Alexis Bellino, who has appeared on The Real Housewives of Orange County, has announced that her son Miles is transgender.
"He's now a month shy of 15 yrs old, so he's seen the questions and comments made about him on my IG," Bellino wrote in an Instagram post this week. "Miles now has a voice and has asked me to do this post. I had stopped posting for the past few months due to this transition in Miles' life, but he's now ready to 'come out' and to use this platform to stop any hate or questions."
She said Miles came out to her 16 months ago but wasn't ready to share it with others until now. "Miles truly wants me to post this because he's tired of the misgendering and confusion people have, so we are setting the record straight and hopefully bringing clarity," Bellino wrote.
"I cannot imagine the strength and courage it took for my baby to do this," she added. "But I'm extremely proud of him and I want everyone to understand that love doesn't change in these situations. It's unconditional love."
Miles remains as kind and generous as ever, she noted; he's the "same child who gives every spare dollar on him to the homeless person on the street."
Bellino joined the cast of Real Housewives in 2009 for season 5. She left after three years but has participated in reunion shows and made some other appearances since. She also has appeared on Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars. She and former husband Jim Bellino have two other children, McKenna, who is 14, and James, 16.
She wasn't always as supportive of LGBTQ+ people, having spoken out against marriage equality in 2011. But she apologized later, writing in a blog post, "In my opinion, we should all have equal rights and receive equal benefits as Americans, and we should all be allowed to practice those rights."
Her announcement about Miles brought praise from many, including Bravo personality Andy Cohen, who dedicated a segment of Watch What Happens Live to Bellino and Miles.