They say you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. Yet in today’s fight for equal rights, many organizations and politicians have dedicated their entire careers to discouraging LGBTQ parents from doing exactly that: choosing to have a family. Just this week, a study released from Australia—the largest of its kind—found that the children of same-sex households fare slightly better than children of opposite sex households.
While every family has its share of trials and tribulations, it is no doubt that these celebrities owe some of their success to the parents who raised them. So behold, proof that the kids are more than just alright:
Jay-Z’s mom, Gloria Carter, has been in a long-term relationship with former New York City teacher, Dania Diaz. Ms. Carter started the Shawn Carter Foundation with her son in 2003 to help youth facing socioeconomic hardships gain access to higher education. Ms. Diaz was recently named executor of the foundation.
2. Ally Sheedy
If you had a chance to attend the 2013 SMYAL fall brunch, you also had a chance to see Ally Sheedy talk about her passion for the LGBTQ community. Not only is she the accepting parent of a queer identified child, but she also was raised by a lesbian mother who was a literary agent in New York.
3. Dr. Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins
While notably famous as a poet for, Arc of Love: An Anthology of Lesbian Love Poems, Dr. Elizabteth Lorde-Rollins is also a graduate of Harvard University and an assistant professor of pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai Medical School. She was raised in New York City by the exceptional poet and activist, Audre Lorde and her partner, Frances Clayton.
4. Jodi Foster
Understandably, celebrities like to keep their private lives private. It wasn’t until the 70th Golden Globes in 2013 that Jodi Foster came out, despite the fact that Foster was raised alongside three siblings by her mother, Brandy, and her mother’s girlfriend, who was known to the children as “Aunt Jo.”
5. 50 Cent
50 Cent was raised in Jamaica by a single mom who identified as bisexual. Unfortunately, when he was a teenager, his mother was found murdered. While there has been controversy over arguably homophobic language used by the rapper, he has defended himself saying, “I have nothing against people who choose an alternative lifsetyle; in fact I’ve publicly stated my mom loved women.”
6. Robert De Niro
It wasn’t until recently that Robert De Niro’s father’s sexuality was made public in a documentary recently produced by the actor. His father, Robert De Niro, Sr. was an abstract painter and artist who struggled with his sexuality but always maintained a close relationship with his son. Because of their connection, and his talent, De Niro wants to ensure his father “gets his due”. The documentary premiered on HBO, June 9, 2014.
7. Daniela Sea
Most famous for her role in The L Word, Daniela Sea was raised in Malibu, California by her parents. At a young age, they divorced because her father was gay. Described as a hippie intellectual, her dad obviously had a significant influence on her eccentric life—from joining a circus to living as a man in India and shaping her understanding of gender and sexuality.
8. Ana Matronic (Scissor Sisters)
Ana Matronic, lead singer of Scissor Sisters, has immersed herself in gay culture. Raised in Portland, Oregon, she had a close relationship with her gay father. Sadly, when she was fifteen, he died as a result of the AIDS virus. Since, she has devoted much of her time, including singing in Drag shows prior to the success of her band, as a way to offer homage to her dad.
9. Jena Malone
If you loved the movie, Saved, or more recently, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, then you undoubtedly love Jena Malone. Until age 10, Malone was raised by her mother and her mother’s girlfriend in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Although legally emancipated since 2000, it is because of her mother’s passion for theater that Malone began acting.
10. Rebecca Walker
Co-founder of Third Wave, a feminist organization and author of “To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism”, Rebecca Walker is a force of her own. Her mother, Alice Walker, is one of the most famous bisexual authors of the twentieth century.