The daughter and only child of Sonny Bono and Cher, Chastity Bono – as Chaz Bono was then known – was always going to have an interesting life. Named after Cher’s first solo role in a film, in the eponymous Chastity, Chaz was a precocious child, making his way through the quagmire of gender politics and realizing that he was a lesbian by the time he was 13 years old.Yet mass media was somehow even crueler back then as it is now, and a sustained “outing” in the early 90s led to Chaz’s public confirmation of his sexuality. This was a turning point in his life, and he increasingly found himself in a political and spokesperson role, highlighting the plight of the LGBT community. In 2008, Chaz underwent reassignment surgery to become the man he always believed himself to be, and the flowering was complete.
Chaz Bono – After
The first step was to be who he wanted to be, and the next step, under the scrutiny of the public eye, was to defend his rights and the rights of all those in the community. Chaz took up the activist mantle with aplomb, going on to become a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign and National Coming Out Day, a staunch opponent of the Marriage Defense Act, and the Entertainment Media Director for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).That’s not to say that Chaz hasn’t pursued his own personal projects in this time. Aside from appearing in a few films and having his own band, Chaz also appeared in the 13th season of Dancing With The Stars – the first time any transgender person has appeared on television for something unrelated to being transgender. A huge step forward for the movement.