Chastity Bono, the daughter of Cher and the late Sonny Bono, announced this week that she is undergoing a sex change to become a man. The 40-year-old writer came out as gay 20 years ago.
A source told PEOPLE, "Cher is very supportive and has known about Chastity wanting to do this for a very long time. This will be a long process but it's something Chastity has wanted to do for many years."
Chastity’s publicist Howard Bragman said the reality-TV star is proud of his decision and hopes "that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue.”
The spokesman also says Bono "has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity."
In 1995, Bono began working for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
The activist also wrote a book, "Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming-Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, & Their Families,” which discusses the difficulties and triumphs of a homosexual’s decision to “come out of the closet.”