Cher discusses the gender reassignment of son, Joe Biden, and the director’s comeback

Written by Oscar Holland, CNN (interview by Christiane Amanpour, CNN)

Contributors Henry Hullah, CNNEmmet Lyons, CNN

Editor’s Note: CNN’s Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour interviewed Cher in London. Look here for more information.
Cher has opened up about her son’s gender identity and admits it was “not easy” when Chaz Bono, now 51, announced he was switching in 2009.

The singer and Oscar-winning actress, who is considered an icon by many in the LGBTQ community, described the journey she took as a mother, from when Bono – then known as Chastity – first came out as Lesbian.

“It was very different from me to have a problem in the beginning with Chaz being gay, and it just disappeared,” Cher said, recalling her initial reaction in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. Then we talked about (whether Bono was) transgender for many years. And (he) would say, ‘No, I don’t want (transition). And then he went and said,’ OK, I want to do this. ‘

Cher and Chaz Bono

Cher and Chaz Bono Credit: Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic / Getty Images

“But it wasn’t easy,” she admitted. “I remember calling, and the old (voicemail) message … was on the phone, which was very difficult.

‘But you don’t really lose them. They just have a different shape, ”she said. Bono, an actor and the first transgender to appear on “Dancing with the Stars,” is now “so incredibly happy,” she added.

Cher discusses gender, politics and her comeback as a director

Cher, now 74, rose to fame in a musical duo alongside her then-husband – and Bono’s father – Sonny. She has long had a staunch LGBTQ fan base and traces her affinity with the LGBTQ community back to a childhood memory by saying that “I knew at 9 years old.”

“One day I came home and there were two men in my living room with my mom and my aunt. They were doing their hair and talking, and I was like, ‘Why haven’t we ever had guys like this around? be coolest. ‘

“That was my (introduction to) the gay world,” she said, adding that “gay people don’t feel like they belong, and I’ve never felt like I belong.”

Speaking of politics

In an extensive interview, Cher discussed her parents, Jack Nicholson, and her high-profile efforts to relocate an elephant – dubbed the “world’s loneliest elephant” – through the charity she co-founded, Free the Wild.
Cher arrives in Pakistan to celebrate the departure of Kaavan, also known as the 'loneliest elephant in the world'

Cher arrives in Pakistan to celebrate the departure of Kaavan, also known as the ‘loneliest elephant in the world’ Credit: SOHAIL SHAHZAD / EPA-EFE / Shutterstoc

The star went on to give her opinion on President-elect Joe Biden, whom she has known for nearly 15 years.

“I love him, I love him,” she said. ‘And I’m sorry they try to tie him up so he can’t do anything because he’s such a great man (with a) big heart. He wants to do so many things, and they are all good.

She then compared Biden to former President Jimmy Carter, saying that both want to help “the American people.”

“If Joe says it, I guess with a hook or a crook, he’ll get it done,” she said.

Cher performs at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden

Cher performs at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden Credit: ARIANA DREHSLER / AFP / Getty images

Cher also revealed she’s returning to directing for the first time in more than two decades. While she was wary of details about her new venture, she teased that it “has something to do with ‘The Rocky Horror Show.’

It will be Cher’s first director since 1996, “If These Walls Could Talk,” a made-for-TV film that tells the story of three women’s experiences with abortion in different periods in post-war America.

“I’m really excited,” Cher said, adding that she “kept saying someone had to get better … (because) I only directed one thing.

“But they keep telling me I’m the right person.”

In the meantime, she’s working on a new album – and her voice may be as strong as ever.

“My doctor said he was looking at my (vocal cords) and then he said, ‘I want to show you something.’ So he pulled up some cords and said, ‘Okay, these are your cords and these are cords for 25 and 27 year old girls,’ she said.

“But it could be my last album because you never know when (your voice) will just leave.”