Arnold Schwarzenegger says that he grew up with homophobic and hostile parents.
In his autobiography called “Total Recall,” a nod to his 1990 film, Schwarzenegger talks about his upbringing as a child. In this section of his autobiography, Schwarzenegger says that he was emotionally and physically abused by his parents. The reason? They thought he was gay.
Schwarzenegger then later spoke to Hello Magazine about the subject and says he told 60 Minutes, “He ran after me with a belt and beat me."
Schwarzenegger also shared that his mother once called a doctor for help because she feared “something was off” with him.
“I don't know if mum thought I was gay, or if she just thought there was something off. And 'let's catch it early,'" said the Terminator star.
"She asked the doctor, 'Can you help me? I don't know if there's something wrong with my son because his wall is full of naked men. All of Arnold's friends have pictures of girls above their bed. And Arnold has no girls.'"
It’s due to this horrible side of his upbringing that Schwarzenegger has been relatively supportive of LGBTQ rights. This includes when he shut down a homophobic fan on his Facebook page back in 2015.
As CBS’s San Francisco and Bay Area affiliate 5 KPIX reported back then, Schwarzenegger told a fan to sit down after he expressed disapproval of LGTBQ people.
The fan commented, in a now deleted response, “What’s wrong with U Arnie? I have to unlike,” after the celebrity and former politician posted a picture of his Terminator character with a rainbow flag background.
The led Schwarzenegger to respond with, “Hasta la vista.”
In addition, Schwarzenegger has openly expressed approval of LGBTQ rights. He openly praised Tim Cook, an openly gay CEO at Apple, for speaking out against a religious freedom law debate in Indiana. He also chastised his own Republican peers for choosing “the politics of division over policies that improve the lives of all of us.”
That said, his time in office as California Governor was more mixed as he performed two gay marriage ceremonies while also vetoing same-sex marriage in the state.
From his upbringing to his time in office, Schwarzenegger has had a complex relationship with LGBTQ people and same-sex issues.