Chaz Bono: Gender Is Between Your Ears, Not Legs

Eight months into sex-change treatments, offspring of Cher and Sonny Bono gives first live interview to Good Morning America

By Breanne L. Heldman Nov 19, 2009 2:20 PMTags

When little Chastity Bono wished television audiences a good night and God bless more than 30 years ago, who knew she'd look so dapper in a suit?

Now Chaz Bono, the daughter son of Cher and Sonny Bono, gives his first live interview since beginning the process of becoming a man eight months ago. Some of his thoughts were downright enlightening.

"To me, gender is between your ears, not between your legs," he tells Chris Cuomo on Good Morning America. "I've felt male as far back as I can remember. As a child, it was really clear. I felt like a boy."

He goes on to explain why being a lesbian is just the "simple answer" for him.

"A lot of female-to-male transgender people end up doing a stint in the lesbian community because it just kind of makes sense," he says. "At 13, 14, I was real clear at that point that I was attracted to women. So I was like, 'I'm attracted to women, I am a woman, I guess I'm a lesbian.' "

Still, that didn't feel quite right for the 40-year-old.

"Who you're attracted to has nothing to do with gender identity," he said. "A lot of people find that really confusing, but they're two completely different things. One is how you view yourself and how you feel, and the other one is who you're attracted to."

Making the decision to undergo the four- to five-year process of gender reassignment wasn't easy, especially for someone who knew he'd have to do it in the limelight.

"Just an incredible hurdle was the idea that I wasn't going to be able to do this privately, like most people can. That took me a really long time to get over. And then it was about dealing with the people in my life and how it was going to affect them. And finally, it came down to realizing that I've got to live my life for myself and life is short and life is precious."

Given Chaz's sharp suit and unwavering smile and gorgeous girlfriend Jennifer, the results have had a profound impact thus far.

"At this point, nothing scares me. I'm living the life that I've always wanted to live now, and that's amazing."


It's early. Take a stroll with Tom Cruise in the Big Picture gallery.