Robert De Niro Breaks Down Remembering Gay Father's Struggles


Which other celebs have LGBTQ family members? You may be surprised!


Hollywood is rife with celebs who support LGBTQ rights, but some are more than friends with the community.

Take for instance Robert De Niro. In a recent interview with Out magazine, the famed actor opened up about his late father's struggle with being gay, as well as how the family managed to cope after he left his mother upon realizing the truth about who he really was. Robert De Niro filmed a new HBO documentary titled Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro Sr. (which is set to premiere June 9th) to honor the life and art of De Niro Sr., who was an abstract expressionist painter.

When asked about a diary entry in which his father speaks about his conflict with his homosexuality and artistic lifestyle, Robert De Niro stated "[Conflicted] about his homosexuality? Yeah, he probably was, being from that generation, especially from a small town upstate. I was not aware, much, of it. I wish we had spoken about it much more. My mother didn't want to talk about things in general, and you're not interested when you're a certain age. Again, for my kids, I want them to stop and take a moment and realize that you sometimes have to do things now instead of later, because later may be 20 years from now — and that's too late." He eventually couldn't help breaking down in tears at the mention that they share the same name, showing a softer and more vulnerable side to the actor.

Get the scoop on more boldfaced names with ties to the LGBTQ community:

Alexis Arquette, left, was born a man named Robert She chronicled her transition to a woman in the documentary Becoming Alexis, and her famous family has been tremendously supportive.
Actor Tom Arnold has a gay brother, Chris, and he was worried that his sexuality would pose problems for him in their midwestern hometown

"We lived in Iowa, and then I moved out to Los Angeles and kept talking to him, I said, 'Chris just tell me. It's cool because I have a lot of gay friends,'" Arnold revealed. "He wouldn't come out with it, and then one time he came to a set with a guy and they had shorts on and the guy put his hand on my brother's leg and he didn't take it off."

He continued, "I remember my heart sank even though I said, 'I'm hip, and I'm cool.' It sank because I was scared that immediately people were going to be mean to him back in our small town and his life was going to be harder."
Tom Arnold's most infamous ex-wife, Roseanne Barr, has spoken out against ignorant remarks that homosexuality is a choice -- and also was a pioneer in having gay couples on television

Barr is especially against parents trying to "convert" homosexuals and explains, "I really encourage parents to stop destroying their children by doing that. It is not good family values. Being gay is not a choice. I didn't choose to be straight anymore than my siblings chose to be gay."

Yep -- both Barr's sister, Geraldine, and brother, Ben, are gay.
Before Cher had a son named Chaz Bono, she had a lesbian daughter named Chastity Bono In between, Chaz had a documentary: Becoming Chaz.
Garth Brooks' sister, Betsy Smittle, is a bassist that often goes on tour with the mega-selling country superstar She's also a proud lesbian.

Brooks touched on gay rights in his music -- a touchy topic for the oft-conservative country community. In his song "Free To Love," Brooks sings, "When we're free to love anyone we choose / When this world's big enough for all different views/ When we're all free to worship from our own kind of pew / Then we shall be free."
Though they're estranged now, Madonna and little brother Christopher Ciccone were once inseparable Rumor has it their rift was over money and alleged homophobic remarks from Madge's ex-husband, Guy Ritchie.
Robert De Niro helmed an affectionate biopic about his gay father, Robert De Niro, Sr, which airs this June on HBO.
Chris Evans talked up his gay brother, Scott, to The Advocate in "Yes, I do have a gay brother," the Captain America star revealed. "I'm down with the gays. Mostly I'm hanging out with him and his gay buddies, who are f---ing hilarious. They're the funniest people I know."

But there is a limit for this Avenger. He added, "They've invited me out to gay bars before, and I said, 'Look, guys, I've got to draw the line there.' That's where a photo will get taken, it will run in magazines, and before you know it, I'll be living down the gay rumor for the rest of my life."
When Colin Farrell was a kid, he witnessed his older brother, Eamon, being bullied over his sexuality

"I can't remember much about the years of physical and emotional abuse my brother Eamon suffered. I was very small," he said in a statement for the Stand Up! Campaign. "The thing I do remember, though, quite literally, is blood on his school shirt when he came home in the afternoon ... I didn't understand at that time the concept of 'difference.' Back then, as now, he was just my big brother."
Richard Gere cites his own brother as one of the reasons he was so against Proposition "My brother is gay and he got married in that brief period when gay marriage was allowed in California," Gere said back in 2009. "He has two great kids and is a wonderful father."
Anne Hathaway's older brother swayed her entire family to drop their Catholic beliefs She explained to British GQ, "The whole family converted to episcopalianism after my elder brother came out. Why should I support an organization that has a limited view of my beloved brother? So I'm ... nothing."
Josh Hutcherson's two gay uncles died of AIDS when he was a baby They inspired The Hunger Games star to create his LGBTQ support group Straight But Not Narrow.
Cyndi Lauper became a gay icon in the 's, and it meant more to her than just having a massive hit with "True Colors." Why? Her sister, Elen, is gay.

Lauper gushed, "My sister is a lesbian -- and she's one of the most fantastic people I know. It's a family issue. If you can't vouch for people in your own family, who are you going to vouch for?"
Sexiest Man Alive, Maroon frontman, and The Voice coach Adam Levine and his family are warmly accepting of his brother, Michael. And apparently good gaydar runs in his family. He told Out, "I can singlehandedly dispel any ideas that sexuality is acquired. Trust me: you're born with it. My brother is gay, and we knew when he was 2. We all knew."
Chloe Grace Moretz adores her family, and if you mess with them, well, you're messing with her, too She told Seventeen, "I have two gay brothers and two straight brothers, and my gay brothers were treated horrifically until they grew up and understood how to deal with it. I will delete you and I will block you, and you will not be a part of my life if you ever say anything bad about my brothers."
Rosie O'Donnell is a proud lesbian, and her brother, New York assemblyman Daniel J O'Donnell, married his longtime partner, John Banta, in 2012.
Kevin Smith may be best known as Silent Bob, but he won't remain silent about his stance on gay rights And especially not when his brother, Donald, is out and proud. The New Jersey native told Piers Morgan, "It's a shame. I know my brother; he's a great guy — goes to church, doesn't screw anybody over — and yet he's still got some religious yahoos and politicos over to the side going, 'Change your ways; you're going to hell!' Stay out of my brother's bedroom, buddy."