Sally Field Pens Open Letter About Gay Son: “Raising Him Was A Great Privilege”

MV5BMjAyNTY0Mzc2OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzYwMDYxOQ@@._V1_SX640_SY720_Sally Field, Oscar-winning actress and proud mother of a gay son, is outraged by the uptick in “License to Discriminate” bills across the country recently.

As a proud supporter of the efforts of the Human Rights Campaign, the 67-year-old actress has penned an open letter about her gay son to encourage donations to the HRC to “fight back against these efforts and continue to press forward for non-discrimination initiatives.”

In the letter, Field talks about the struggles her 26-year-old gay son Samuel faced while growing up, and how being a part of that journey has been “one of the great privileges of [her] life.”

Her letter in full:

The three things I’m most proud of in my life are my sons, Peter, Eli and Sam. They are kind, loving and productive people. Each with their own list of talents and accomplishments. Sam is my youngest son, by 18 years, and he’s gay. To that, I say: So what? Growing up, Sam wanted desperately to just be like his older brothers – athletic, rambunctious and even a little bit macho. He wanted to beat Eli at tennis, trounce Peter at computer football and learn everything about every basketball player on the court. But Sam was different. And his journey to allow himself to be what nature intended him to be was not an easy one. When I saw him struggling, I wanted to jump in. But his older brothers held me back. They told me I couldn’t travel that road for Sam. It was his to travel, not mine. I had to wait for him to own himself in his own time. I could make it easier only by standing visibly to the side, clearly loving him, always being there and always letting him know.

Finally, at 20, long after he beat his brothers at tennis and computer games and knew as much as anyone about basketball, Sam was able to stand up proudly and say, “I am a gay man.”
One of the great privileges of my life to have been allowed to be a part of Sam’s journey.

There are people out there – organizations and politicians, strangers who have never even met Sam – who would rather devote themselves to denying his happiness.

Why would anyone want to prevent my son—or anyone’s son or daughter—from having basic legal safeguards like family medical leave, Social Security survivors benefits, or health insurance? It doesn’t make any sense—but it won’t change until people speak out. I’m proud to stand with HRC to add my voice. Will you join me?

Whether you are LGBT yourself, a parent or grandparent of an LGBT child, or just a great person with strong convictions about what’s fair and right, I hope I’ve convinced you to stand with HRC for equality. You’ll be glad you did!’

In 2012, Field brought Samuel as her date to the Human Rights Campaign Dinner. He presented her with the annual Ally for Equality Award and, in turn, she praised him in her speech. “Nature made Sam,” she said. “It wasn’t a choice. He was always, always Sam. Glorious, smart, funny, sweet Sam.”

Watch the speech below:

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  • jckfmsincty

    Why can’t all parents be like her?

  • TerrenM

    @jckfmsincty: Luckily, I can say, mine is!

  • SteveDenver

    Our library just received a ton of vintage TV series on DVD. I was watching GIDGET and THE FLYING NUN, marveling at how wonderfully naive both series were. Field is a sparkplug in both series, so young, fresh faced and energetic.

    I didn’t know she has a gay son and it’s wonderful to read her letter. She’s a great mom and he looks happy and beautifully turned out. Happy lives to both of them.

    When one finds out that teen idols have become right-wing homophobes — Kirk Cameron, Scott Baio — it’s disheartening. Then we learn about Belinda Carlisle and Sally Field and their gay sons, and how much mama loves her boy, and the world is right again.

  • irisinnc

    I’m confused. It seems the letter is not posted accurately. In the middle of what is supposed to be Sally Field’s original letter, it says, “Field urged people to get behind the Human Rights Campaign which is currently trying to raise $150,000 by the end of the month …”
    I also have to wonder WHEN did she pen the note? Is it timely as this IS the end of the month. Or is the fund-raising over? Her talk at the HRC rally was a couple of years ago which also dates the article.
    Add to this the bouncing chronology and the article seems like it’s trying to regenerate old news and discredits the site. Can someone clarify?

  • Scott Gatz

    @irisinnc: We updated the formatting so you can see the quote correctly. This is happening right now (March 2014). HRC is in the middle of their big push now.

  • stanhope

    She’s the BEST!!! Sam is lucky to have her as his Mom.

  • Billy Budd

    Dont forget Mia Farrow. She had a gay son too.

  • tricky ricky

    @jckfmsincty: because most aren’t ready to have an affair with burt reynolds

  • Jeremie

    What a beautiful, empowered woman who knows herself. Sexy as hell.

  • UWSguy

    We like her. We really, really like her.

  • charleneb63

    my niece came out to her Dad a couple of years ago, now let me say, he was one that hated gays, blacks, anything he could, but I am proud to say, the only thing he asked her was “Are you happy?”, “That’s all I ever wanted for you, and if you’re happy, I’m happy for you.” not only was I a proud Auntie that day, but a proud big sister. Childern are not given to us to love until they go, what some may say, againtest the grain, there is no contract saying, I’ll love you until….the love for your childern is a strong one, some may not agree with “lifestyle” as they call it, but have accepted her for who she is and it made my heart swell with so much love and pride for them.. On the sad side of it, when her girlfriend told her parents they beat her and sent her to counciling, then told her if she didn’t stop it, they would cut off all financial support, she was a collage student, we haven’t seen Lindsey since then, but we pray for her nightly.

  • Desert Boy

    Sally Field is a tremendous actor and a great woman. I adore her.

  • Geoff B

    @TerrenM: Yeah, me too. My Mom still scolds me on Facebook for drinking and swearing (I’m 40), but she just posted a meme that said “having a gay child doesn’t mean you failed as a parent, rejecting your child for being gay means you failed as a parent”. Love my Mom and Sally too.

  • gayhayiayjay

    AM I the only one having a problem seeing Sybil as a mother?

    I was born in 1967. Her first was 1969. That’s kinda ….

    Then she was the sexy free spirit opposite Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit. Ah, but she played Celeste Talbert in Soapdish in 1991. She did have a 20 something child then, with sexy Kevin Kline, so…

    I don’t know. She’s just AWESOME !!! (Sam is pretty sexy, too. Sh-h-h-h, just sayin’)

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