By Emma Dooney
Jamie Lee Curtis has opened up about being the parent of a transgender child, sharing both the struggles and lessons that have shaped the experience.
The Halloween actor revealed that she’s been learning “new terminology” on gender identity, in support of her daughter Ruby’s coming out as a woman. Jamie Lee had expressed pride that her youngest child was transgender earlier this year, but didn’t elaborate on the details.
Fast forward a few months, and she’s now ready to provide more insight into the life-changing journey. Speaking alongside Ruby to People magazine, Jamie Lee explained how she and her husband, Christopher Guest, are educating themselves on the issue one day at a time.
"It's speaking a new language," she said. "It's learning new terminology and words. I am new at it.”
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Ruby, 25, came out to her parents as a trans woman last year but had been questioning her gender identity since the age of 16. She's now helping her mother, father, and older sister, Annie, to integrate the appropriate terminology on the subject into their daily vocabulary.
Jamie Lee, 62, has found the experience undeniably challenging but is determined to support her daughter in whatever way she can. While she admits that "tears were involved" in reaction to Ruby's coming-out announcement, she's now embraced it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
"I am not someone who is pretending to know much about it," she said. "And I'm going to blow it, I'm going to make mistakes. I would like to try to avoid making big mistakes."
The Hollywood actor added that she's now trying to be cognizant of her words, having already made a few mistakes over pronouns.
With Ruby being born physically male, Jamie and her husband have struggled to reframe their perception of her as their son. "My husband I still slip occasionally," she admitted.
The name change was another challenge for Jamie Lee and Christopher. Ruby had been called Tom until her earlier twenties, so it wasn't easy to start addressing her by a different moniker overnight.
"That was, of course, the hardest thing," she said. "Just the regularity of the word. The name that you'd given a child. That you've been saying their whole life."
Despite these learning curves, Jamie is determined to stand in solidarity with her daughter as she navigates this emotional transition.
"I'm not proselytizing, and I'm not trying to force-feed something to people. I'm simply saying, 'This is our family's experience.' I am here to support Ruby," she said.
Ruby, who works as video games editor, admitted that it was "scary" and "intimidating" to come out to her parents, but knew that it would be okay in the end.
"I wasn't worried," she said. "They had been so accepting of me my entire life."
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