Being a gay parent has become much more acceptable in recent years. In 2007, over 50% of Americans polled agreed that LGBT couples should have the legal right to adopt. And of course, the world of the dramatic arts is no exception; indeed, it has long been renowned as a welcoming environment for members of LGBT community.
Gay celebrities are now adopting children and enjoying seemingly happy family lives in a society that’s becoming increasingly tolerant and open. As of 2009, an estimated 20,000 same-sex couples are raising nearly 30,000 adopted children, according to the Williams Institute. Unfortunately, joint same sex adoption and even same sex marriage is still not legal in every state in the U.S.A.
We often hold up celebrities as role models and examples, and the following celebrities are shining examples for parenting in the gay community. Gay couples adopted some of these celebrities, and some of these celebrities were raised by a mother and father, where one parent later came out. Whatever the case, those parents should be proud of the job they did with these sixteen superstars.
13. Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro is one of the finest actors working today, and he just might be the greatest actor of all time. The two-time Academy award winner has a gay parent. De Niro’s father, Robert De Niro Sr., was an abstract impressionist painter who did not receive much recognition throughout his life and career. De Niro Sr. was also gay, and he divorced his wife in 1946. De Niro Sr. reportedly struggled with being gay, since at the time being gay was not only looked down upon, but gays were persecuted heavily. Earlier this year HBO aired a documentary titled Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr., and De Niro became emotional when discussing his father’s life in the documentary.
12. Natasha Richardson and Joely Richardson
The late wife of Liam Neeson had a gay parent. Natasha Richardson’s father, director Tony Richardson, was an Academy Award winning director and he was also bisexual. He died of AIDS related complications in 1991 at the age of 63, and he never revealed to the public that he was bisexual until after he contracted HIV. Tony Richardson is also the father of Joely Richardson who starred in numerous TV shows such as the Tudors and Nip/Tuck. Tony Richardson, who won his best director statue for the film Tom Jones, married Vanessa Redgrave, and the couple had Natasha and Joely. Vanessa Redgrave’s father, Michael Redgrave, was also bisexual.
11. 50 Cent
It is believed that 50 Cent’s mother was a lesbian. 50 Cent, also known as Curtis James Jackson III, has said that his mother was a drug addict and lesbian. He said he never saw her with a man. His mother died when 50 Cent was only 8 years old, and he went to live with his grandparents after his mother’s death. 50 Cent has been very critical of gays in the past, but it seems that him admitting his mother was gay is a step in the right direction. More recently he has voiced support for his gay friend Frank Ocean.
10. Judy Garland
The Wizard of Oz star has had a lot of connections to the gay community. She has been considered a gay icon and has been referred to as the Elvis of homosexuals because of the number of gay fans she has. She married Vincente Minnelli, who was heavily rumored to be gay. Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli are the parents of Liza Minnelli. It is also believed that her own father was also gay. Her father, Frank Gumm, relocated the family to California after he was involved in a sordid sex scandal. He was believed to have been caught making advances towards male ushers at a theater in Minnesota.
9. Amy Adams
Amy Adams has seen her star rise significantly in recent years. She has gone from small roles in TV shows like Smallville, the Office and the West Wing to being the lead actress in successful films like Enchanted, American Hustle and Man of Steel. The five-time Academy Award nominated actress also has a gay parent. Her mother divorced Adams’ father, became a body builder and reportedly began dating a woman. Amy Adams grew up in a Mormon household, and after her parents split up she left home when she was just a teenager. Adams’ mother attended the Oscars as a guest and said she was: “proud of her lovely and talented daughter.”
8. Anne Heche
Anne Heche made headlines when the blonde beauty started to date Ellen DeGeneres. The couple has since split and DeGeneres is now married to Portia de Rossi. Anne Heche’s father was bisexual, and she also claimed that he was a sexual deviant who sexually assaulted her from when she was an infant until she was 12 years old. Her father died when she was 13 years old, and when she found out her father was dying of AIDS she feared for her life and worried that she had contracted HIV. Heche’s brother died in a car crash three months after their father’s death, and Heche claims he committed suicide.
