Chastity Bono, Sonny and Cher’s famously lesbian daughter, has decided to begin the process of living her life as a man, according to her representative. Chastity, who will now go by Chaz, began the process around his 40th birthday. Neither TMZ or Chaz’s representative specifies exactly what this means for him: if he’ll dress, live, and identify as a male, if he’ll take hormones, or if he’ll eventually have a sex change operation. Most doctors require a person live as their desired gender for a certain period of time before they’ll perform sexual reassignment surgery, so that’s often an initial step in the process.
Chastity Bono, civil rights advocate, journalist, author and musician, is in the early stages of changing his gender — transitioning from female to male, TMZ has learned.
Bono, the child of legendary entertainers Sonny and Cher, began the process earlier this year, shortly after his 40th birthday.
“Yes, it’s true — Chaz, after many years of consideration, has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity,” confirmed Bono’s publicist, Howard Bragman.
“He is proud of his decision and grateful for the support and respect that has already been shown by his loved ones. It is Chaz’s hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his ‘coming out’ did nearly 20 years ago.
We ask that the media respect Chaz’s privacy during this long process as he will not be doing any interviews at this time.”
While they use both the terms “identity” and “gender” the statement seems to be implying that Chaz is going to eventually have a reassignment surgery. Since he’s not going to be speaking about it for now, I guess we’ll have to wait and see exactly what “transitioning from female to male” means to Chaz.
One summer when I was in college I worked in a dorm that functioned as a hotel in the summers. We hosted a lot of visiting conferences, and before a LGTQ came we attended several discussions with a group of transsexual and transgendered individuals. All of them told their stories about the first time they passed as their desired gender, which was a really powerful moment for them. One woman said she’d accidentally cut off a guy while driving. Furious, he stuck his head out his window and screamed “‘You dumb bitch!’” with more anger than she’d ever heard. But as she put it, “I was so excited that he called me a bitch that I yelled back ‘Thank you!’ grinning ear-to-ear.”
Everyone described transitioning to their desired gender as finally living their lives in a way that felt authentic; like they were finally happy and being honest with themselves. Supposedly it’s an incredibly powerful and challenging time. It seems like Chaz has a lot of supportive people around him – and while the next several years will have lots of challenges most of us never face, it’ll probably be the best time of his life.