Chastity Bono, the only child of entertainers Sonny and Cher, has begun taking steps to transition from female to male, a publicist revealed yesterday. He began living as a man in March, shortly after his 40th birthday, and is now known to his family and friends as Chaz.
Bono's publicist, Howard Bragman, said in a statement, "Chaz, after many years of consideration, has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity. 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." Can I Find Love If I'm Transgendered?
Chastity came out to her parents in 1987, and then posed on the cover of The Advocate in 1995 to announce that she was a lesbian. Cher told People in 1998 that she did not take the news well, but eventually accepted her daughter. (The ageless Oscar winner has since become an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights and prominent member of PFLAG.) Chastity's father, Sonny, initially was more receptive, but their relationship cooled after he became a Republican congressman and adopted more conservative political views. When Sonny died in a 1998 skiing accident, he and Chastity had not spoken for over a year.
In an ironic twist, once Bono files the paperwork to legally designate himself a man, he will be able to marry his partner of several years, who is a woman. California's Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriages in the state in November, but once Chaz has transitioned he'll be legally allowed to have an opposite marriage, even though it's one that began as a lesbian relationship. We're sure this delights Chaz's mother, who once said she was saddened when he came out because, "I'd always had this idea that she would get married and have a family." Wish granted, Cher!
If the movie Transamerica taught us anything, it's that Felicity Huffman is awesome. If it taught us two things, it's that this process won't be easy for Chaz, and that people might be crazy and nosy, but we wish him and his family all the luck in the world.
Via TMZ. Photo courtesy of Splash News.