Sally Field Pens Heartfelt Letter About Gay Son Sam Greisman, Decries "License to Discriminate" Bills

Actress joins Human Rights Campaign to help the organization raise $150,000 by March 31

By Zach Johnson Mar 27, 2014 3:56 PMTags
Sally Field, Sam GreismanCourtesy: Judy G. Rolfe

Sally Field is showing her support for the Human Rights Campaign after "License to Discriminate" bills began appearing across the country. The organization aims to raise $150,000 by March 31 to fight back against these efforts and further additional non-discrimination initiatives in the next 90 days.

To get the word out, the 67-year-old Brothers & Sisters actress penned a heartfelt letter about her experiences as the mother of a homosexual son two heterosexual boys. "The three things I'm most proud of in my life are my sons, Peter, Eli and Sam," the Amazing Spider-Man 2 star writes. "They are kind, loving and productive people. Each with their own list of talents and accomplishments."

She continues, "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," Field recalls. "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," the Lincoln actress admits. "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 says she considers it "one of the great privileges of my life to have been allowed to be a part of Sam's journey." As such, she decided to get involved in the fight for LGBT equality by joining the HRC.

"Sam knows that if he ever marries, he'll have my full support. After all, I like to believe I raised him with the good sense to choose a great partner," Field writes. But 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. I'm proud to stand with HRC to add my voice," the movie star continues. "Will you join me?"

Field concludes her letter by writing, "Whether you are LGBT yourself, a parent or grandparent of an LGBT child, or just a great person with strong convictions about what's fair and right, I hope I've convinced you to stand with HRC for equality." According to the actress, "You'll be glad you did!"