony Curtis. Tony Curtis starred in such iconic movies as Spartacus. He even claimed to have impregnated Marilyn Monroe during the filming of Some Like It Hot. Another juicy piece of gossip that is associated with that movie is that it turned Tony Curtis onto crossdressing. In the film, Tony Curtis plays a musician who witnesses a mob hit and has to go into hiding as a woman. As Hollywood lore would have it, Tony Curtis carried this habit into his personal life. This isn’t unusual, as the same stories have been associated with other classic actors like Danny Kaye and Milton Berle. So, what is the different between being a cross-dresser and being transgender? According to those in the know – about two years! In all seriousness, people who have lived the lifestyle firsthand report that men who cross-dress enjoy being a woman for periods of time, while men who identify as transgender feel strongly that they are a woman in terms of mind and body.
5. Kelsey and Camille Grammer
Speaking of cross-dressing men, the ex-wife of Kelsey Grammer, reality show star Camille Grammer, insisted that Kelsey had a proclivity for cross-dressing. Radar Online reported that sources told them not only does Kelsey wear women’s underwear, but he also likes to wear women’s lingerie during his hanky panky time. Allegedly, there are even photos to back this up. It’s been claimed that Kelsey pushes the envelope in the bedroom, and that some of his tastes are kinky to say the least. He admitted as much during an interview with Oprah when he said that he has been “sexually adventurous.” Camille Grammer isn’t exactly one that should be throwing stones at glass houses, as she has plenty of dirty laundry. Before she met and married one of the most successful guys in Hollywood, she starred in a softcore Cinemax film. Camille also appeared in the Howard Stern film Private Parts, flashing her lady bits. And her spot on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills didn’t earn her any fans. Her personality was grating as she was constantly clashing with castmates and making lavish purchases.
4. Cher and Chaz
So much has been made about transgender people that the public tends to forget about Hollywood’s first transgender child: Sonny Bono and Cher’s daughter turned son, Chaz Bono! He made headlines when he competed on Dancing with the Stars, but since then he has led a relatively low-profile life. The public is very much interested in knowing the nitty-gritty details about Bono’s transition – namely, what’s going on with the whole genital business. The last known report was in 2012 when he said that he was “saving to buy a penis.” With a rich mother like Cher, that statement generates more questions than it answers. One reason why the public may have forgotten about Chaz Bono might be due to the fact that some of his own kind don’t like him. The Beatty’s son, Stephen, has apparently taken issue with Chaz. Stephen wrote on his blog that Chaz is: “a misogynist who does not represent us.” Chaz was criticized by many for the way he characterized being transgender. He has been quoted as saying that transgenderism is “a birth defect, like a cleft palate.”
3. The Jenner Family
When the public thinks about Caitlyn Jenner’s family, of course the Kardashian clan immediately springs to mind. But the fact is that Caitlyn has two sons, Brody and Brandon Jenner, who are often forgotten about. Brody Jenner made a name for himself on the MTV reality show The Hills, but his star has diminished since around the time the Kardashians took over the earth. While Brody supported Bruce when he won the Arthur Ash Award, he hasn’t exactly been vocal in showing the world that he approves of Caitlyn. It begs the question if his support was just for show, or if the Kardashians are just edging him out of the spotlight as they have from the beginning. Of course, this tension could just be part of the publicity machine that surrounds the Kardashians. We wouldn’t put anything past them. It would be just like them to stage a rift between Caitlyn and her sons, then build a reality show around the sons coming to terms with things. The Jenner boys would likely love that idea, as they haven’t enjoyed the wealth of their stepsisters.
2. The Arquette Family
For a long time, Alexis Arquette (center) was the only mainstream transgender celebrity out there. But looking back, it seems that she totally vanished from the spotlight and the public has forgotten about her. This is in spite of the fact that her family continues to excel. Her sister Patricia (right), won accolades for her role in Boyhood, her other sister Rosanna (2nd from left) is active behind the camera, and brother David (left) still rides the coattails of his ex-wife Courteney Cox. It’s surprising that with all the press the transgender community has received lately that Alexis hasn’t risen up from obscurity. The most she’s done recently is to pick a Facebook fight with Will and Jada Smith. Alexis’ struggles with being transgender were exposed when she starred on The Surreal Life. One particularly cruel scene involved a bunch of drunken guys taunting her at a bar. She fought back – literally. She attacked them with a beach umbrella. This goes to show that transitioning can be much more difficult for the average person than it was for Caitlyn Jenner.
1. The Jolie-Pitt Family
The media has finally reported what shrewd fans knew for years – Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s biological daughter, Shiloh, may be transgender. Jolie reported to Vanity Fair magazine back in 2010 that Shiloh wanted to be a boy, and that she and Pitt even consulted a gender identity specialist. Shiloh allegedly wants to be called “John” and sports short hair and wears boy’s clothing. The jury is still out on this one, since Shiloh is so young and her parents want her to come to her own conclusions. But this hasn’t stopped the public from weighing in. Even family friend Amber Rose refers to Shiloh as a “transkid.”
Other celebrities have children that are rumored to be nontraditional. For example, Gwyneth Paltrow reported in an interview that she thinks her daughter, Apple, may be a lipstick lesbian. Gwen Stefani’s son, Kingston, was photographed wearing eyeliner during a family outing. Only time will tell how these children will choose to lead their lives. But we feel bad knowing that they have already been thrust into the spotlight.