Cindy Barshop, who appeared as a cast member during season four of The Real Housewives of New York City, revealed on Thursday, August 1, that one of her children is transgender.
The Manhattan mom spoke about raising her daughter, Zoe, and transgender son, Jesse in an interview with PEOPLE magazine.
“When a child feels comfortable and open, identity issues are able to be discussed in the family environment,” Barshop, 54, said. “I believe living in creating an open and positive home so they are able to express themselves.”
The inspiration for Cindy to speak out happened after Extra host Mario Lopez came under fire for suggesting parents should wait until a child’s “formative years” before making declarations about their gender.
Mario, 45, later apologized for his “ignorant and sensitive” remarks in a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, July 31.
Cindy said that she wants to try and use the former Saved by the Bell actor’s comments as a positive learning lesson for others. “I’m hoping that the more awareness that we bring that people understand that trans is an identity and has absolutely nothing to do with sexuality,” she said.
Her son Jesse clapped back at Mario’s words, saying “‘Why don’t you tell him that we learn about this in 5th grade and he needs to go back to 5th grade.”
“It shows how evolved our children are and hopefully the adults will catch up,” she concluded.
Cindy is one of many celebrities who have children that identify as LGBTQ. Other stars include Cher, Sally Field and Belinda Carlisle.