Cher’s Child Went through Transition & Found Happiness as a Married Man – Inside His New Life

Chaz Bono is the child of pop legend Cher and her first husband, singer Sonny Bono. Cher’s marriage to Sonny was characterized by a dynamic where Sonny held significant control over her life. Cher felt isolated as Sonny didn’t want her to have friends, and she felt oppressed by the lack of personal space.

Cher attends the “Late Show with David Letterman” on May 6, 2015 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

This control also extended to their professional relationship, where Cher felt she was merely following Sonny’s instructions without any input. This imbalance in their relationship led to feelings of suffocation for Cher, ultimately contributing to their separation.

During her marriage to Sonny, Cher suffered several miscarriages before Chaz’s birth, a condition attributed to an “angry uterus” that would contract and abort the fetus. The repeated loss of her unborn children was a nightmare for Cher, who had to endure the cycle of joy and sorrow.

Cher, daughter Chastity Bono, and son Elijah Blue Allman pose for a photo in 1980 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

The birth of Chaz was a significant event in Cher’s life, and Sonny was a good father. She said, “Chaz brought a new element into our marriage.” Cher had her second child years later, a son, but being a mother came with challenges. Cher acknowledges that she wasn’t always a good mother to her children. Her career demands meant her children experienced a life of constant travel and change.

Cher realized the importance of stability in their lives as they grew older, but that meant she had to spend time away from them. Decades later, she admitted that she was trying to make up for the lost time.

Chaz, who was born a girl, Chastity Bono, was not happy with his identity and decided to undergo a gender transition. Initially, Cher struggled to support Chaz when he first came out. She said, “I didn’t handle it all that well in the beginning.”

Cher with daughter Chastity Bono in 1992 | Source: Getty Images

She dealt with feelings of loss and she admitted to feeling as if she was losing her child. As she stated, “Now I’m totally fine. But it’s hard to lose one child to get a new one, especially so late.” Over time, their relationship evolved, marked by mutual respect and admiration.

Cher eventually supported Chaz throughout his transition process, a journey that not only transformed Chaz’s life but also reshaped their relationship. Chaz acknowledged the difficulty his mother faced, stating, “It has been difficult for my mother, but I respect that.” Despite the initial challenges, Cher was pleased to see Chaz find self-acceptance and happiness.

Chastity Bono at the Bullock’s Department Store grand opening celebration on November 13, 1993 in Woodland Hills, California | Source: Getty Images

This transformative journey brought them closer together, with Chaz appreciating his mother’s support, saying, “She sticks up for me — and what an ally to have!”

Still, Chaz’s mother wasn’t the only one who had difficulty accepting his transition. When Chaz disclosed his decision to undergo surgery to his aunt, Georganne, she was in shock.

Georganne, Cher’s sister with whom Chaz shares a deep bond, struggled to comprehend the situation. Her apprehension was replaced with acceptance after watching the documentary “Becoming Chaz.” Despite her initial fear, her husband encouraged her to watch the film, reminding her that Chaz was still the same person she knew and loved.

Upon seeing Chaz post-transition for the first time, Georganne felt reassured. The essence of the person she knew as Chaz was still present, and she knew their relationship would remain strong. She told Oprah Winfrey, “It was my Chaz, and the soul of the person came through, and that was that.”

Georganne believes that Chaz is empathetic towards his mother and understands the complexity of the situation from a parent’s perspective. Although she isn’t a parent, she acknowledged that such a process must be challenging for a mother.

While Chaz had found self-acceptance and happiness in his transition, he had not been as fortunate in his quest for love. His previous relationship with Jennifer Elia ended in 2011, leaving him with fears of spending his life alone. He once expressed, “I seem to repel women I am attracted to.” However, his luck changed when he met Shara Blue Mathes in Spring 2017.

Although Mathes, a former child actress from the 1984 comedy series “It’s Your Move,” was not initially seeking a relationship, a romance blossomed between them just months later, proving that love can be found even when it’s least expected. They found common ground in their shared experiences of growing up in the entertainment industry and overcoming drug addiction.

This new relationship brought a sense of completeness to Chaz’s life, complementing the fulfillment he found in his gender transition. Chaz’s mother gave her blessing to the couple’s relationship, and Mathes, a single mother with one child, received a warm welcome into the family.

Cher’s mother, singer and actress Georgia Holt, also welcomed Mathes into the family and invited her to join the family’s celebration of her 91st birthday in June 2017. According to Daily Mail, when they are in the US, they prioritize visiting each other’s families. Cher and her mother consider Mathes to be part of the family and are pleased that Chaz has found someone who brings him joy.

In October 2018, Chaz and Mathes embarked on a romantic journey to Adelaide, Australia, where they attended Cher’s performance at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre as part of her “Here We Go Again Tour.” Cher’s acceptance of their relationship was apparent when she posed for photographs with Mathes.

The couple also had the privilege of watching “The Cher Show,” a musical that portrays the life of Cher with Sonny, Chaz’s father, in New York in January 2019. They were treated as special guests and were allowed to go backstage at the Neil Simon Theatre and interact with the show’s props.

In 2019, Mathes shared a cherished moment with Cher, further highlighting the close-knit relationship between Mathes, Chaz, and Cher. The caption of the photo read: “Happy Birthday to the woman who signs my birthday cards ‘Love your Mother-in-Law (basically), Me!’ She truly is the bee’s knees, the whole bag of chips and all of that. [sic]”

Mathes then humorously mentioned the difficulty of getting a photograph approved within the family, hence opting for a backstage photo where the lighting is guaranteed to be good. In 2021, Mathes revealed on Instagram that she was battling cancer and said that she was doing well. She also thanked her “amazing boyfriend,” Chaz, for supporting her and being with her 24/7.

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