Chaz with Bono-Mack and Cher at GLAAD Awards. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)Although Cher initially had trouble accepting her first-born child's transition from a woman named Chastity to a man named Chaz, she was by his side Saturday night as he was honored at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles. Chaz Bono received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award for documenting his life-changing decision on the OWN series "Becoming Chaz." Cher's appearance was not only shocking because she was decked out in a huge afro-style black curly wig — but also because she had told her son she would not be attending the event. "I really surprised Chaz!" the 65-year-old singer tweeted afterwards. "HE was adorable,Said wow mom i was so surprised i forgot what i was going 2say!"
After Chaz's stepmother, California congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, presented him with the award, Cher shared with the audience how proud she was of her son's bravery. "I don't have anything prepared," she began, before joking, "I'm so nervous because my pronouns for my child jump all over the f--king place." The "Believe" singer then talked about how hard it was for her when Chaz first told her he was a lesbian."I think everybody knows how freaked out I was to hear he was gay, so [becoming a man] is the one step you go past 'I'm gay,'" she added. "And then you go, 'oh, those were the good old days.'"
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All jokes aside, Cher's speech turned serious when she noted, "Chaz has the most courage of almost anyone I know." When the camera cut to Chaz, 43, it was clear he was trying to hold back the tears as the audience cheered. "The other day I was having big meltdown, like you do … and Chaz asked, 'Are you going to come to [the GLAAD Awards]?' and I said, 'I'm not doing well right now.' And she — or he, it's 42 years [he was a woman] — he texted me and said, 'I turned into a very understanding, smart man and you can call on me.' And it made me feel so good, like I could lean on someone. It touched my heart."
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And Cher's surprise presence truly touched her son. "It was an amazing night to have my mother and stepmother present me with the award," Chaz said in a statement. "From a group I worked for 15 years ago; for 'Becoming Chaz' to be honored as best documentary; and to be so enthusiastically received by my community. I was truly touched on so many levels."
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