Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Chaz says one of his biggest fears about transitioning was his mother's reaction. "I had talked to her a couple times that I was having these feelings and experiencing this, and I didn't know what was going to happen," he says. "Then in July of 2008 was when everything turned around for me and I knew I'm doing this."
He told Cher first. "I said, 'I need to come over and talk to you,'" he says. "I just said, 'I've been struggling with these issues around my gender identity for a long time, and I've made the decision that I'm going to transition and this is something I have to do.' And she was unbelievably cool."
About a month after Chaz began receiving testosterone injections, he says his mother started pulling away. "When my voice started to change, I think, is when it really hit her," he says.
Chaz and Cher attended a counseling session, which Chaz says ended badly. "I just realized that she was really having a hard time with all of this," he says. "The hard thing for my mom, I think, is that because she's a public figure and because she has this personality of kind of being so cool about stuff and progressive, people forget that she's a parent."