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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

No Avatar
16.

Jack    

I just threw up in my mouth.

1929 days ago
17.

exoticdoc2    

Once again, she will not be a man, she will be a mutilated woman. Since when is mutilating yourself courageous?

1929 days ago
18.

marc gongora    

i am very proud to be from America where anybody can be who they want to be!!! i am very proud for her to step forward in to a man!! CONGRATS!

1929 days ago
19.

chocolateswan2@aol.com    

where is she going to get a penis from?

1929 days ago
20.

Laura    

The majority of the user comments listed here disturb me. Our country will never become the unified front that so many people asked for this past year, if we cannot learn to look past each others race and sexual orientation and see everyone as a human being. A human being that deserves the respect you all want for yourselves.

1929 days ago
21.

Pan    

Way to go Chaz... we love you!!!!

1929 days ago
22.

tw    

Looks like its already a done deal. Hell, her mom looks like a drag queen,what did anyone expect?

1929 days ago
23.

joyce lyles    

so she couldn't make it as a female and she really thinks changimng outside appersnces is going to really alter do away with the female stuff naa only her maker can do that. this is where she needs to really start then she might consider
really consider loosing that fat she she might be attractive to others this fix she is after is not going to change the truth
so ya might wanna get outta denial chas and seal with it like for real no cosmetic fixes that does not change the real truth. and if the truth be known to those dead and alive they are ashamed remeber god sees all and denying him if you do or put it away cause it is not conveinent is not the truth

1929 days ago
24.

Ginger    

This is wrong. We are either born male or born female and should "play the cards we're dealt". Our bodies are merely the vessels of our souls, you shouldn't need to alter it. CHAZ clearly needs to focus HER energy on something more productive and get some serious psych help if she things that cutting up her body and taking some hormones are going to make her happy. I think not. What a freaking joke!

1929 days ago
25.

Monsr. FauxPax    


Wow I feel like I'm attending a midget mind convention. This is the year 2009 get with it you non-thinkers. Is it better the person live in torment and agony or make themselves happy? If God is nature and nature is God than we are all his creations-we do not have to live up to others ideals-shame on all of you.
Mark Twain said,"It is better to let people think you are stupid, than to say or write something and remove all doubt!

1929 days ago
26.

PJ    

I'm sure that Cher is proud and Sonny is rolling over in his grave.

1929 days ago
27.

TiredoftheBS    

I don't care what anyone says...I think homosexuality, transexualism, and the whole bit is some mental disease. Ain't nothin about it right.

1929 days ago
28.

desiree seifert    

ALL THE BEST TO YOU CHAZ..... AS A TRANSSEXUAL FEMALE (MALE TO FEMALE) I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST.... AND TO ALL YOU IGNORANT PRICKS POSTING ALL THIS SMACK.... DO YOUR SELF A FAVOR AND OPEN A MEDICAL JOURNAL..... THIS IS A LIGT BIRTH DEFECT CALLED KLINEFELDERS SYNDROME..... WHEN YOU ARE BORN WITH THE WRONG SEX ORGANS......, JUST LIKE SOMEONE CAN BE BORN MISSING AN ARM OR HAVE THREE HEADS ITS ALL GENETICS .... IF YOU WERE TO SEE ME WALKING DOWN THE STREET OR HAD A CONVERSATION WITH ME YOU WOULD HAVE NO CLUE I WAS EVER ANYTHING OTHER THEN WHAT YOU SEE AND HEAR.... SO BE CAREFUL ALL YOU HOMOPHOBES...... YA NEVER KNOW IF THE GIRL OR GUY YOUR WITH WAS ALWAYS A GIRL OR GUY..... MORONS YOUR ALL MORONS!!!!!

1929 days ago
29.

JOMOTS243    

SORRY FREAKS! YOU KNOW IT IS TRUE, OR, BY GOD, YOU SHOULD!

YUCK, YUCK, YUCK!!!

GET A LIFE YOU LOSER!

CUTTING YOURSELF ALL UP, AND TAKING A BUNCH OF HORMONES, WILL NEVER MAKE YOU LOOK, NOR FEEL NORMAL! YOU WILL JUST GENETICALLY BE A FEMALE, WITH A MULTILATED BODY. YOUR PENIS WILL NOT BE USABLE, AND WHO IN HELL WOULD EVEN WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU ANYWAY!

JUST STOP NOW! BE A PROUD WOMAN, AND LIVE A CLEAN LIFE.

WHAT YOU NEED IS SOME SERIOUS MENTAL HELP, AND A TRIP, NO YEARS IN CHURCH, PRAYING TO GOD TO SAVE YOU FROM YOURSELF!

YOU HAVE RUINED YOUR LIFE, AND PEOPLE JUST THINK THAT YOU ARE A FREAK!

THAT IS A FACT, AND NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE THAT!

GET HELP NOW!

1929 days ago
30.

onepersontoanother    

I can not believe the negativity about what this person wants to do. We each have our own rights to live our life as we see fit. Why should any one judge someone else for doing something that makes them feel happy and content. So long what they are doing is not hurting any one else. We as a human race need to be more excepting of each other and less judgemental. None of us are perfect.

1929 days ago
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