Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Lots of folks know about Cher. When we talk about her, we often think of her rocky relationship with Sonny Bono. They had a kid together named Chaz Bono. Chaz, who was initially known as Chastity Bono, was born on March 4, 1969. Because his parents were famous, he became a well-known figure pretty quickly. It didn’t take much time for people to see him on TV.

onny and Cher on their TV show.

Bono got his name from a movie called “Chastity,” which Sonny produced. In the movie, Cher played the main character, a young hippie runaway who was bisexual. Chastity Bono, their child, was conceived while they were making this film.

Photo of Chastity Bono with dad, Sonny, on the set of The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour / Wikipedia Commons

When Chaz was young, he often appeared on a TV show called “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.” He would come on at the end of each episode when Sonny and Cher sang their famous song “I Got You Babe.” This made Chaz a familiar face to people watching the show.

But at home and school, Chaz was going through some tough times. He didn’t feel like he fit in with other girls his age. Chaz once said in an interview that he didn’t understand why other girls cared so much about fashion and boys.

When Chaz was 18 years old, he told his parents that he was a lesbian. He wrote in a book that as a child, he always felt different and realized he was gay when he was 13.

Cher, who later became a big supporter of the LGBTQ community, found it hard when her daughter came out as a lesbian. She even said in an interview that she didn’t handle it well at first.

Chaz himself said that his mom got really upset when he first told her he was gay.

When Chaz was 39, he began his transition to becoming a man.


Once again, Chaz’s mother, Cher, was surprised.

“When I found out Chaz was transitioning… we talked about it a lot, actually. But then Chaz didn’t mention it anymore, so I kind of forgot. And what I think is, there’s such a fear of losing the child you love, and what will replace that child,” Cher said. She added, “I think it’s about the fear, mostly. I felt, who will this new person be? Because I know who the person is now, but who will the new person be and how will it work and will I have lost somebody?”

It wasn’t until 2010 that Chaz officially became a man. A California court approved his request to change his gender and name.

In a documentary called “Becoming Chaz,” which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and aired on Oprah Winfrey Network, viewers got to see Chaz’s journey into becoming a man.

“My mother went through a kind of mourning period. It was difficult for her, and we didn’t see each other for about the first year of my transition,” Chaz explained to SBS Australia.


The documentary has lots of touching moments. One part shows Cher’s reaction after hearing Chaz’s new voice, changed by hormone drugs.

“I was really upset when I heard her voice on her answering machine. It was her old voice,” Cher said. “I remember asking, ‘Can we save it somehow?’ But it was gone. I won’t hear it again.”

After the documentary, Chaz started appearing in Hollywood more often. In 2011, he made history by being the first transgender man to be on “Dancing with the Stars.” This was also the first time a transgender man starred on a big TV show that wasn’t about being transgender, according to Advocate.com.

Chaz Bono at GLAAD Awards 2012

Five years later, Chaz appeared in five episodes of “American Horror Story: Roanoke” and played Reverend Rydale on “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

For a long time, Chaz struggled with being overweight and didn’t feel good in his body. But things started to change for the better when he began his gender transition.

Facebook / Chaz Bono

“Years ago, when I talked to Oprah Winfrey, I said, ‘I wouldn’t have been able to do it before.’ I felt too disconnected from my body. The dysphoria I had about my body was too overwhelming for me to care enough to do anything like that,” Chaz explained.

When Chaz joined “Dancing With The Stars,” he weighed 250 pounds. But with all the practice and competition, he started losing weight quickly. That’s not surprising, given how much training and movement is needed to do well on the dance floor.

After the show ended, Chaz kept up his healthy lifestyle. He continued losing weight, and recent pictures show that he’s far from the unhealthy weight he was at 10 years ago.

Chaz Bono / Instagram

Losing weight hasn’t been easy for Chaz. When you lose a lot of weight, sometimes your body can’t keep up, and you might end up with sagging skin.

“It’s not fun, but it was worth it because I look better now,” Chaz said. “I’ve cut out almost all grains from my diet. I mostly eat vegetables, meat, fruit, and nuts. On my birthday, I’ll have cake, though!” he told Extra TV.

Facebook / Chaz Bono

His mother, Cher, has repeatedly praised her son’s courage and journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

”He did it all by himself. He made up his own mind and he did it. And it was like what — 85, 90 pounds. Wow! … I do not know if I’d have that courage.” Cher said in 2013.

Wikipedia Commons / Gage Skidmore

It’s really great to see Chaz doing well today, isn’t it? He’s been through a lot, but he has a positive attitude and seems much happier now that he’s found himself.

I hope Chaz’s journey can inspire others out there! If you agree, feel free to share this article!