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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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46.

Kerry    

who's God are you all referring to? I'm sure 'GOD' will understand. It's the judgemental little humans that are so quick to attack. LOL I have a feeling you'll be the ones judged on the last day of the world; not the people that love one another in spite of their differences. How sad of a world we live in even in 2009.

1876 days ago
47.

who dates whom?    

Will or does Chaz prefer 'straight' women or lesbians? Seriously

1876 days ago
48.

jeremy    

It is amazing how much yall care about what this woman/man does with his life and his body.....You don't have to sleep with him, be raised by him, in fact you didn't even have to read the article.....the headline should have alerted you that it was something you were not interested in........I think heteros hate others b/c the life of a hetero is so boring.....you fight all during your twenties to find the perfect mate and then realize, marriage ain't all its cracked up to be.......then you fight have kids......and realize you might have done that to early or to late..........you hate your job and the city or town you live in.......so i guess you just start hating others.....who names you don't even know........

1876 days ago
49.

Gizmologist    

Since NO ONE who has posted here as yet knows anything about transexualism, I suggest you stop with all the silly "it's the devils work" etc. Transexualism or gender dysphoria is a very real and serious situation. You all should try to learn the facts first. In many hundreds of thousnads of people around the workld, what is between the legs does not dictate what is between the ears.

Also please be aware that until the 2nd month or gestation,. we ALL were ambiguous sexually speaking. We all would have been born female unless the fetus received the genetic information to begibn the transistion to either male or to remain female. That development physically and emotionally sometimes does not follow the usual development we expect.

There are more transwexuals in this world than you can imagine and many have already undergone reassignment surgery and are among us already and functioniong quite happily.

If you are not gender dysphoric, consider yourself lucky as the condition is extremely difficult to live with.

1876 days ago
50.

Hal Jalikakic    

So she's getting an adadictomy...Ha ha Freak!

1876 days ago
51.

jake    

Too bad people can not be happy in their own skin. Even though sex change surgeries have been around for decades, the results are still very permative. About the only thing that looks real is the bilateral mastectomies. It puts a great strain on the body trying to tell it to do what it does not recognize and taking hormones for the rest of their lives. I think it would be far better if maybe they can find a person of the opposite sex that is not happy with their role they were born into. Maybe they could be a happy couple then. The masculine female playing the male role except when she/he may want kids and she could carry them and the feminine male in the female role yet can contribute sperm if they decide to have kids. To me this sound like a much better situtation than carving up a good body. Who knows, it seems like it could work and everyone should be happy. The feminine male has his masculine woman. The masculine woman has her feminine male and no one needs surgery. And they can get married in any state or country without problems. I don't believe gay women are male haters or gay men are woman haters. So maybe this would work. Don't know if it has never been tried.

1876 days ago
52.

JOMOTS243    

GOD SAVE HER! THIS WOMAN HAS FINALLY LOST HER MIND!

ALL OF YOU FREAKS WHO WANT TO INSIST THAT BEING A TRANNY IS OK, AND FINE, AND NORMAL, PLEASE JUST SEE YOURSELVES FOR WHAT YOU ARE, JUST FREAKS!

YOU SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN HELP, VIA THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY, AND VIA THE LORD!

YOU DECIDED TO BE ALL ABOUT YOU, AND DO IT ALL YOUR WAY, AND LOOK WHAT YOU ARE NOW, AN OUTCAST, AND A FREAK, YOU HAVE NO PLACE IS POLITE SOCIETY, JUST AT THE CLUBS, AND IN YOUR FREAK CIRCLES,

IT IS TRULY DISGUSTING!

SORRY, BUT IT IS TRUE, AND THAT IS A GOD GIVEN FACT!

1876 days ago
53.

GOD    

1 day closer to doom.

1876 days ago
54.

Dan    

Most of you ignorants posting here don't have any clue what sexual identity dysphoria is. Maybe do a little research about it before you make nasty remarks about something you know nothing about.

Most transgendered folks are, in fact, hetereosexuals in the "wrong skin"; the gay route for most of these folks simply doesn't work. In fact gender identity crisis has always existed, it has been "hidden" or people lived out their lives in torment. Thank the invisible sky creature that we don't have to live by a bunch of worn-out strictures passed down by a lot of outdated dogma.

Wishing Chaz the best. I hope that he will be able to be happy, and if he were smart, he will pursue his life outside of Hollywood and the limelight and speculation of people who don't understand.

1876 days ago
55.

rudewaitress    

Looks like Cher will be losing her chastity again.......!!!

1876 days ago
56.

summer girl    

No matter what, CHAZ--you were born a female and that will never change. Do whatever you wish--you can't change what happened back then. Surgeries, Psychology, Psychiatry, Prayer--you were still born a female. Contrary to sometimes-popluar belief, God doesn' make mistakes.

1876 days ago
57.

Susan    

I don't understand it but I wish her/he well.........

1876 days ago
58.

malia io    

you go chaz! do what's in your heart, who gives a rip what the negative idiots have been posting. this is your life and you still have decades left, live them as a man and be happy and god bless you. i loved your parents and i thought you were just the cutest when you were a baby. the people who love you will always love you, those who can't or won't accept what your doing didn't care in the first place.
much aloha

1876 days ago
59.

rudewaitress    

Looks like Cher will be losing her chastity again.!!

1876 days ago
60.

Maureen    

WHAT A SHAME AND EMBARRASSMENT TO "HER" MOTHER!!!

1876 days ago
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