Feature

Chaz’s big change

Three years into female-to-male gender reassignment, Chaz Bono is now legally a “he,” and feels at peace with himself for the first time in his life.

Chaz Bono no longer feels like a “cosmic mistake,’’ said Kyle Buchanan in New York. Three years into female-to-male gender reassignment, the 42-year-old—born as Sonny and Cher’s daughter Chastity—is now legally a “he,” and feels at peace with himself for the first time in his life. “There’s a grounded feeling about me that I just didn’t have before,” he says. “I have more confidence. I’m more outgoing. Life has become so much easier.”

He’d been confused about his sexual and gender identity since he was a teenager. “I realized I was attracted to women and then made the assumption that I was a lesbian, and didn’t realize that that wasn’t the case. It was the fact that I was a man and a heterosexual man. I had felt uncomfortable as a woman my whole life.” Cher did not take the news about the sex change well, warning Chaz that the public reaction would be withering. “I think she didn’t expect people to be able to handle it as well as they have. That’s probably just a generational thing.”

Curiously, the easiest part has been the surgeries. “I was really calm throughout the whole process. I developed this real faith and certainty that this was what I was supposed to do.” He likes Chaz better than he did Chastity. “The core of my personality really hasn’t changed. I think I’m just a better me.”

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