Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden got ‘hate mail’ because all her kids are queer

Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden has spoken about the hate that has been aimed at her because her three children are LGBTQ+.

Harden, who is best known for roles in The First Wives Club and the Fifty Shades film series, told People she received hate mail following her appearance on the star-studded Drag Isn’t Dangerous telethon last May, where she revealed that “all my children are queer”.

She has three children with ex-husband Thaddaeus Scheel: Eulala, 25, who is non-binary, and 19-year-old twins Julitta and Hudson, who are fluid and gay respectively.

“I got so much hate mail and so much [about] how I’m grooming my kids and all this, that and the other,” she said of the reaction to her children being LGBTQ+. “The response from each one of [my kids] was: ‘Work it, mom. Work it, mom’. 

“You’re doing something right if that’s happening.’” 

Harden, who won an Oscar in 2001 for her role in Pollock, added that she will always be supportive of queer people and that the experiences she has had from raising her kids is what drives her as an LGBTQ+ activist. She admits to having learnt so much about the community from them, particularly about gender non-conformity. 

Marcia Gay Harden. (Kevin Winter/Getty)

Her first boyfriend, in high school, was gay and was “too afraid to come out until later”, she said. 

“I was already learning a lot about the gay community, but at the time, we spoke more about gay community rather than queer community. Now the kids talk a lot about the queer community, and it’s much more expansive. It’s much more gender non-conforming. It’s much more embracing, actually.… I’m learning on a daily basis.

“I’ve learnt to accept each of them for the beauty they are and dispel expectation. I’ve learnt that, at the end of the day, it’s their life. I want them to be happy in it.” 

During the interview the star, who is currently appearing in comedy-drama So Help Me Todd, and won a Tony in 2009, continued: “You would have to ask them how I am as a parent. Each one will say something different. In the day, they would’ve said ‘strict’. They would all say ‘hands-on’, and would not be wrong. 

“I want to be involved in their life. I’m not a helicopter mom… never one of those mothers who was like: ‘Shouldn’t they get a participation award because they were in the soccer game?’ I don’t like that at all, but I want the best for them.”

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