Busy Philipps shared in December that her child Birdie, 12, came out as gay when they were 10

By Georgia Slater
May 12, 2021 12:55 PM
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Busy Philipps and Birdie
Busy Philipps and Birdie Silverstein
| Credit: Busy Philipps/Instagram

Busy Philipps is opening up about how she continues to support her child Birdie Leigh after they came out as gay.

In a wide-ranging cover story for Health's June issue, the actress, 45, discusses her experience parenting a nonbinary child and how she teaches both Birdie and daughter Cricket Pearl, 7, about important values in life.

Philipps, who shares her kids with her husband, screenwriter Marc Silverstein, revealed in a December episode of her Busy Philipps Is Doing Her Best podcast that Birdie came out as gay when they were 10. Philipps also shared that Birdie prefers they/them pronouns.

Speaking about the episode and the discussion of pronouns on her show, Philipps says that her "mom is older and wants to understand the pronoun conversation more."

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Busy Philipps Health cover
Credit: PHOTOGRAPHED BY GRACE RIVERA

"I said to my mother, Here's the deal: You don't have to understand it,' " Philipps recalls. "That's how I feel about all human rights — you don't have to understand it. You can choose to believe what you want, but you don't get to have jurisdiction over anyone else's body or belief system."

When it comes to teaching her children about taking care of themselves and understanding what is and isn't important, Philipps says she thinks "the secret with kids is leading by example."

"I make a concerted effort to be aware of how I talk about diet and exercise around them — like, what my intention and goals are with those things. I'm also lucky that I have a partner in Marc, who does cycling and works out for his own mental health," she shares.

"We talk about therapy in our house and never shy away from hard conversations," she continues. "I've always been open — but not in that 'I'm not a regular mom; I'm a cool mom' way."

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The star says she doesn't want to be her kids' "best friend" and instead wants them to "know by watching me what my values are and the things that are important."

"You can tell your kids to stand up for what's right until you're blue in the face. If they don't see you doing it, they never will," she adds.

When speaking about Birdie's pronouns on her podcast in December, Philipps said she was "trying my best" to use the correct pronouns despite "f-- up sometimes."

"I said, 'You know, Bird, I've been doing a bad job with the pronouns,' " Philipps recalled. "Because Birdie said that they would like their pronouns to be they/them, and I haven't been doing it, and I said because I have this public persona and I want Birdie to be in control of their own narrative and not have to answer to anybody outside of our friends and family if they don't want to."

Philipps continued, "Bird was like, 'I don't give a f—. You can talk about how I'm gay and out; you can talk about my pronouns. That would be cool with me. That's great.' So I said, 'Okay, I can talk about it on the podcast.' "