Sally Field is an ardent advocate of LGBT rights, even winning the Human Rights Campaign’s 2012 Ally for Equality Award. Her youngest son, Sam, presented her with the honor.
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,” Field says. “Sexuality is a human glorious part of existence.”
Field noted in Sam’s case it was initially difficult for her son to become accustomed to his identity as a gay man. 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,” Field continued. “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!”
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Field’s latest movie, Hello, My Name Is Doris, is in theaters now. “The Sally Field Town Hall,” hosted by Jess Cagle, debuts March 17 at 2 p.m. ET on EW Radio.