US singer Cher, who recently refused to perform at Russia’s 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi due to the country’s anti-gay laws, has revealed that it was her trans son who gave her a “deeper” and more “visceral” understanding of gender and sexual politics.
In an interview with the Guardian, Cher talked about life with her son Chaz Bono, who underwent gender confirmation surgery in 2010.
She said: “My daughter’s sex change gave me a deeper – a visceral – understanding of gender and sexual politics.”
“But it took me a little while,” she added.
“I had friends who changed their gender, but it took Chaz going through it for me to really feel it.”
Chaz Bono told CNN in 1998: “For her, it was very much of a parental thing.
“She would have liked a little girl who would have liked to play dress-up in her closet. I was not one of them.
“I think she had certain expectations, hopes and dreams of what her child’s life would be, and she wanted it to be as smooth and easy as possible.”
He said he had “confused gender identity with sexual orientation” when younger.
“So when I was about 13 or 14, I realised I was attracted to women and then made the assumption that I was a lesbian, and didn’t realise that that wasn’t the case. It was the fact that I was a man and a heterosexual man. The issue wasn’t my sexual orientation, but rather my gender identity,” he added.
“These are small changes that as a mother you never forget. It is the last taboo. It used to be against the law. Thank God we’ve come so far.”
On boycotting the Russian Olympics, she said: ”I can’t name names but my friend called who is a big oligarch over there, and asked me if I’d like to be an ambassador for the Olympics and open the show. I immediately said no.
“I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there. He said the Russian people don’t feel the way the government does.”