In a candid new interview, published on Wednesday, Dec. 18, Charlize Theron explained how misgendering her daughter Jackson inspired her to speak publicly about her eldest child's gender. The actor adopted Jackson as a baby from her native Africa in 2012, and made headlines back in April 2019 when she revealed that her seven-year-old had expressed her gender identity was female.
In an interview with Pride Source, Theron explained that she spoke out about Jackson's identity because it hurt her daughter's feelings when people would misgender her. "I think it became harder for us the older she got, that people were still writing about her in the wrong pronouns," she said. Even Theron admitted that she has slipped up without intending to. "Also I was still talking about her in the press using the wrong pronoun. It really hurt her feelings. I don’t want to be that mom, and that was really why I said what I said a while back."
Theron was referring to the controversial statement that she made to the Daily Mail back in April. The actor has previously been scrutinized for letting Jackson wear skirts and dresses in public, as the public had thought she was a boy, causing speculation about how she was raising her. "Yes, I thought she was a boy, too," she said during the interview. "Until she looked at me when she was three years old and said: 'I am not a boy!'"
Theron is typically very protective of Jackson and her four-year-old, August, only posting photos of them on social media very rarely. But that doesn't make her any less proud of them. "I have two beautiful daughters who, just like any parent, I want to protect and I want to see thrive," she told Daily Mail. "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."
And despite being open about her daughter's gender identity, the actor still maintains that Jackson's story is only hers to tell. "My daughter’s story is really her story, and one day, if she chooses, she’ll tell her story," she said. "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." Hopefully, the world will continue to listen and recognize the correct pronouns for every person.