Cher's Transgender Son Chaz Has Grown Up To Become A Successful Hollywood Actor

Nov 20, 2020 by apost team

When the world first got to know Chaz Bono, he was introduced as a small, bright-eyed girl named Chastity, the only child of superstar couple Cher and Sonny Bono. Today at age 51, Chaz has made a name for himself as a successful actor.

Now a household name in showbiz, the actor has had to overcome many obstacles before establishing himself in the world today. We're taking a look back at Chaz Bono's remarkable life and all the hardships he's had to endure to get to where he is now.

 

Even as a child, Chaz knew he was different. While girls around that age would play dress up and talk about cute boys, Chaz surrounded himself with male friends and preferred a more 'tomboyish' look. Speaking to Oprah in 2011, Chaz revealed his father, the late Sonny Bono, was accepting of his behavior, but his mother was not as comfortable. 

"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," he said. 

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Despite all the signs, Chaz mistook his gender dysmorphia for homosexuality and, as a teenager, started identifying as a lesbian. A tabloid magazine outed him in 1987, but it wasn't until eight years later that he publically came out of the closet. In 2009, Chaz announced he would be transitioning from female to male, shortly after turning 40.

"Yes, it's true – Chaz, after many years of consideration, has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity," Chaz's publicist, Howard Bragman, told TMZ at the time.

"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."

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Today, Chaz uses his experience to help others who were facing similar issues.

He wrote a book about his own experience when coming out, titled Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Familiesand gave the public a raw insight into his transition with his 2011 documentary, Becoming ChazThe film was showcased at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and later on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

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Although now an avid spokesperson for the LGBTQIA+ community, Cher admitted she was frightened when Chaz first opened up to her about his transition but later became supportive of his decision.

"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," Cher told ABC in a 2010 interview

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Chaz's acting career kicked off when the world still knew him as Chastity, making regular appearances on his parents' Sonny and Cher show. As an adult, he made his debut on the big screen in the 1994 film Bar Girls and then went on to make appearances on numerous prominent TV shows like Ellen and The Secret Life of the American TeenagerIn 2011, he became the first transgender man to compete on the show Dancing with the Stars.

More recently, he portrayed Gark K. Longstreet in the TV series American Horror Story: Cult. This year, he starred in the mockumentary Reboot Camp, a film based on the many cult documentaries — Holy Hell, for example — that have continued to rise in popularity since streaming services became mainstream. The film premiered in October at the Austin Film Festival.

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In Reboot Camp, Chaz plays Herbie, a character he says is similar to the one he played in American Horror story.  "Herbie just seemed like, in a strange way, an extension of the character that I played in American Horror Story," Chaz told The Austin Chronicle back in October. 

"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."

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Today, Chaz enjoys a sense of peace that has only come after accepting his identity. He now lives with his girlfriend, former child actor Sarah Blue Mathes, whom he has been dating since 2019, in West Hollywood. 

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