Sally Field has been an ardent advocate of LGBT rights, even winning the Human Rights Campaign’s 2012 Ally for Equality Award, an honor presented to her by her gay son, Sam.
During an EW Radio town hall on SiriusXM this week, PEOPLE and EW editorial director Jess Cagle asked Field for any advice she would give to parents who expected their child was about to come out to them.
“First of all, don’t be frightened. And don’t put your own prejudices or fears about sexuality – your own fears about sexuality – on your children. Sexuality is a glorious part of existence.
Field said it was very difficult for her son to become accustomed to his identity as a gay man when he came out. Field said she did her best to encourage Sam to discover his true self: “I welcomed him to welcome himself and find that part of his life.”
“What horrifies me is that there are parents who so disapprove, who are so brainwashed to think that this is something out of the Bible or ungodly or against nature. It’s not against nature if nature has actually done this. Sam was always Sam, this wonderful human that he is, from the time he was born. … Some people actually shut their children out of the house when they’re young, they’re teenagers – they’re having a hard enough time to be teenagers and own any part of sexuality. I’m still trying to figure it out!”