Cher Recalls First Time She Met Gay Men

From a larger-than-life, flamboyant pop career, to her undying support of her transgender son, to winning an Oscar in the 80s — being a gay icon was seemingly written in the stars for Cher.

The iconic singer and actress currently stars in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, belting ABBA songs with abandon and truly outdoing herself as a gay icon. While speaking to GLAAD about her role in the musical movie, Cher recalled the first time she ever met gay people. She described a moment at age 12 when she met her mother’s gay male friends.

“I came home from school and there were these two guys in our living room,” Cher revealed. “They were talking to my mom and her best friend, and they were so happy and excited about everything they were talking about, so animated.”

She pointed to the electric energy that the two men displayed, and how much of her career and persona was inspired by that very moment. “I thought, ‘These guys are much more fun than the regular men that come over to visit. And I didn’t know that they were gay, but I just thought ‘These guys are great,’ and it all started from then.”

According to Cher, the Mamma Mia sequel is 100 percent worth the watch. “When I’m watching a movie, I want it to be great,” she explained to GLAAD. “But if it’s not, I start picking it apart, I can’t help myself, and then it gets ruined. But with this, I think you’re swept away in their excitement, and I think that it’s just pure joy and fabulous.”

Cher was nominated for an Oscar for her role as a lesbian in the 1983 drama Silkwood. The legendary pop star reunites with Silkwood co-star Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again–in theaters today.

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