Annette Bening and Warren Beatty raised four children together. One of their children, whom they thought was a daughter, Kathlyn Beatty, later came out as transgender, and below, we get to know more about him.
Filmmaker Warren Beatty and his wife actress Annette Bening are proud parents of four children – sons Stephen and Benjamin, and daughters Isabel and Ella. Initially, the couple thought they had only one son.
However, their daughter Kathlyn Beatty later came out as a transgender man at 14 and named himself Stephen Ira Beatty. The star's son opened up about who he was back in 2012.
Stephen Beatty posing for an image on February 4, 2020, and him as a child in a picture shared on May 8, 2020. An insert of Stephen's parents Anette Bening and Warren Beatty during a reception on June 4, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California | Photos: Instagram/supermattachine & Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
At the time, Stephen recorded a video for WeHappyTrans.com, sharing some details about his transition from being a woman to a man. The young man was 20 years old when he discussed his journey.
He described himself as a trans man, queer, homosexual, a writer, nerd fighter, and an artist. Warren's son revealed that he'd started transitioning when he was just a teenager.
Warren Beatty and Annette Bening with their children Kathlyn, Benjamin, and Isabel at "Spring Awakening" on April 6, 2007 | Photo: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Luckily, Stephen had the support of his friends, but he didn't mention how his parents felt. He also confessed that he was under hormonal therapy and liked to present as a "fem."
The star's son explained how he liked wearing rings, necklaces, and ribbons. He also shared his life goals revealing how he wanted to teach English and write fiction and poetry.
SHUTTING CHAZ BONO DOWN
In 2011, Stephen made headlines when he spoke against another transgender person – Chaz Bono, Cher's son. Warren's son had a problem with how Bono chronicled his female to male transition in the media.
Cher's son claimed to be trans was "a birth defect, like a cleft palate," and that "being male and having breasts" was the worst thing he could imagine. Stephen chastised him on his bog, saying Bono was a misogynist who didn't represent trans people.
STEPHEN ON LEELAH ALCORN'S DEATH
A few years later, Stephen showed off his transgender advocacy once again when he addressed the 2015 death of Leelah Alcorn. The 17-year-old was a male-to-female transgender person from Ohio.
She made the news when her parents took her out of school shortly after they learned that she identified as a girl. Her parent's actions sadly led to her death by suicide from lack of acceptance.
Stephen spoke up about the matter via Twitter, where he shared his thoughts on Alcorn's death. He chastised her parents and others like them, noting how they shouldn't have children at all if they weren't willing to deal with transgender offspring.
WARREN SUPPORTS SON
In 2016, Warren sat down for an interview with Vanity Fair, where he spoke about his oldest child, Stephen. The actor confessed that his son was an inspiration to him, adding:
"He’s a revolutionary, a genius, and my hero, as are all my children."
BENING'S THOUGHTS ON STEPHEN
In AARP The Magazine's December 2019/January 2020 issue, Stephen's mother addressed his gender identity. Bening said her son had managed to do something quite challenging with great intelligence and style.
The Oscar Award-winning actress described him as thoughtful and articulate. She also confessed that she was very proud of him and addressed her past beliefs that she had to let go of.
Honoree Warren Beatty poses with wife Annette Bening and children Isabel, Ella, Benjamin, and Kathlyn/Stephen at the 27th Annual Kennedy Center Honors on December 4, 2004, in Washington, DC. | Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images
The "American Beauty" actress admitted that she used to hold the belief that she could save her children from suffering. However, she eventually learned that they had to go through their own issues to grow up.
The star also shared that all four children were doing well and were their own individual people. Stephen had become so accomplished that he'd given his mother a copy of his published novel "Little Fish."
In the book, Stephen wrote a story about a young transgender woman who found out that her grandfather, a devout Mennonite, could've been transgender too.
ANNETTE'S WORLD VIEW EXPANSION
In an interview with The Telegraph that having a transgender son had expanded her worldview. She said her casting choices had changed and noted how sometimes, people saw trans people as individuals putting on a performance.
For that very reason, those people tend to believe that it is okay for cisgender people to take on trans roles. However, seeing trans people as putting on an act was a mistake and a misunderstanding.
In December 2020, the actress spoke to The Daily Beast about her children, confessing how they were the ones educating her and Warren. The four-time Oscar Award-nominated actress also discussed what it was like to raise a trans son.
Annette Bening and Warren Beatty at the 73rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2019, in New York City | Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Bening said she adored her grown-up children, and they'd gone past the point where she was their teacher. As her teacher, she said Stephen had taught her what it meant to be human.
He also taught "The Kids Are All Right" actress that one was responsible for their "own notions of self" and development. The actress is an open and vocal LGBTIQ+ and human rights advocate.
STEPHEN DEFENDS FATHER
Bening and Warren have been together for more than 30 years and are clearly great supporters of their children. However, they weren't always the ones speaking up for the children because sometimes tables were turned.
Warren [Beatty] and [Faye] Dunaway received a lot of criticism on social media leading Stephen to defend his father.
Warren made a mix-up at the 2017 Oscar Awards Ceremony while presenting the best picture Oscar at the Academy Awards. The incident occurred while he was announcing the final award with Faye Dunaway.
Warren appeared to pause after opening the envelope and then exchanged a look with Dunaway. The actress promptly took the card from him and announced "La La Land" as the winner.
However, during their victory speech, one of the musical's producers, Jordan Horowitz, realized the mistake when reading the announcement card. He noted how the award actually belonged to "Moonlight."
The filmmaker couldn't be blamed, though, because "La La Land" had already won six trophies during that gala night! Warren and Dunaway received a lot of criticism on social media leading Stephen to defend his father.
In a few tweets, the young man said he was proud of how gracefully his father handled the matter and noted how the program was live, that it was a mix-up, and that mistakes happened.