Hollywood actress Sally Field made an impassioned speech about her gay son as she accepted the Human Rights Campaign's Ally for Equality Award on Saturday (6 October).
During the event in Washington DC, the Steel Magnolias star spoke of her son Sam's coming out 'journey', which he did aged 20, insisting that nature made him gay and it wasn't a choice.
'As his mother, I consider it one of the great privileges of my life to be allowed to be part of it,' Field told the audience.
'When I saw him struggling, I wanted to jump in and define it for him, but his brothers held me back, fiercely insisting I try not to travel that road for him. 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 and always, always there, even if it was just on the phone, at all times of the day or night.
'He had to see that all the things he really wanted in life were still possible, whether he was gay or straight. His dreams of the future were not limited. To have the career he always wanted, whatever that turns out to be, to find a lasting and loving partner and to build a family of his own.'
Field went on to blast parents who refuse to accept children struggling with their sexuality.
'There comes a time when parents must listen and learn from these people they brought into the world - their children,' she said.
'And these children have something important to teach their parents. I urge them to listen.'
The actress praised the audience for fighting for LGBT rights.
She said: 'You all have fought for him (Sam) as surely as you were one of his parents. You've changed and are changing the lives of little boys and girls who realized somewhere along the way they're just different from their other brothers and sisters. And so the fuck what.'
Watch Sally Field's full speech below: