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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
31.

Kathy    

I say if it makes her happy to become a man, that's great! You have to do what makes you happy! You only have one life to live, so live it the way you want!!!!

1924 days ago
32.

Kimberly    

The comment that he will not be a man but a mutilated female is incorrect, as for the Mind set of this person all along has been male but with femal parts...the surgery is to alter the physical appearance to match what is in the mind as well as what is in the heart......personally i think any one who would go to such great lengths to alter themselves physically to feel better about themself...should go forr it. They will never be truely happy living inside thier "lie" of a body. Every one deserves happiness and as long as they arent hurting anyone...why can't they get the happiness everyone has or wants?? I am a hetrosexual...but that is who I am and makes me happy....someone of another sexuality should do what it takes to make themself happy with in themselves, thier minds and thier bodies..to make themself happy. I think it's great she...now he has the courage to discuss this. !!!! Bravo to you..and best wishes !!!!

1924 days ago
33.

lml    

I don't get this. If a "Gay" person tries to change the outer body to look like the opposite sex, what do you call them? A Mutant???. The true meaning of the word woman is "with womb"; therefore men can put in breast implants and try to change what God gave them but they will never be a woman and similarly women can never be men.

1924 days ago
34.

candygirl1952    

God does not make mistakes and it is sad that Chasity could not accept herself for who she is. A mother's love is unconditional and Cher will love her daughter through all things. We can not judge, that is God's position to judge. Chasity will have to answer to God. I wish her well and hope she will be happy with herself.

1924 days ago
35.

imacjr    

With a mother like Cher, is it any wonder why this individual is so totally screwed up?

1924 days ago
36.

AL Worth    

This is one CONFUSED woman. She was born a WOMAN. I say don't tamper with what God has given you. God made you a woman, you're a WOMAN. When we begin to tamper with God's natural order, it's just plain FREAKY. Imagine if something goes wrong with the procedures and/or hormone treatments, Chastity becomes a Hermaphrodite? Then what? Things can go wrong when we tamper like this. Chastity should remain a woman, because that's what SHE is. Anything else is just plain risky.

1924 days ago
37.

Katrina    

I want to be a bird so I can fly.....do they have surgery for that? LMAO

1924 days ago
38.

BSAM    

I remember that's the guy that was kissing my wife.

1924 days ago
39.

60'S GMA    

Everyone butt out, life is difficult enough, each of us have our own personal issues and personal struggels within. God did not put us here to be miserable. Life is too short not to have loved or be loved freely. What Chaz does will not effect you, your family, your taxes or finances. You are not the keeper.

1924 days ago
40.

Ginger    

Its one thing to be gay, but to change your sex is a totally other ballgame..Dear God, what is her mother Cher thinking now, she must be in a living hell... With all her millions, this is the outcome of her only child. As sad as it is that Sonny Bono, her dad passed away, it is best that he did not live to see what his only daughter was doing with her life. If that were my child and she came out that she was gay, i would have no choice but to accept it; but to change your sex, i would die of a stroke or heart attack. What i would like to know is, will Cher accompany her daugther (now son) to the hospital when the operation occurs. God help and pray for Cher to have strength......

1924 days ago
41.

Jane FEller    

Whatever makes him happy is whats the best thing for him.......all my blessings!

1924 days ago
42.

Kerry    

What do any of you care? You're not in her/his life, so it really shouldn't matter. I'm a straight woman for human rights. Let people be. Chaz isn't hurting anyone by doing this...You people are funny judging

1924 days ago
43.

truthserum    

When they get the penis added is it fully functional? Best of luck Chaz!

1924 days ago
44.

ally    

i can't believe you ignorant, self-righteous fools. chaz is doing everything that he can to make sure he can live his life the way he wants, and luckily today's technology allows him to do that. GET OVER IT. chastity becoming chaz does not affect your life in any way. you people are so negative, you will only attract negativtiy into your lives. kharma's a bitch, you'll get yours for being so ignorant and judgemental. p.s. the god argument doesn't work, not everyone is a christian and believes in god. why can't you see what? just because YOU consider something "wrong," "immoral," etc, does not make it so. get over yourself. you, your views, your religion is only relevant to YOU, no one else. it's not you making the sex change is it? then how does it affect you? can you imagine how hard it would be to have to live your life feeling uncomfortable with yourself, and then, when you finally decide to do something about it, to become truly happy, you get publicy ridiculed for it. that would be an awful feeling. so all of you self-righteous, ridiculous, ignorant christians out there, is that treating others how you would want to be treated? i think not. act like a mature adult and keep your negative comments to yourself. congratulations, chaz!! good job!

1924 days ago
45.

danielle    

I do not think people should get sex changes this is awful you where born te way you where born however you choose to live is on you but changing your body parts is not normal

1924 days ago
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