Meryl Streep got candid about how her LGBT music teachers helped her understand the LGBT community during a press conference for her upcoming film “Florence Foster Jenkins.”
The Advocate reports Streep revealed she had a transgender music teacher as a child. The teacher transitioned during the summer break and continued teaching at the school.
“My music teacher in sixth grade in Basking Ridge, N.J., was named Paul Grossman,” Streep says.“And… the next year he came back, and he was Paula. Who really did that then? It was very, very unusual. And he came back to school. He had three kids and stayed married, but he was himself, and he led the chorus.”
Streep also says she had a gay music teacher who lived with his partner. The actress would visit the house, which she described as “magical,” once a week. Although her mother never explicitly mentioned her teacher’s sexuality she taught Streep to accept them through her actions.
“My mother, who was born in 1915, never said — ‘the boys,’ she called them — she never said ‘the boys are gay,’ or that there was anything that she disapproved of. But it was just that this is a different life, and … they were living under the cover of the love of the people who loved them,” Streep says.
“Florence Foster Jenkins” stars Streep as Jenkins, a tone-deaf socialite whose accompanist Cosmé McMunn, played by Simon Helberg, is a closeted man. The film hits theaters on Friday, Aug. 12.