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Cindy Barshop Reveals Her 9-Year-Old Twin Son Is Transgender!

Cindy Barshop is opening up for the first time about raising twins, daughter, Zoe, and transgender son, Jesse. “When a child feels comfortable and open, identity issues are able to be discussed in the family environment,” the former Real Housewives of New York City star told PEOPLE.

“I believe living in creating an open and positive home so they are able to express themselves.”

Barshop says she wanted to speak out after Mario Lopez recently came under fire for suggesting parents should wait until a child’s “formative years” before making declarations about their gender.

Barshop says she wants to try and use Lopez’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 told PEOPLE.

Barshop adds that when she shared Lopez’s comments with her son. “He said, ‘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 says.

Mario came under fire over comments he made in a recent interview that suggested it was “dangerous” for parents of children as young as 3 years old to definitively label their kids transgender while appearing on The Candace Owens Show.

Lopez later apologized for his “ignorant and insensitive” remarks.

“The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were,” he told PEOPLE in a statement. “I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself. Moving forward I will be more informed and thoughtful.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images