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Chaz Bono

(LGBT rights advocate, writer, actor, and musician)

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Biography Chaz Bono
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Chaz Bono (born Chastity Sun Bono; March 4, 1969) is an American LGBT rights advocate, writer, actor, and musician. Bono is the only child of American entertainers Sonny and Cher, though both parents have children from other marriages.

In the early 1990s Bono was outed by tabloid press then publicly self-identified as lesbian in a 1995 cover interview in The Advocate. The process of coming out to oneself and others was a central topic in Bono's two books: Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Families (1998) tells the story of her own coming out as well as stories of other gay and lesbian people.

On May 7, 2010 Bono legally changed her sex and name. From 2009 to 2010, Bono underwent female-to-male gender transition, however no proof has emerged that Bono has functional male genitals. Bono's transition had started in June 2008 and would likely be complete in 2010.

Bono is the only child of Cher and Sonny Bono, well-known as the pop duo Sonny & Cher who had a top-rated television variety show on which the young child often appeared. Bono was originally named Chastity Sun Bono after the title of Cher's first feature film, produced by Sonny, in which Cher plays a bisexual woman. The film had its première shortly before Bono's birth in 1969.

Bono came out to both parents as lesbian at age 18. In Family Outing, Bono wrote that, 'as a child, I always felt there was something different about me. I'd look at other girls my age and feel perplexed by their obvious interest in the latest fashion, which boy in class was the cutest, and who looked the most like cover girl Christie Brinkley. When I was 13, I finally found a name for exactly how I was different. I realized I was gay.'

Bono began a short-lived music career with the band Ceremony.
In April 1995, Bono voluntarily came out in an interview with The Advocate.
In the same book, Bono reported that Cher, who was both a gay icon and ally to LGBT communities, was quite uncomfortable with the news at first, and 'went ballistic' before coming to terms with it: 'By August 1996, one year after I came out publicly, my mother had progressed so far that she agreed to 'come out' herself on the cover of The Advocate as the proud mother of a lesbian daughter.' Cher has since become an outspoken LGBT rights activist.

Bono worked as a writer at large for The Advocate, a national gay and lesbian magazine.
Bono's legal transition was completed on May 7, 2010, when a California court granted her request for a gender and name change, however her birth certificate remains female.
'The court granted the petition and Chaz now has a court name change and a court order recognising him as male. Chaz couldn't be happier. This is an important step in his transition and will allow him to change a variety of his identity documents to show who he truly is.'

Last year, Chaz revealed he only had the confidence to begin his gender re-assignment surgery after getting sober.
Chaz said: "It wasn't a sudden decision. I've been doing therapy for a long time. It's a long process going back almost a decade. I got clean and sober in 2004 and I couldn't have done this before that.

"I always felt like a male from the time I was a child. There wasn't much feminine about me. I believe that gender is something between your ears not between your legs. That is something I discovered in the early 90s. It was just a long process of being comfortable enough to do something about it. I was turning 40 and I thought it's now or never."
Chaz began the process in March 2009 by taking male hormone pills but the complete change will take up to five years and he will have to take testosterone supplements for the rest of his life.

Chaz said: 'The nice thing about this process is it is slow. I am literally going through puberty." Chaz now lives in Los Angeles with Jennifer Ella, his girlfriend of four years.

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Chaz Bono, photo, biography
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