Sally Field Calls Being A Part of Her Gay Son’s Journey ‘One of the Great Privileges of My Life’

In an open letter for the Human Rights Campaign, Oscar-winning actress and vocal LGBT ally Sally Field shared her experience raising a gay son, calling it “one of the great privileges of my life.”

Sally field“The three things I’m most proud of in my life are my sons, Peter, Eli and Sam. They are kind, loving and productive people. Each with their own list of talents and accomplishments. Sam is my youngest son, by 18 years, and he’s gay. To that, I say: So what?

“Growing up, Sam wanted desperately to just be like his older brothers – athletic, rambunctious and even a little bit macho. He wanted to beat Eli at tennis, trounce Peter at computer football and learn everything about every basketball player on the court. But Sam was different. And his journey to allow himself to be what nature intended him to be was not an easy one.

“When I saw him struggling, I wanted to jump in. But his older brothers held me back. They told me I couldn’t travel that road for Sam. It was his to travel, not mine. I had to wait for him to own himself in his own time.

“I could make it easier only by standing visibly to the side, clearly loving him, always being there and always letting him know. Finally, at 20, long after he beat his brothers at tennis and computer games and knew as much as anyone about basketball, Sam was able to stand up proudly and say, ‘I am a gay man’.

Field’s letter is part of a new fundraising campaign by the HRC to help prevent the introduction of laws similar to those brought up in Arizona and Kansas that would allow religious-based discrimination against gays.

“There are people out there – organizations and politicians, strangers who have never even met Sam – who would rather devote themselves to denying his happiness.

“Why would anyone want to prevent my son—or anyone’s son or daughter—from having basic legal safeguards like family medical leave, Social Security survivors benefits, or health insurance? It doesn’t make any sense—but it won’t change until people speak out. 


  1. Sergio says

    Sally Field is awesome. All I know her from is the Oscar saying, though – not many people my age know what else she has done. Any movie recommendations?

  2. Ryan says

    I think I’ll go see Spider Man 2 a second time for this :)

    On that note, it’s hard to imagine a more LGBT friendly cast than Sally Field, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.

  3. SFshawn says

    Amazing human.
    This is an example of an evolved human being. Much of America and ALL of the humans in Africa,Russia,China and the Middle East could learn much from her example. Time for the hateful bigots evolve into real human beings!

  4. Gregory In Seattle says

    Regarding recommendations, she was in the TV series Brothers and Sisters, and had a recurring role on ER starting in season 7. She won a best supporting actress Oscar for playing the president’s wife in Lincoln.

  5. Max says

    There is probably more ignorance about the topic of sexual orientation than any other subject in America. And the media has done precious little to educate the heterosexual masses to help alleviate the ignorance. Rather, they often feed into the ignorance and stereotypes.

  6. Adam L says

    If I remember right, Sam was an intern or news poster for this very website recently. He seems to have a relatively good head on his shoulders. Ostensibly the polar opposite of Stephanie Seymour’s vapid, socialite, potential flotsam offspring.

  7. Andrew says

    Norma Rae, Sybil, Places in the Heart, Not Without My Daughter, Forest Gump, Lincoln, Soapdish, Mrs. Doubtfire, Brothers & Sisters,and The Flying Nun. Great Mom, Great Ally, Great Actress. Thank you.

  8. johnny says

    OH, I totally forgot about the Flying Nun, used to watch that as a kid and loved it.

    And I meant Norma Rae, not Norma Jean. But, as usual, there’s no “Edit” button on TR.

  9. B. Wilson says

    The “letter” is originally from a speech Sally gave while accepting an HRC award last year (?). The speech is available on youtube and includes some cursing that probably wasn’t included in the letter.

  10. says

    I wouldn’t trade my mom for anything, but if I could have a second mom, Sally would be top of the list. I’ve loved that lady since I was old enough to watch TV. She is insanely smart, talented, loving, and still cute as a button! (In my eyes she hasn’t aged significantly since Gidget. For reals.)

  11. CB says

    I like Sally, always have. Her bubbly nature was infective. Miss Sam’s daily retrospect here on Towleroad. I could always catch up on a days worth of posts.

  12. Kevin says

    Sally Field is indeed a national treasure – from wonderfully goofy roles – Yes, I was a *first run* Flying Nun fan – to all of her later work (she did not get typecast as the girl next door or the one act actress).

    I’ve always admired her, and her work, and now, how she raised her sons. Huzzah, Sally, Kudos, and big hugs from O’ahu!

  13. dorita72 says

    Sergio I had to comment on your request for movies. There is a movie I just love, didn’t get much press I don’t think. Punchline with Tom Hanks. It is a great movie! And Steel Magnolias is one of my all time favs. Enjoy!!! :)

  14. jamal49 says

    Money quote: “And his journey to allow himself to be what nature intended him to be was not an easy one.”

    And, that ladies and gentlemen, sums it up beautifully. We are what Nature intends us to be. It is immutable, unchangeable, natural.

    Somebody send the memo to all of the evangelical, fundamentalist, christian-muslim-jewish-hindu-etc. scum who cannot quite seem to get this into their thick, bigoted heads.

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