Chastity Bono comes out as transgender

Thu. June 11, 2009 12:00 AM by

Chastity Bono has come out as transgender, announcing her sex change for the first time

Chastity Bono, daughter of Cher and Sonny Bono, is undergoing a sex change operation to become a man.

"Yes, It's true," a Bono spokesperson confirmed. "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."

The spokesperson also asked for the media to respect Chaz's privacy: "We ask that the media respect Chaz's privacy during this long process as he will not be doing any interviews at this time."

The forty-year-old entertainer and respected gay rights activist came out at the age of 18 to her mother who reportedly was troubled at first with the news. But it would be another eight years before she announced being a lesbian to the world in an interview with gay monthly The Advocate.

In congratulating Chaz, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) called the announcement an "important step."

"Chaz Bono's decision to live his life authentically represents an important step forward, both for him personally and for all who are committed to advancing discussions about fairness and equality for transgender people," said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. "Coming out as transgender is an extremely personal decision and one that is never made lightly. We look forward to hearing Chaz's story in his own words in the future."

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine