— -- Tina Healy, a transgender woman in Australia, says she has to come out to her mother with dementia every few weeks because her mom's memory is beginning to deteriorate.
But her mom's "same, beautiful response" every time she comes out is now a source of comfort for Healy, who told ABC News that she was "scared to lose [her] mother to dementia."
"The first time I came out to my mother was about two years ago, and that was around the time my mom first started developing dementia," said Healy, 54. "I was nervous because my family and I were concerned that because of the dementia, me coming out as a woman might be too stressful for my mom to handle."
But Healy need not have worried.
"When I told her I was a woman, she just looked at me and said, 'Oh, what do you know? I've got a beautiful new daughter!" Healy said. "I started to cry, and she pulled me to her shoulder and said 'Cry it out, dear. Cry it out.' My partner at the time cried as well."
Healy added that after crying, her mother, who used to be a "beautiful seamstress," then said, 'Well, now you're going to need some new clothes! What do you need?"
Healy explained she "had always loved sitting across the table and watching my mom sew up gowns and whatnot, and it was just so beautiful to me that making new clothes for me was one of the first things she thought of."
The day after she first came out to her mom was even more heartwarming, Healy said.
Healy came "dressed as Tina, not Chris," and the first thing her mom did was "put my hand to my face and say, 'You're beautiful!"
Healy added that the two of them then had tea together and her mother said, "You've held this in for a long time, haven't you? Why didn't you tell me? I would never have minded."
It was the "happiest time" of Healy's life, she said, adding that she had known she was a woman since she was 4 but waited nearly 50 years to fully come out.
Since then, Healy said she has to come out to her mom every time she visits her every few weeks, and every time she comes out, her mother has the "same, beautiful," response of love and acceptance.
"My message for any trans person who wants to come out is to come out when you feel ready and safe," she said. "Everything will change, for sure, but it's not always for the worse, like we might assume. Sometimes, things change for the better."
Healy added her message to any parent who has a child coming out to them is to "just love them and accept them. It's that easy, and that's what I learned from my mother."