Cher Bono opens up about her son’s transition, Chaz Bono

Born in March 1969, Chaz Salvatore Bono is a writer, actor, and musician. He became famous for being the child of his parents, Sonny Bono and Cher Bono, who are entertainers, on the Television Show The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.

We are sure that you have read or heard about Chaz Bono’s gender transition. Well, read this article to the end to get the whole story. Despite his gender transition, he is a relevant and resourceful jolly fellow.

Early Life and Education

Chaz Bono grew up with his parents and attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. Afterward, he proceeded to the School of Music and Performing Arts in New York City. However, at 18, Bono came back to his parents as a lesbian.

Personal Life

Bono is the only child of his parents, stars of the pop duo T.V. variety show Sonny and Cher Bono, where he often appeared as a young child. His parents named him after the film Chastity, which was produced by Sonny, in which Cher, in her first single role in a feature film, performed as a bisexual woman.

Chaz’s Gender Transition

At 18, Chaz Bono came out to his parents as a lesbian. During their family outing, he wrote, “As a child, I always felt there was something different about me. I’d look at other girls my age and feel perplexed about their obvious interest in the latest fashion. The fashion looked the most like cover girl Christie Brinkley, and which boy in the class was the cutest. When I was 13, I finally found a name for how I was different. I realized I was gay”.

In 1995, while he was taking a woman’s identity, the tabloid press unveiled him as a lesbian many years after. He shamelessly self-identified as a lesbian in a cover story in a leading American gay monthly magazine, The Advocate. 

He finally went ahead to talk about the procedures of coming out to oneself and others in two books. Family Outing: A Guide To Coming Out Process for Gays, Lesbians and their Families in 1988, including the account of his coming out. The memoir, The End of Innocence, released in 2003, talks about his music career, outing, and his partner’s death, Joan, from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Between 2008 and 2010, Chaz Bono went through a female-to-male gender transition. A two-part Entertainment Tonight, featured in June 2009, made it clear that his growth had already started a year ago. But then, he legally changed his name and gender in May 2010. A documentary on his experience, Becoming Chaz, was screened during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and then made its television debut on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

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Top 10 facts about Chaz Bono

  1. Chaz’s parents named him Chaz Salvatore Bono. Chaz decided to use his middle name, Salvatore, to reverence his dad. Also, Chaz’s father, Sonny, wrote a movie, Chastity, in which a girl named Chastity traveled on a country trip to figure out who she was and find love. He called his son after the character Cher in the movie.
  2. Chaz worked for a magazine and website company. The advocate. The news outlet featured him on the cover page when he announced himself as a lesbian in 1995. They featured him again on the cover when he became a transgender person in 2011.
  3. Chaz started a career in acting in 2012. He attended Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop in L.A., United States, without anybody’s assistance.
  4. Bono is a spokesman for the human rights campaign of LGBTQ. In 2016, he became the entertainment director for GLAAD. He also led the campaign against Marriage Act.
  5. Chaz acted in soap operas also. Due to his competence, he played the role of Reverend Rydale in 5 episodes of Bold and the Beautiful.
  6. He directed, produced, and appeared in a documentary, Becoming Chaz. The film premiered in 2011 and comprised his transition from male to female and men. Fans nominated the documentary for three awards.
  7. Chaz is also an author. He has written and published four non-fiction books. His books are about his triumphs and tragedies, his biography, and the transition from female to male.
  8. Bono started acting in his childhood days. His parents, Cher and Sonny, are famous people, so he appeared in their shows regularly. Due to that, we guess that was where and when he picked an interest in acting in movies.
  9. He competed in a dancing competition alongside his partner, Lacey Schwimmer. It was Season 13 of Dancing with the Stars. Although, the judges eliminated them in the sixth week. However, it was historical that a transgender man could perform on the show without the competition centered around transgender issues.
  10. Bono appeared in Roanoke and Cult, although they are American Horror movies.

