Chastity Bono Undergoing Sex Change
By Stephen M. Silverman
Originally posted Thursday June 11, 2009 04:45 PM EDT
Political and social activist Chastity Bono – the only child of entertainers Cher and the late Sonny Bono – began undergoing a sex change shortly after her 40th birthday on March 4.
“Cher is very supportive and has known about Chastity wanting to do this for a very long time,” a source tells PEOPLE. “This will be a long process but it’s something Chastity has wanted to do for many years.”
Bono’s spokesman, Howard Bragman, told TMZ, which first reported the story, “Yes, it’s true – Chaz, after many years of consideration, has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity.
“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.”
He added, “We ask that the media respect Chaz’s privacy during this long process as he will not be doing any interviews at this time.”
Chaz was forced onto the stage as a baby. She would finish “The Sonny and Cher” show every week, being cute and reciting the lines that were forced in her head. After her parents divorced, they still continued, “The Sonny and Cher Show.” Hmmmm, interesting.
This child was in the public eye her entire life. She didn’t seek it. She didn’t ask for it. She didn’t encourage it. All she did was have very ambitious parents who, mistakenly, put her in front of the cameras without considering the consequences. Cher is a wonderful performer and great humanitarian. I love her and I’ve met her. Sonny was a politiician and, as far as I know, a good man and father.
I do not BLAME early TV exposure to having gender identity issues. They are two different subjects and I don’t think they are related in any way. However, if Chaz was not Cher’s daughter and not known by the public (who watched her grow up), her private issues would not be front page news and he could be who he is without having to deal with whatever backlash/criticism will soon be coming.