7. Rene Russo
In 2002, Rene Russo revealed that lesbians raised her after her father left her mother. Rene was raised by her mother and mother’s girlfriend, and that nurturing proved to be a big help because Rene had a difficult childhood and suffered from a debilitating disability. Russo developed scoliosis when she was ten years old, so the support from her mother was a huge help to her. “When I was born – oh I am going to cry – my dad left and it was women in my life that were gay that raised me and that helped me and nurtured me,” she said on ABC’s Good Morning America.
6. Jodie Foster
There was much speculation about Jodie Foster’s sexual orientation for many years, and she seemingly came out as a lesbian while accepting a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globe awards in 2013 despite not using the words gay or lesbian in her speech. Foster would later go on to marry her girlfriend, photographer and director Alexandra Hedison, earlier this year. Now no one is wondering if Jodie Foster is gay. Foster’s mother, Evelyn Ella Almond, is also believed to be gay. Jodie was raised with the help of her mother’s girlfriend, and Jodie allegedly referred to her mother’s girlfriend as “aunt.”
5. Dorothy Dandridge
Ruby Dandridge, Dorothy Dandridge’s mother, was a lesbian who was in a long time relationship with her girlfriend Geneva Williams. Williams also helped raise Dorothy, who would grow up to be a model, dancer, actor and singer. Dorothy Dandridge rose to stardom in the 1940s and became the first black woman to be nominated for an Academy Award. Williams not only helped raise Dorothy and her sister Vivian, but she also helped to refine the girl’s acting, singing and dancing skills. Their training paid off, and the sisters became a popular group called the Wonder Children; they later became know as the Dandridge Sisters.
4. Jena Malone
Jena Malone’s mother, Deborah Malone, is a lesbian. Jena Malone called her mother’s girlfriend, who helped raise her, her God mom. Jena Malone said that as a child being raised by two moms wasn’t something that was abnormal to her, and that she liked it because most people like their mom more than their dad. She would say: “Ha, I’ve got two of them!” She is thankful for the amount of love she got as a child, and the Hunger Games: Catching Fire star always carries photos of her two mothers, her father and her sister with her wherever she travels.
3. Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli is an extremely talented singer and performer; the talented singer has also been an icon in the gay community for many years. This seems fitting, as one of Minnelli’s parents is gay. Liza Minnelli’s father, Vincente Minnelli, was a film and theatre director who was heavily rumored to be gay. In the biography Vincente Minnelli: Hollywood’s Dark Dreamer by Emanuel Levy, Levy claims that Vincente Minnelli was openly gay in New York. He says that when Minnelli moved to Hollywood he chose to hide the part of himself that was gay. It is believed that one of Vincente Minnelli’s partners was sculptor Lester Gaba.
2. Ally Sheedy
Ally Sheedy, who was a member of the Brat Pack and starred in films like the Breakfast Club, Short Circuit and St. Elmo’s Fire, not only has a gay parent, but she also has a gay child. Sheedy’s mother and father divorced in 1971 when she was just nine years old. Today, her mother is openly gay and Sheedy’s daughter is also openly gay. Ally Sheedy’s mother, Charlotte Sheedy, worked as a literary agent in New York City, and she came out as gay in the early ‘80s. Ally Sheedy’s daughter, Rebecca Sheedy, came out as a lesbian in 2010.
1. Vanessa, Lynn and Corin Redgrave
English director and actor Sir Michael Redgrave, who was the father of Vanessa, Corin and Lynn Redgrave, was bisexual. He remained silent about the fact for most of his life. He first told his son Corin, who was helping Sir Michael write his autobiography. Corin urged his father to include this revelation in his book, but in the end he chose not to. Corin later spoke about his father’s bisexuality in length during the documentary film called Michael Redgrave: My Father, which was released in 1996. Bob Michell, who was seen as a surrogate uncle to the Redgrave children, was one of Sir Michael Redgrave’s lovers.