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.
11 Robert De Niro
10 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.
9 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.
8 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.
7 Amy Adams
6 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.
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
3 Liza Minnelli
2 Ally Sheedy
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.