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Chastity Sun Bono
Chaz Salvatore Bono
Chastity Sun Bono (1969) is an American writer, musician, advocate, social activist, and transgender. Bono was born as the only child of Salvatore Phillip Bono and Cherilyn Sarkisian, better know as the pop duo Sonny & Cher, stars of the TV variety show. As a young girl Bono often appeared on this show. Bono was named after the film ‘Chastity’, which was produced by Sonny and in which Cher played a bisexual woman.
Bono came out to both parents as lesbian at age 18. In the book ‘Family Outing’ (1998), Bono writes:, ‘As a child, I always felt there was something different about me. I'd look at other girls my age and feel perplexed by their obvious interest in the latest fashion, which boy in class was the cutest, and who looked the most like cover girl Christie Brinkley. When I was 13, I finally found a name for exactly how I was different. I realised I was gay.’
In April 1995, Bono came out as lesbian in an interview with ‘The Advocate’, a national gay and lesbian magazine. In ‘Family Outing’ Bono recalls: ‘Coming out catapulted me into a political role that transformed my life, providing me with affirmation as a lesbian, as a woman, and as an individual.’ In the same book, Bono reported that Cher, who was both a gay icon and ally to LGBT communities, felt quite uncomfortable with the news at first, before coming to terms with it: ‘By August 1996, one year after I came out publicly, my mother had progressed so far that she agreed to 'come out' herself on the cover of ‘The Advocate’ as the proud mother of a lesbian daughter.’ Cher has since become an outspoken LGBT rights activist.
In mid-2008, Bono began undergoing a physical and social gender transition from female to male. This news was confirmed in June 2009 by his publicist, who identified Bono's preferred name as Chaz Bono and stated, ‘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.’ Bono's legal transition was completed on May 8, 2010, when a California court granted his request for a gender and name change. He chose the name Chaz Salvatore Bono in honour of his parents.
Bono has worked as a writer at large for ‘The Advocate’. And as a social activist, Bono promoted ‘National Coming Out Day’, campaigned against the Defence of Marriage Act, and served as Entertainment Media Director for the ‘Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’ (GLAAD).
‘Chaz Bono’, Wikipedia, retrieved 1 January 2014
‘Cher as a gay icon’, Wikipedia, retrieved 7 September 2014
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