(WB) Charlize Theron revealed to the Daily Mail that her oldest child Jackson, 7, is “not a boy.”

The South African actress adopted Jackson as a baby in 2012 and her second daughter August, who is now 3, in 2016. Theron says she believed Jackson was a boy until Jackson told Theron she didn’t feel like a boy at a young age.

“Yes, I thought she was a boy, too,” Theron told the Daily Mail. “Until she looked at me when she was 3 years old and said: ‘I am not a boy!’”

Since then, Jackson has been photographed wearing skirts and dresses and donning long hair while out and about with Theron.

“I have two beautiful daughters who, just like any parent, I want to protect and I want to see thrive. They were born who they are and exactly where in the world both of them get to find themselves as they grow up, and who they want to be, is not for me to decide. My job as a parent is to celebrate them and to love them and to make sure that they have everything they need in order to be what they want to be,” she continued.“I will do everything in my power for my kids to have that right and to be protected within that.

Theron says she was inspired by her mother to allow Jackson to live her true self.

“You know, I grew up in [South Africa] where people lived with half-truths and lies and whispers and nobody said anything outright, and I was raised very specifically not to be like that,” Theron says. “I was taught by my mom that you have to speak up; you have to be able to know that, when this life is over, you’ll have lived the truth you’re comfortable with, and that nothing negative can come from that.”