Cher has said she supports her child Chaz Bono’s decision to change gender.

Chaz, formerly known as Chastity, revealed his decision to undergo gender reassignment last week.

In a statement, Cher said: “Chaz is embarking on a difficult journey… I respect the courage it takes to go through this transition in the glare of public scrutiny.

“Although I may not understand, I will strive to be understanding. The one thing that will never change is my abiding love for my child.”

Chaz’s publicist Howard Bragman said last week: “He is proud of his decision and grateful for the support and respect that has already been shown by loved ones. It is Chaz’s hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his coming out did nearly 20 years ago.”

The 40-year-old is Cher’s only child with late husband Sonny Bono. He is a gay rights activist but also works as a musician, writer and actor. He wrote about his experience of coming out to his mother in the memoir Family Outing.

Cher later admitted she “went ballistic” when Chaz came out as a lesbian, but has since become an active gay rights supporter.

Chaz is believed to have started hormone therapy but it is not yet known whether he will be having gender reassignment surgery.