Chaz Bono Shares His Gender Re-Assignment Surgery Story

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Oct. 28 2009, Published 12:18 p.m. ET

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Chaz Bono will open up for the first time about undergoing gender re-assignment surgery to become a man in a two-part interview in his home with Entertainment Tonight airing Thursday and Friday. 

Chaz's decision to go through with gender re-assignment surgery was not an easy one, but one he felt he was always supposed to do.

"It wasn't a sudden decision. I've been doing therapy for a long time. It’s a long process going back almost a decade," Chaz explained to ET. "I got clean and sober in 2004 and I couldn't have done this before that."

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"I always felt like the male from the time I was a child. There wasn't much feminine about me. I believe that gender is something between your ears not between your legs," Chaz  reveals. "That is something I discovered in the early 90's. It was just a long process of being comfortable enough to do something about it. I was turning 40 and I thought it's now or never."

"I want to still feel vibrant and be able to enjoy my life in a male body and not wait until I am an old man."

The process was long, and included taking male hormone pills beginning back in March.

"It lowered my voice. Fat redistributes, muscle growth, hair growth, sex drive increases. It doesn't change anything mentally and emotionally," Chaz said. "I'm still not anywhere near what I will look like but really for the first time I am feeling much more comfortable with how I look physically."

Chaz spoke about getting his breasts removed to ET and explained, "Most people call it top surgery. The construction of the male chest from a female chest. When I went through puberty and started to grow breasts, it was very uncomfortable and emotional."

Chaz Bono
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Chaz is also uncomfortable about taking about any future plans for surgery.

"That’s a personal decision and I don't really feel comfortable talking about anything below the waist."

His complete change will take some time to progress.

"I will be changing for about 4 to 5 years in total but I'll be on testosterone for the rest of my life," Chaz says. "The nice thing about this process is it is slow. I am literally going through puberty."

The side effects aren't too terrible he said, "Just muscle aches… growing pains."

"I shave about once a week now. It kind of started to come in just like peach fuzz. I always wanted to shave. It is a very natural process. For my birthday I got a lot of shaving stuff."

Chaz said he can't speak for his mother Cher's feelings about his experience, but told ET that everyone close to him has been very supportive. "The people in my life are just happy that I'm doing this and seeing the positive effect that its having on me," he says.


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