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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
91.

Wendell    

In our culture todsy, we swallow lies like frogs swallow flies. I have sympathy for her gender confusion, but no amount of surgery can change the fact that she was born a female and if she had children, she can only contribute the female sex gene. However, no one should wish her other than happiness.

1868 days ago
92.

Alex    

All of you with a negative comment to make don't know what you're talking about. So stop with the ewwwwwww and all the rest of your stupid insensitve remarks! Go and read - get educated!!

Get a life instead of making ignorant remarks about how someone else has had to go through the extremely difficult decision to do this.

All of you with crap to dish out need to keep it to yourselves!

1868 days ago
93.

debbie    

Spitting in god's face? I wonder what god has in mind when 1 in 1,000 births are babies with both genitalia? Did god want them to be male or female or just couldn't make up his/her mind? What difference does it make to you if someone wants their external to match their internal psyche? The arguments made below are ridden with fallacious arguments: changing genders is nothing remotely similar to "wishing" you were a millionaire. How can we become a country of peace when we can't respect someone's personal choices?

1868 days ago
94.

Loralei    

Hope the surgery is safe and successful.
One life, be yourself, be happy.
Loralei

1868 days ago
95.

genetix    

Does it really matter, what someone else does? its not you so dont comment if you just want to complain. People want to be who they want to be, some see themselves as men or vise versa. just let them do whatever they want to do to their bodies, they arent hurting you by being gay or having a sex change. I dont understand why people must complain about somthing that doesent involve them. grow up, im 15 and my comment sounds alot more mature. Yet everyone is entitled to there own opinion, freedom of speech right? Only in America.

1868 days ago
96.

Are You Surprised!!    

Come on you guys are you really surprised!! So didnt she seem a bit suspect...(ie.gay) when she was a teen how girly did she act maybe someone molested her when she was small Im sure that will come out in her tell all book when she is on Oprah....

1868 days ago
97.

Anonymous1    

How dare any of you say that this is "gross" or "disgusting" This world is filled with billions of different people, and you, as individuals, have no control over anyone else or their decisions. Wether anyone be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, you can not make the choice of what they are. People should be allowed to be who they want and love who they want, whether that be a man or a woman.

Congratulations to Chastity, This is yet another step forward for the LGBTC (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community)

And for all of you who say all of these things about God and all, god wanted you to be respectful to your fellow people on this earth, and if he saw you doing this, I dont think hed be to thrilled.

1868 days ago
98.

dave    

Ewwwww.....freak

1868 days ago
99.

Tatiana    

Way to go Chaz! I commend you for going through with this. My daughter has a friend that has just started the process, without the support of the family. I hope all goes well for you.

1868 days ago
100.

sancarr    

I want to be a dog I have been a dog in a mans body for so long, I have finally decided to get the operation to turn myself into the German Sheppard I’ve always longed to be. Then I want the world to accept me and tell me they accept me and love me for who I am. Then I want to legally marry a man and be accepted in society and given all the rights that men and women and transsexuals, and er…whatever, or I am going to riot and burn your bibles in the street. Sound Crazy? You bet it does because it is Crazy

1868 days ago
101.

m.a.d.    

Everyone has the right to have a happy life. Who are we to judge what is right and wrong about what makes a person feel whole, and complete and happy. As long as it's not hurting me or my family, I don't care what people do with themselves, LIVE AND LET LIVE!

1868 days ago
102.

Greg    

Wow! What a huge decision to make. Not sure I could ever make it even if I were in that position. It's not an easy decision either way. Congrats to Chaz and I hope everything goes as well as planned. It's great to actually see someone being who they are. If only more people could do the same. Like most of the haters on here spreading a little more ignorance. The same ignorance that has been passed from generation to generation up to now. Hopefully we will all be viewed as humans soon and lose our labels that society has placed on us. And that doesn't just mean the gay and lesbian community either.

1868 days ago
103.

Gustavo Gonava    

Happiness does not come to you by surrounding yourself with a group of happy people, But with a group of people that surrounf you with happiness. We support you! Your group of people with hands full of happiness. Congrats on your own decision to live happier. Your GLBT friends. Thanks for letting our voice be heard.

1868 days ago
104.

Linda    

GROSS is right. Not only is this gross but 'UNGODLY". God has made you the way he wants you and altering that is saying God made a mistake. Good luck with that.

1868 days ago
105.

KC    

Poor Cher, ......thank God Sonny didn't see how his beautiful daughter went on a downward spiral of life.
Oh well.

1868 days ago
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