Heather Dubrow Says Ability to 'Affect Change’ as Parent to a Transgender Child Is ‘Most Rewarding’ (Exclusive)

·4-min read

The Real Housewives of Orange County star, who is mom to twins Max and Nick, 19, Kat, 16, and Ace, 12, told PEOPLE the support she's received has been "incredible"

<p>Emma McIntyre/WireImage</p>

Emma McIntyre/WireImage

Heather Dubrow is grateful that she’s been sharing her family’s story.

On Tuesday, the 54-year-old reality star opened up to PEOPLE about the reactions she’s received after sharing that her 12-year-old child had come out as transgender and goes by the name Ace at the Alliance For Women In Media Foundation's 48th Annual Gracie Awards Gala in Los Angeles.

“Honestly, the support has been really incredible," The Real Housewives of Orange County star told PEOPLE. "What's been most rewarding to me is being able to affect change in other people's families.”

“When we first started talking about our children, there were a lot of messages of people who were estranged from their family, from their parents or their children, or children that had taken their lives, and really terrible stories, and got so much from us telling our story, which was amazing.”

“Now, the messages of love and hope and support are incredible," she continued. "So we just hope to keep moving in that direction and start as many conversations in other people's families as we can."

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<p>Heather Dubrow/Instagram</p>

Heather Dubrow/Instagram

Related: Heather Dubrow's Youngest Child, 12, Comes Out as Transgender, Goes by Name Ace

In March, Dubrow posted a statement on social media about her youngest child. Marking International Sons Day, she shared a picture of a beach with "Ace" written in the sand. "We love you, our youngest son, Ace ❤️,” she wrote in the caption.

"Our job as parents is to give our kids a safe and supportive environment so they can grow up as healthy, happy, confident, independent humans. Since Ace is a 12 year old child, with a long life ahead of him - we will let him tell his own story someday if he chooses to do so," she continued. "All we can say is Ace, we love you so much and we are proud to be your parents. Your brother and sisters love and support you too ❤️."

Along with Ace, Heather and her Botched star husband Terry Dubrow, 64, are also parents to twins Nick and Max, 19, and Kat, 16.

Related: Heather Dubrow's 4 Kids: Everything to Know

Chatting with PEOPLE in February 2022, Dubrow shared that, one year after her daughter Max came out as bisexual, her second daughter Kat came out as lesbian.

"We've got four kids, they are different genders, different sexualities, and all at interesting places in their lives, figuring out who they are and where they belong as humans," said the Bravo star.

Speaking about Ace at the time, Terry said the pre-teen has "always been incredibly strong-willed" and called Ace a "very complex, layered person."

Ace is "going through a lot of self-exploration right now," Terry added at the time.

"Everyone always looked at [Ace] because [Ace] dresses 'like a boy', which, I hate those kinds of labels. It's clothing. Clothing should just be clothing at this point," added Heather.

"Billy Porter wears a gorgeous gown down the runway. He looks phenomenal. What does it matter what we're wearing?" she continued, adding Ace "is a very cool kid."

<p>Leon Bennett/Getty Images</p>

Leon Bennett/Getty Images

During her chat with PEOPLE on Tuesday, Heather shared an update on how her brood is getting on, including an exciting milestone for son Nick.

“The two oldest just came home from college and they're doing great,” she told PEOPLE. “So my daughter, Max, is going to be home taking classes this summer. My son, Nick, got his real estate license and he's interning for Josh Altman from Million Dollar Listing who sold our house, and a dear friend of ours.”

“The other two kids are just finishing up their school year,” she added.

Asked whether Altman, 44, is working Nick hard, Heather teased, “Yes. I told him to haze him, totally. I called Josh and said, ‘Make sure you send him for coffee.’"

While Nick could be making an appearance on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles in the future, Heather recently made a brief appearance on season 6 of Selling Sunset as a guest at Heather Rae El Moussa’s baby shower for her baby boy Tristan Jay, now 3 months.

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