When Cher brought a baby girl to the world, back on March 4th, 1969, little did she know that her kid will be one of the most famous activists in the LGBTQ+ community.
Chaz Bono was originally born Chastity, and back when he was still a girl, he came out as a lesbian.
Chaz knew he was different, as he didn't care about playing with dolls or makeup. Now, he's a huge Hollywood actor and a role model for many youngsters who are struggling with their identity. But things weren't always that simple.
Cher was not as supportive as she's now
Chaz wrote a book, back in 1998, Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Families.
He noted that his dad, Sonny Bono, was more accepting of him than his mom. Cher went ballistic, as Chad explained. And back in 2011, he told Oprah:
For my mother, I completely understand why it must have been difficult. You have this expectation of your baby girl and how that's going to be, and I didn't act like anything she probably imagined.
Chaz confused gender dysmorphia for homosexuality, and what's worse, a tabloid outed him back in 1987. Eight years later, he came out in public, and in 2009 he told the world he's preparing for a sex change.
Chaz's publicist, Howard Bragman told TMZ at the time:
Yes, it's true – 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.
Chaz documented the transition
Becoming Chaz premiered on Sundance in 2011, and later on Oprah's network. Bono's legal transition was completed on May 6, 2010, when a California court granted his request for a gender and name change, so the documentary reflects a complete transition, from childhood to paperwork.
His mother is one of the biggest superstars supporting the LGBT+ community. Yet, she was scared, and she explained to ABC in 2010:
We'd talked about it before, over the years. So I said...'If you need to do this, you'd better do it.' This is the way I felt about it, and this is how I tried to explain it to my son, Elijah. I like being a girl...if I woke up tomorrow and I was in a guy's body, I would just be flipped out, and it would just be horrendous for me. And that's all I can think of. That's the way I put myself in Chaz's place.
Chaz's impressive movie career
When Chaz was a kid, he made several appearances on his parents' Sonny and Cher show. In 1984, he got his first movie role in the movie Bar Girls.
As a child of two stars, he was often a guest star in talk-shows, but stepping out of his famous parents' shadow came much later.
In 2011, Chaz Bono became the first transgender man to compete on the show Dancing with the Stars. But, his moment to shine was on American Horror Story, where he played Gary K. Longstreet.
Then, he made the mocumentary Reboot Camp, Holy Hell, and more. Speaking about his role in Reboot Camp, Chaz said:
Herbie just seemed like, in a strange way, an extension of the character that I played in American Horror Story.
Herbie was kind of silly and didn't, obviously, kill people, but I went into it with that kind of mindset of just getting completely ensnared and moved, just, you know, being so gung-ho in there.
From being the only child of iconic duo Sonny and Cher to accepting that you're different and you are more than a tabloid sensation is anything but a typical story about growing up.
Chaz seems to have his life in order. Back in the 90s, and especially when he started the transition, the tabloids were ruthless.
He's still fighting the good fight, only now the 51-year-old has a partner by his side, he's no longer struggling with weight, and most importantly, living his life the way he wants.
Chaz Bono lives with former child actor Sarah Blue Mathes. The two started dating in 2019. Mathes has also defended Bono on social media, tweeting:
I'm his girlfriend and he's the kindest, most badass tenacious man I've even know. He is all man.
Indeed, he's a man, activist, actor, musician, and a genuine fighter. Cher must be feeling proud for raising such a brave, strong soul.