Annette Bening Shares What She's Learned From Her Transgender Son Stephen

The actress is opening up about how her son has influenced and inspired her own activism and personal growth.

Annette Bening is a proud mom and a progressive activist who has long been inspired and influenced by her own son, Stephen. She recently spoke with The Hollywood Reporter and reflected on her public support of the LGBTQ+ community.

"I have a trans son, and he is such an inspiration to me. Certainly, what’s happening in the political world with trans people is so concerning and so dire," Bening shared in the profile interview. "It’s only going to get worse as we go into the election cycle."

As a member of the Screen Actors Guild -- who are currently on strike -- Bening did not speak on or promote any forthcoming film projects but rather discussed her role as the chair of the Entertainment Community Fund and her political passions.

In recent years, Bening said she's been more moved than ever to speak out and support the causes most important to her as the political divide in the country has widened and rhetoric has gotten increasingly vitriolic.

"For me, the real transition has happened as the right-wing in the country has become more and more mobilized on misinforming people about the LGBTQ+ community," Bening said. "They have been vilifying our community and creating problems that do not exist and creating and sowing hate and fear as a way of rallying their base."

Bening explained that she finds it "heartbreaking" to see the "coldness and lack of compassion that so many people have."

"They are trying to stir up all this fear in people about trans kids and parents, and they are trying to legislate that," Bening said. "This should not be scary to anybody else. This is a private, legitimate, complex, deep, spiritual, physical, psychological experience that must be respected and honored."

Reflecting on Stephen -- one of her four children that she shares with her husband of 30 years, Warren Beatty -- Bening told THR just how much she's learned from him, and how his own journey to find and live his truth shaped her journey of love and acceptance.

"To love your child so much is the greatest way to learn about what trans people are all about," Bening shared. "I get to say this because I'm the mother: My son is incredibly brilliant...   He's someone I do admire, and I've learned a lot from when he first came out."

According to Bening, she was "very ignorant about what that meant, to be a trans kid," when she first found out.

"I, like every other parent, want to protect my kids and make sure they’re OK, and I had a lot of learning to do," Bening said. "I didn’t always know what to do, and I didn’t always make the right choices because of my own ignorance, but we got through it."