Chaz Bono, who used to be Chastity Bono, reveals all in his memoir “Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man”.
Chaz speaks candidly about his struggles to becoming the man he is today to Dateline.
It took Bono almost 40 years to make the decision to have the gender reassignment surgery to become a man. He started the process after he turned 40 in March 2009.
Bono began by having testosterone injections, which made his voice deeper and produced facial hair. Chaz also had his breasts removed.
He also opens up about his mother Cher and how she is coping with the decision, saying, “I think that she is moving in the right direction,” he says. “I don’t get the impression that she’s 100 percent completely comfortable, but I think she’s on the road to being that.”
Bono borrowed the $10,000 he needed to have his breast removal surgery from his AA sponsor rather than from his own mother. “I didn’t want to go to my mom with it because it was something she was struggling with,” he said. “It’s like why rub her nose in it?”
Now Bono is legally recognized as a man but hasn’t gone through genital reassignment surgery. He said, “At this point, I’m not happy with the technology and I don’t really feel comfortable doing anything about it.”
Chaz’s fiance Jennifer Elia has stood by his side through the crazy journey. Chaz said of their plans to marry,”We got engaged two years ago and we kind of just tabled it because so much was going on,” he says. “I think that once we get through this we can look at it again. I think in probably typical guy fashion, I think it’s absolutely absurd to spend thousands and thousands of dollars for one day. So I would like to do as little as possible.”
Bono volunteers for a support group of children with gender identity issues. He said, “I relate to these kids. The difference between them and myself is that I didn’t articulate it and fight for it and say, ‘No, no, no! I’m a boy!’ I have so much respect for these kids that do.”
Bono talked about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s daughter Shiloh and her choice to dress like a boy, saying, “I would love to talk to them at some point.” Adding, “to at least let them know we have this resource for them if they ever need it.”
Chaz is asked what his late father Sonny would think of the change into becoming a man.
Bono answered, “I’m sure he’s extremely proud. My view of life after death is that all that kind of earthly prejudice that we have goes away. So I could say that now I think he’s extremely proud and thinks that I’m on the right course and doing what I came here to do in this life.”
Then he adds with a laugh, “But if he were alive, I think it would have been a bit more challenging.”
Here’s a snippet of Chaz’s interview with Dateline:
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