Charlize Theron on the Importance of Getting Her Trans Daughter’s Pronouns Right

Actress Charlize Theron has opened up about parenting her two daughters, Jackson, 7, and August, 4. In April, the Bombshell actress revealed that Jackson told her that she identified as a girl when she was three years old, saying: “I am not a boy!”

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Charlize explained that her daughter is transgender, saying: “Yes, I thought she was a boy, too.” Charlize went on to confirm that she has “two beautiful daughters”, stating: “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,” she said, adding “My job as a parent is to celebrate them and to love them and to make sure that they have everything they need in order to be what they want to be. And I will do everything in my power for my kids to have that right and to be protected within that.”

Until this week, Charlize hadn’t discussed the topic in interviews, but she did share a cute snap of Jackson (for the first time in three years) in late August.

The South African actress said that authenticity and honesty play an important role in her parenting approach, especially when it comes to her kids embracing themselves.”I grew up in a country where people lived with half-truths and lies and whispers and nobody said anything outright, and I was raised very specifically not to be like that,” she said. “I was taught by my mum that you have to speak up; you have to be able to know that, when this life is over, you’ll have lived the truth you’re comfortable with, and that nothing negative can come from that.”

In a new interview with Pride Source magazine, Charlize said that while navigating Jackson’s gender identity publicly is “all pretty new” for her family, she’s going to let her daughter decide how to tell her story, “if she chooses” to at all. She explained: “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.” Noting the added complexity of living as a public figure, Charlize explained that it “really hurt [Jackson’s] feelings” that “people were still writing about her in the wrong pronouns”. She added: “and also I was still talking about her in the press using the wrong pronouns . . . I don’t want to be that mum”.

After clarifying and confirming Jackson’s gender identity as a transgender girl, Charlize stated that she has no plans to elaborate on her daughter’s story, because it’s not the actress’ story to tell. “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,” she finished.