Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning
The Halloween actress and her daughter Ruby sat down to discuss Ruby's recent transition and their growth as a family
“I am a grateful student,” Jamie Lee Curtis says of her experience learning about her daughter Ruby’s transition. “It’s speaking a new language, it’s learning new terminology and words. I am new at it. I am not someone who is pretending to know much about it. And I’m going to blow it, I’m going to make mistakes.”
In a recent interview with her daughter for People, the actress is paving the way on how to approach a child’s transition with grace, humility and a frankness about her own humanity. And for her part, Ruby already knew her parents to be open-hearted people when the time came last year to share her story with them. While Ruby admits she was scared to tell her parents that she was trans, she also said that she wasn’t worried. “They had been so accepting of me my entire life,” she explains, but she knew the change would be hard on them all the same.
Jamie Lee, for her part, says that the most difficult part was letting go of her daughter’s dead name. “That was, of course, the hardest thing. Just the regularity of the word. The name that you’d given a child. That you’ve been saying their whole life. And so, of course, at first that was the challenge. Then the pronoun. My husband and I still slip occasionally.”
But ultimately she proceeds through it by constantly asking herself and Ruby how she can do better, and Ruby admitting that “You’ve done the most you can, and that’s all I want.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Jamie Lee has been open about Ruby’s experience. Despite being a private person with famous parents, they opted to go public with their family experience and growth in the hopes of helping others. With “pride and delight”, the actress announced in August that her second child with husband Christopher Guest has transitioned. She told AARP Magazine how she and her husband, “have watched in wonder and pride as our son became our daughter Ruby.”
She described many periods of transition in her own life, particularly as she reached her fifties and raised her children into adulthood. Describing this point in her life as one of “shedding,” Curtis told the magazine that in addition to other things she’s letting go of, like “vampire” friendships, she’s ditched one of the biggest and oldest ideas: that gender is fixed.
That’s when she shared that her daughter Ruby, a 25-year-old computer gaming editor, had transitioned and that she was planning to officiate her wedding.
Her daughter coming out as trans and proudly “living her truth” helped challenge what Curtis described were “old ideas” about gender and realise that life is in no way fixed – it is in “constant metamorphosis,” she said.
To handle what is such an emotive time for all is never easy, but Curtis throughout seems thrilled at her daughter Ruby’s newfound happiness – and immensely proud as her parent to be giving her the full support she needs.
“She and her fiance will get married next year at a wedding that I will officiate,” Curtis said.
Ruby is one of two children adopted by Curtis and Guest. The pair have another daughter, 34-year-old Annie, a dance instructor.