Chaz Bono was on Good Morning America this morning. (I’m not sure how to embed the video, but you can watch it on GMA’s website.) It was Chaz’s second televised interview since making the announcement that he would honor his true gender and make the transition from female to male. Chazalso appeared on Entertainment Tonight about three weeks ago, where he had a very heartfelt discussion about what he was going through. He explained on ET that “I always felt like the male from the time I was a child,” and “I feel more like myself more than I ever felt. I feel happier and more confident” after going through the change.
Chaz was nervous on GMA at first but then he got into his stride and seemed to become more comfortable talking about it. You could really hear the changes in his voice, which was deeper and sounded kind of like an adolescent boy. This makes sense because Chaz said of his change that he was “literally going through puberty.” He’s been having hormone treatments for about eight months and has had his breasts surgically removed.
First hurdle: loss of privacy
When asked what the most difficult parts of his change were, Chaz said “the first thing that was just an incredible hurdle was the idea that I wasn’t going to be able to do this privately like most people can. That took a really long time to get over. And then, I think it was about dealing with the people in my life and how it was going to affect them. And finally, it came down to realizing that I got to live my life for myself. And life is short and life is precious, and this is who I am I need to finally be who I am.”
On Gender identity
“To me, gender is between your ears not between your legs. I’ve felt male as far back as I can remember. As a child, it was really clear…. I felt like a boy. I felt like one of the boys…
“As you get older, it gets more confusing. Suddenly there’s more pressure to fit into your assigned gender identity…
On being a lesbian for a while
“A lot of female to male transgender people end up doing a stint in the lesbian community, because it just kind of makes sense. That’s what happened to me. At 13/14 I was real clear at that point that I was attracted to women… I guess I’m a lesbian.”
Chris Cuomo then said “That’s the simple answer, right? Because who you’re attracted to…”
“Has nothing to do with your gender identity,” Chaz finished. “A lot of people find that confusing but they’re two completely different things. One is how you view yourself and how you feel, and the other one is who you’re attracted to.”
On how it’s not an easy decision or process
“This was a very difficult decision to make, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I am happier, more confident. I feel great… It would almost be easy to say why did I wait so long to do this, except I’m a person who believes things happen when they’re supposed to happen. I was ready when I was supposed to be ready.”
“I needed to work through the things that scared me in order to start this journey. At this point nothing scares me, I’m living the life I’ve always wanted to live now and that’s amazing.”
On being the public face of the transgender movement
“I don’t look at it as campaigning. I struggled a lot getting here. If by being public about it other people can see this and not have to struggle quite as much as I did, then I’m really happy to do that.”
“If I can make help things easier legislation wise, I’m happy to do that as well. I’ve been an activist in the LGBT community for a long time, I don’t really think that anything’s changed… I’m just a little more focused on the T now than the L and the G.”
Chaz really impressed me and I hope he does help make this easier for other transgender people. I know he’s opened my eyes about what it’s like for him. I really enjoyed watching this interview and learning more about it from his perspective.