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Jamie Lee Curtis a “grateful student” after daughter comes out as transgender

"The conversation is ongoing. But I want to know: How can I do this better?"

By Hollie Geraghty

Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis said she is a "grateful student" to transgender daughter Ruby. (Photo: YouTube/Variety).

Jamie Lee Curtis has described herself as a “grateful student” to her transgender daughter Ruby, after speaking about her coming out experience publicly for the first time.

In an interview with People magazine, the ‘Halloween’ actress reflected on the lessons she learned in supporting her daughter through her journey.

“I’m a grateful student. I’m learning so much from Ruby. The conversation is ongoing. But I want to know: How can I do this better?” she told People.

“It’s speaking a new language,” she added. “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. I would like to try to avoid making big mistakes.”

Daughter Ruby, 25, who works as a video editor and YouTube gaming personality, reflected on the moment she came out to her parents Curtis and comedy director Christopher Guest.

“It was scary — just the sheer fact of telling them something about me they didn’t know,” Ruby said. “It was intimidating — but I wasn’t worried. They had been so accepting of me my entire life.”

She wasn’t able to do it as planned, so left the family house before texting her mother. “I called her immediately,” Curtis said. “Needless to say there were some tears involved.”

Curtis also reflected on what she has learned on the journey so far. “You slow your speech down a little. You become a little more mindful about what you’re saying. How you’re saying it. You still mess up, I’ve messed up today twice. We’re human.”

Speaking about when she first knew she was transgender, Ruby said: “When I was about 16, a friend of mine who is trans asked me what my gender was. I told them, ‘Well, I’m male’. After, I’d dwell on the thought. I knew I was — maybe not Ruby per se, but I knew I was different.”

She added that a negative experience in therapy prevented her from coming out earlier. “Then, seven years later, still being Tom at the time, I told the person who is now my fiancé that I am probably trans. And they said, ‘I love you for who you are.'” 

Curtis added that when Ruby mentioned her dead name she hadn’t “ever heard her say that name”. She added: “It so doesn’t fit anymore. 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.”

The full People interview can be read here.