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Chastity Bono -- Becoming a Man

6/11/2009 4:21 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Chastity BonoChastity 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."


Launch photos


Becoming a Man -- The Process


A lot is involved in the sex reassignment process. Here's the lowdown, according to Dr. Gary Alter from "Dr. 90210" -- he's an expert. Here's what Chastity Bono is going through right now.

-- First step ... A psychiatrist evaluates the patient. If appropriate, the doctor prescribes male hormones.

-- The hormones change the body makeup, which includes hair growth. The clitoris also grows larger.

-- Removal of breasts. Dr. Alter said most states will recognize the person as a male once this occurs. A hysterectomy can also be performed during this process.

-- Dr. Alter said the decision about changing the genitalia can take several years, while the patient is taking hormones. Dr.
Alter says most people stop at this point.

-- Dr. Alter says if the patient goes forward, the surgeon often makes a small penis out of the clitoris and a scrotum by joining both labia majors. Testicle implants can then be inserted. The most sophisticated option is microsurgery in which skin, arteries and nerves are taken from the forearm and made into a phallus.

As for cost, Dr. Alter said it's all over the place, depending on how far the person wants to go. We've spoken to people who have had it done, and they say the full deal costs more than $100,000.

GLAAD -- Bono's Decision 'An Important Step'


TMZ just got this statement from Neil G. Giuliano, President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD):

"Chaz Bono's decision to live his life authentically represents an important step forward, both for him personally and for all who are committed to advancing discussions about fairness and equality for transgender people ... Coming out as transgender is an extremely personal decision and one that is never made lightly. We look forward to hearing Chaz's story in his own words in the near future.

"GLAAD encourages the media to cover this story accurately, and to avoid speculation about Chaz's story before he is ready to tell it in his own words.

"The GLAAD Media Reference Guide and the Associated Press Stylebook call on media to use the name and pronoun preferred by the transgender person -- in this case, referring to him as Chaz and using male pronouns."

Sonny's Republican Widow: I Got You Chaz!


Sonny Bono's widow -- Congresswoman Mary Bono -- tells TMZ she's behind Chastity Bono all the way.

Mary Bono, who followed in her late husband's Republican footsteps, says she "loves and supports Chaz."

Bono, who didn't take a stand on California's Prop 8 anti-gay marriage initiative, "is hopeful that his privacy and very personal decisions will be respected during this time."

COMMENTS

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1.

JPC    

She won't be a man but a mutilated female.

1967 days ago
2.

rowdygirl    

gross..
so now will she still date women, and be straight
or date guys and stay gay?

1967 days ago
3.

Jamie K    

Congrats Chaz! Very happy and proud for you! WTG

1967 days ago
4.

justme    

What a freak! Why is this even news???

1967 days ago
5.

MsSomebody    

I agree this is GROSS, eeeewww and sicking.

1967 days ago
6.

whattheheck    

ewwwww!!!! Does HE planning on having any kids like that other freakishly manly woman?

1967 days ago
7.

TK    

I just want to wish Chaz all the best in his decision and to just know, either way he/or she is a well-respected individual in the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual./Transgendered Society, and only in America do we have these choices. If this is what feels right and his gut knows it, then be al you need to be. Much love and respect to you.

1967 days ago
8.

kiki    

Why can't people just be themselves. This is irritating, only in America.

1967 days ago
9.

michele miller    

this is a shame god mad chastity a woman, not a man. this is all the devils doing she is not strong enough to accept the person she is and love herself as god loves her.

1967 days ago
10.

Glbabynumsnana    

OH please, not another transgender story. First it was the "man" who gave birth to a child, now this. First of all it was a woman who gave birth who wants to be a man who wants to be a woman, whew! Every time you turn around people are wanting to change their sex. What the heck is wrong with the way God made you! These people have deep psychological issues that no amount of butchering their bodies will cure. God made us the way we are for a reason, so that a man and a woman can procreate, period. The fact that people follow like sheep any time the media or so called experts say it is normal and fine to feel like you're trapped in the wrong body exasperates me. It is not normal, never will be, sorry but there it is. Easier to do whatever you want these days though. That's why God made laws for us to follow. Easier to say God does not exist so you can behave any way you want. Lol, someday you'll find out, when it's too late.

1967 days ago
11.

chris    

it's one thing to be gay or lesbian but to purposely change your sex is spitting in Gods face. this is just disgusting.

1967 days ago
12.

paul    

A woman cannot become a man or vice versa. Just because you want something does mean that you become that. I know a lot of people that want to be millionares. They can tell themselves all day long that they are rich but in the end they are not rich but they are liars.

1967 days ago
13.

michele miller    

shame, shame,shame she doesn't know any happiness in this world because it is about her this is a me world

1967 days ago
14.

Diane    

I remember how cute she was on the Sonny and Cher show back when I was a kid. If this makes her happy, well then, go for it.

1967 days ago
15.

observer    

Another weirdo.

1967 days ago
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