The Girls5Eva star, 42, announced a year ago that her eldest child, 13-year-old Birdie, is queer and began using they/them pronouns. Since then, Philipps says she has found a "great deal of value" in sharing the family's experience with the world.
"Birdie had discussed it with me. They had come to me and were like, 'You can talk about me, my queerness and my pronouns on your podcast,'" the actress, who hosts the Busy Philipps is Doing Her Best podcast, told Entertainment Tonight. "I was like, 'Well, are you sure? Let's discuss it.'"
Ultimately, the family, which also includes 8-year-old daughter Cricket and husband Marc Silverstein, decided that while some people may respond negatively, it's a good idea to share their story with the world.
"They're kind of always unfazed by everything, in terms of how people have responded," Philipps said of Birdie. "It was hard for me in terms of knowing that there would be people that would be unkind to my child. I felt like I was putting my kid out there, and putting them at risk of getting some of that negativity toward who they are as a person."
But it was actually Birdie who had the most realistic understanding of the public's reaction.
"Mom, you thought everybody was going to be real nice about it? No, this is the world we live in... I'm so glad you did it because... I don't have to explain myself over and over again to people," Birdie told Philipps. "You did me a favor."
Unfortunately, there has been a tremendous amount of negativity inflicted at the family. Phillips said she has been on the receiving end of "so many horrible, horrible DMs... but who cares?" she said. "As Birdie says, what was I expecting?"
One of her favorite parts of sharing about Birdie's journey is the parents who reach out because they're dealing with similar situations.
"I have gotten so many messages and letters in the last year of... moms just thanking me for talking about it, talking about my child's queerness and their choice of pronouns," Philipps told ET. "Because they're also having the same thing, but they live in a small town in the middle of the country, and this helps them be able to have the conversation easier."
Known for her openness on Instagram, Philipps says sharing things on social media is "a part of our culture." However, "you cannot ever predict how they're going to be received, but you just have to know that when you're moving through the world in a truthful way, [some] people will respond to it in a positive way, and some people won't, but that's their issue to work out."
Philipps said she has gained "so much perspective" in the last year and a half, and reflected on how "thankful" she is.
"I have great kids, a great family. I've got an amazing job, the best co-workers you can imagine," said Philipps. "I get to do what I love. I don't really have a lot to complain about."
Earlier this year, Philipps shared that it's not always easy for every member of the family to understand Birdie's journey. That included Birdie's grandmother.
"I said to my mother, 'Here's the deal: You don't have to understand it.' 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," Philipps told Health this summer, Yahoo Life previously reported.
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