Jamie Lee Curtis says the ‘hardest thing’ about adjusting to her daughter coming out as transgender was not using her ‘dead name’ – and admits she still ‘slips up’ but is a ‘grateful student’
- Curtis, 62, revealed this summer that her daughter, who formerly went by Thomas, is trans and now goes by Ruby
- In a new interview, Ruby admitted she was ‘scared’ to come out and Curtis said there were ‘tears involved’
- Curtis said she know she is going to ‘blow it’ and ‘make mistakes’ adjusting to this ‘new language,’ though Ruby said she is never ‘mad’ when her mom slips
- She said it’s hard to stop using a name she’s ‘been saying their whole life’ and she ‘messes up’ because she’s ‘human’
- Curtis also insisted that she is not ‘proselytizing’ by sharing her family’s story or ‘trying to force-feed something to people’
Jamie Lee Curtis says the ‘hardest thing’ about adjusting to her daughter Ruby coming out as transgender has been not using her new name — and not the one she’d been calling her all her life.
The 62-year-old actress revealed this summer that her daughter, who was previously known as Thomas, had told her and her husband, Christopher Guest, that she is a trans woman and now goes by Ruby.
Speaking to People, she now says there were ‘tears involved’ when Ruby came out, but she is ‘a grateful student’ when it comes to supporting her daughter.
Curtis admitted that she does ‘slip up’ with Ruby’s pronouns occasionally, though Ruby said she is never ‘mad’ when that happens, because she knows her mom is doing the best she can.
‘It’s speaking a new language,’ she said. ‘It’s learning new terminology and words. I am new at it. I am not someone who is pretending to know much about it. And I’m going to blow it, I’m going to make mistakes. I would like to try to avoid making big mistakes.’
Jamie Lee Curtis says the ‘hardest thing’ about adjusting to her daughter Ruby coming out as transgender has been not using her new name, not the one she’d been calling her all her life
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Ruby, a video editor for a gaming personality on YouTube, said that she knew she was different when she was about 16, but due to a negative experience in therapy, she didn’t come out ‘when I probably should have.’
It wasn’t until a few years ago, while she was still going by Tom and dating her now-fiancé, that she first admitted she might be trans.
Her fiancé said: ‘I love you for who you are.’
So last summer, she worked up the nerve to tell her parents, admitting it was ‘scary’ and ‘intimidating’ even though she wasn’t worried they wouldn’t accept her. She had already used the word ‘bi’ to describe herself, and they’d always been supportive.
When she broke the news, Curtis said there were ‘tears involved.’ But while she’d never before had an ‘inkling’ that Ruby was trans, looking back, she could see some signs — like how Ruby would use a female avatar while gaming.
The hardest adjustment, she said, has been not using Ruby’s ‘dead name.’ But she admitted that it ‘so doesn’t fit anymore.’
‘That was, of course, the hardest thing. Just the regularity of the word,’ she said.
‘The name that you’d given a child. That you’ve been saying their whole life. And so, of course, at first that was the challenge. Then the pronoun. My husband and I still slip occasionally.
‘You slow your speech down a little. You become a little more mindful about what you’re saying. How you’re saying it. You still mess up, I’ve messed up today twice. We’re human,’ she said.
Ruby doesn’t get ‘mad’ when her parents slip up, acknowledging that her mother had ‘done the most you can, and that’s all I want.’
Curtis also insisted that she is not ‘proselytizing’ by sharing her family’s story or ‘trying to force-feed something to people.’
‘I’m simply saying, “This is our family’s experience.” I am here to support Ruby. That is my job,’ she said.
Curtis said she know she is going to ‘blow it’ and ‘make mistakes’ adjusting to this ‘new language,’ though Ruby said she is never ‘mad’ when her mom slips (Curtis pictured carrying Ruby as a baby in 1996)
Ruby admitted she was ‘scared’ to come out and Curtis said there were ‘tears involved’ (pictured at the ‘One Piece Film: Gold’ premiere on January 5, 2017)
Curtis, who also shares a 34-year-old daughter named Annie with her husband, first spoke about Ruby’s coming out in an interview with AARP magazine in July.
Curtis said that she and her husband ‘have watched in wonder and pride as our son’ — who was previously known as Thomas — ‘became our daughter Ruby.’
In the interview, which was conducted with Ruby’s permission, Curtis explained that she has tossed out the ‘old idea’ that gender is fixed and is instead leaning into the idea that life is a ‘constant metamorphosis.’
The actress has previously showed support for trans people going back several years, and in 2017 shared a Huffington Post article on Twitter: ‘Dear Trans Kids. The letter we all wish we had written. (from a trans teacher).’
Last year, she also signed on to direct and star in a TV movie about GLAAD Media Institute alum Sara Cunningham. Cunningham is the founder of Free Mom Hugs, which celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community. She also spoke excitedly about Ruby’s upcoming nuptials.
Curtis’ children are private — and have only attended a handful of events with their mom — but Ruby gave her mom the OK to share two pieces of personal information with AARP, the other being her impending nuptials.
Curtis also insisted that she is not ‘proselytizing’ by sharing her family’s story or ‘trying to force-feed something to people’ (pictured in 2016)
‘She and her fiancé will get married next year at a wedding that I will officiate,’ the Halloween star said.
Curtis didn’t say whether Ruby is marrying man or woman, though in 2019 Ruby shared a photo with a girlfriend.
Gender and sexuality are two different and unrelated things, and Curtis has previously spoken out on the latter being a private matter.
‘I don’t think it’s anybody’s business what people’s sexuality is, to be perfectly honest,’ she told Pride Source in 2019, replying to a question about her own sexuality and her advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community.
Though she thinks sexuality is ‘nobody’s business, it doesn’t matter,’ she makes an exception if ‘you legislate anti-gay legislation but are gay. I fully accept outing those people for the hypocrisy.’
Curtis, who is the daughter of screen stars Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, said she grew up comfortable around gay people thanks to her Hollywood parents.
Curtis also revealed that Ruby (left) will marry her fiancé next year. Curtis didn’t share any details of Ruby’s spouse-to-be, though Ruby did share a picture with a girlfriend in 2019 (right)
‘[My mother’s] make-up artist was gay, the playwright that she did a play with was a great friend of our family who was gay,’ she explained.
But, she added: ‘You don’t have to have your own experience in order to feel compassion and the need for justice and equality.
‘In the LGBTQ world, certainly I have friends and family, but I don’t have to have the direct experience in order to feel the compassion that I truly feel for acceptance and equality in all areas.’
Curtis and Guest struggled with infertility and adopted their eldest, Annie, through an agency in 1986. Nine years later, they adopted Ruby.
In 1996, Curtis wrote a book, Tell Me Again About The Night I Was Born, to stress the importance of sharing birth stories with adopted children.
She also told AARP that she is hopeful of one day being a grandmother. When asked if she has grandchildren yet, she said: ‘Not yet, but I do hope to.’
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