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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
61.

nicks uncle willie    

Chasity your not a man and never will be even after the surgery. You will just be a sliced up,cut up,hormoned up, still mixed up Chasity Bono, you are still what GOD made you !

1927 days ago
62.

the sheik    

THIS IS THE RESULT OF THE PARENTS TAKING ALL KINDS OF DRUGS IN THEIR HAY DAY. THEY HAVE NO ONE BUT THEMSELVES TO BLAME. SONNY IS PROBABLY TURNING OVER IN HIS GRAVE WHILE THE PROUD MOTHER COMES OUT IN SUPPORT OF THIS FREAK OF NATURE.

1927 days ago
63.

Tee H    

MAN why don't everyone of you all get some business because you do what you want when you want, its no ones place to judge her or anyone else but GOD. You people always throwing GOD or the bible in the face of Gays, but just because you are not Gay does't mean that you are living the life GOD has planned for you. SWEEP AROUND YOUR OWN FRONT DOOR BEFORE SWEEPING AROUND ANYBODY ELSE's! Like Jesus said let him without SIN cast the first stone, and just by you talking down on her and saying yuck and weirdo and gross, you all are sinning right now!

1927 days ago
64.

Maureen    

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

1927 days ago
65.

NYARTS    

I hope that he finds great peace with the decision being made. There must be have been great stress for many years to have arrived at this decision. Peace and love and respect, I wish him all that he needs.

1927 days ago
66.

mr whirple    

should change the name also: Charles (chaz) Boner

1927 days ago
67.

Suzanne    

Until you walk in the shoes of a man or woman who feel like they were born the wrong sex.....then shut the F up.....it is her choice to do this and I say do what you need to do to make you feel the way you want to feel.....Gay Straight Transgender...its all good.....and WHY bring god into this.

1927 days ago
68.

Oh My    

What does Mommy say about this?

1927 days ago
69.

NickZ    

People should, and in most cases leave these decisions to the person who is living the life. I am a gay man, and cannot imagine ever wanting to be a woman. I cannot understand the desire to want to change, or the feelings of inadequacy that she or others may have. But, that being said I think the best thing people can do is stop hating and embrace the differences in people, or at least SHUT UP!
Do we really desire a world of Paris Hilton/Brody Jenner knock offs, or a world where people are happy, healthy and loved by people they care about... Seriously!
Rock on Chaz!

1927 days ago
70.

MZNUTZ    

BET SONY IS TURNING OVER IN HIS GRAVE NOW CHER WILL HAVE 2 SONS OR 1 1/2 MAYBE

1927 days ago
71.

Jo Pellegrino    

Everything else aside, I've seen some of the health issues that occur after this type of surgery and some are so serious. I knew of many people that now has to use a catheter to go pee since they had this surgery because the plumbing gets all messed up. The agent or business manager that made the comment about how proud he was of his client for not being afraid of being one's self needs to resign. This is not a matter to be taken so lightly, the surgeries are dangerous and can have very sad outcomes. So dress like a man, cut your hair, take progestrone, and testosterone to grow facial hair whatever it takes to look like a man at least this won't have you peeing from a tube or taking a b.m. in a bag.

1927 days ago
72.

Kerry    

one last thing to ponder: Is it ok for a woman to get a ton of plastic surgery to alter her looks (or a man for that matter)??? Fake boobs, fake butts, chin implants, botox, bigger lips, smaller breasts, lipo etc etc etc...I bet after going through the change chaz will still have had less plastic surgery than his/her mother! People, get a grip. It's not your family doing it. God could care less as long as Chaz treats people with love and kindness and the last I checked she/he wasn't in any trouble with the law.

1927 days ago
73.

Frogeye    

And just how does one go about changing XX chromosomes into XY chromosomes? Answer: You don't.

1927 days ago
74.

Popeye    

You can fool some people into believing you changed your sex,but really, the only person you are really fooling is yourself with mutilation.How sad.

1927 days ago
75.

javabrkin    

I am reading so much about what everyone thinks about this... okay and yes its our comments but you know, when life could be so much worse, and people are talking about it being a me society... why not let it be just that worry about the me in your life and let everyone else worry about the me in theirs. If people would just worry about themselves and not putting thier opinions and values on others, the world would be a more peaceful place to live.

1927 days ago
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