Wednesday, February 15, 2012



Chaz Bono
Chaz Bono


Who would have thought that Chastity Bono, that adorable little girl in frilly dresses that we saw singing and dancing on the Sonny and Cher Show, would turn out the way she did? She had a Hollywood childhood and all the dresses that money could buy, but by the time she reached puberty, Chastity felt ‘betrayed’ by her body, by her changing ‘contours’ and developing breasts. At the age of 18, confused and depressed, she knew she was in the wrong body.  Then she declared herself a lesbian.

Lesbianism was a compromise because she still didn’t feel ‘right’ about herself and it wasn’t until she was introduced to the transgender community that she realized this was what she wanted to be: a man. With that acknowledgement, she finally went ahead with the surgeries that would remove some of her feminine bits, and turn herself into the male brand she always wanted to be. Why was she so confused at such an early age? Is it a natural inclination to feel that one was born the wrong sex, or is it an environmental anomaly that triggers that psychological state? Many transgender individuals feel unusual from the time they're young kids, but others may start sensing the difference in puberty, perhaps later. When people who are transgender become aware that they feel at odds with their bodies, they may feel perplexed and emotionally conflicted, as Chastity felt.

However, being the daughter of Sonny and Cher and being in the public eye couldn’t have made it easier for Chastity. I always liked Sonny and Cher, but after their divorce Cher started dating young men who were barely out of diapers, like the bagel bagger that was mercilessly taunted for years. That ridicule of her mother’s boyfriend must have been hard for Chastity at a time when she was developing as a teenager and trying to find her identity. And the public ridicule of her father by her mother must have also been embarrassing.

Cher
Cher
Chastity is now Chaz, a man, and has had the required plastic surgery to become fully male. He’s living with his girlfriend of the past seven years, who is currently struggling to accept that the lesbian Chastity is now the transgender Chaz. His mother Cher, on the other hand, hasn’t changed her sex but she’s changed everything else. She’s had her eyes, her nose, her teeth, her breasts, her stomach, and even her butt reworked, and in the latest pictures of her online, her face is stretched tighter than a Baywatch t-shirt. She may not have changed herself into a man, but she’s changed herself into something and the plastic surgery nightmare that is Cher is far more alarming than the lumbering suit and tie and that is now Chaz.