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Chaz Bono 1988 started a short music career with the band ceremony, which released an album in 1993, Hang Out Your Poetry. The band featured him in vocals, percussions, and acoustic guitar. Other team members were Heidi Shink, Chance, Steve Bauman, March Torme, a backup vocalist, Pete McRae, Louis Ruiz, and Bryn Mathieu. All of the band’s songs except one were written and co-written by Chaz Bono, Shink, and Mark Hudson, although they did not use synthesizers or digital effects on their album.

Shink cleared it up, “We turned our back on technology… It’s reminiscent of the 60s, but more a tip of the hat than emulating it. We took the music we love and rejuvenated it, made it 90s”. The songs “Ready For Love” and “Could’ve Been Love” were released as singles from the album. Sonny and Cher served as backup vocals for recording the track “Living It Up” on the album. Chaz Bono, in April 1995, came out as a lesbian for an interview with a national gay and lesbian magazine, The Advocate.

The 1998 Family Outing book elaborated on how Chaz’s bold declaration as a woman, an individual, and a lesbian pushed him into a political role that transformed his life. Still in the book, Chaz Bono disclosed that his mother, Cher, a gay idol and an accomplice of the LGBT clique, had a bit of uneasiness with the news at first. However, after getting angry, she decided to accept 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”.

Since then, his mother, Cher, has become an outspoken LGBT rights activist. Chaz Bono’s relationship with his father became damaged after he (Sonny) became a Republican Congressman from California. Also, their contrast in their political views disconnected them. Both father and son have not spoken for more than a year since his father Sonny’s catastrophic skiing accident in January 1998.



Chaz Bono worked more for The Advocate as a writer. Being a social activist, he became a spokesperson for promoting National Coming Out Day, the Human Rights Campaign. Also, he was the spokesman for the campaign for the re-election of Bill Clinton for U.S. president and a campaign against the Defense Act. 

Bono worked for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) as Entertainment Media Director. In 2006, he was the team captain of Celebrity Fit Club. His girlfriend, Jennifer Elia, braced him by organizing exercise and training sessions.

Chaz Bono


The Human Rights Campaign published a video in 2016 concerning the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting. In the released video, Chaz Bono and some others talked about the stories of the people killed there.

In mid-2008, Chaz Bono started going through a physical and social transition from female to male. However, it was certified in June 2009 by his publicist, who recognized his name as Chaz Bono. The publicist said that he hopes that Chaz’s choice would open the minds and hearts of the public toward gays. GLAAD and the Empowering Spirits Foundation were swift to render applause and assistance for the announcement. 

Bono’s change of name after the transition

Chaz Bono’s legal transition was accomplished on 6 May 2010, when a court in California granted him his petition to change his name and gender. Bono made Becoming Chaz, a documentary film about his transition, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The Oprah Winfrey Network gained the rights to the documentary, and on 10 May 2011, they debuted it.

In September 2011, Chaz Bono became a competitor in the 13th season of the U.S. Dancing With The Stars, partnered with Lacey Schwimmer, a professional ballroom dancer. 25 October 2011, the directors eliminated them. The media recorded it as the first time a publicly transgender man thrived in a significant television show. 

Social Media

He is on Instagram as @therealchazbono with about 36.9K Followers. Also, on Twitter, as @ChazBono with 153k followers, he has a verified Facebook account @ChazBono with 139K Followers.

Net Worth

Chaz Bono has accumulated a net worth of about $500,000 from his career as a writer (he has written and published four books). Although an actor (who has written, directed, and produced movies), he has gained wealth and popularity. As a musician (who has sung so many songs that have gone viral), he has amassed so much wealth.


Chaz Bono is a multi-talented fellow, although we are confused about his gender. He is an activist for the LGBTQ community, alongside his mother. But aside from his transition story, he has achieved significant milestones in the entertainment industry as a musician, writer, and actor.

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