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Gallery | Trans activist Chaz Bono speaks at FIU; tells students about Cher's reaction to his transition

Chaz Bono at FIU 029

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Six months before his transition, Chaz Bono broke the news to Cher.

"I was astonished how cool she was," Bono said Monday to a few hundred students and others at Florida International University. "But when the changes started to happen, it became emotional for her."

Cher -- herself an icon in the LGBT community -- had to deal with the loss of daughter Chastity before getting to the point that she could publicly support a new son, Chaz.

A day after appearing as grand marshal at Miami Beach Gay Pride, Bono visited FIU's Biscayne Bay Campus for An Evening With Chaz Bono, presented by the campus' Office of Campus Life.

Bono, whose father was Sonny Bono, participated in discussion with South Florida LGBT activist Elise Withers, a political science major at FIU. Afterward, Bono answered questions from the audience.

"From as far back as 5 or 6 I felt like a boy," Bono told Withers, adding that most family members accepted his early sense of gender dysphoria.

"The only one I had difficulties in adolescence with was my mom," said Bono, now 43. "Everything seemed like a negotiation."

Bono said that as a child, he knew little about gender identity issues. Young Chastity assumed she was gay because she dated women.

"I joke about this," Bono said, "but I felt like a really bad lesbian. I was doing it all wrong."

But about 10 years ago, Bono began to explore his true gender identity. "It took eight years from realizing I was transgender till I had the courage to do something about it."

Click the photos to view a gallery from the evening. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.

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This is not her Son.!! It's a Daughter, doing a Son imitation.

Turn form your Evil ways and be saved ( :

http://youtu.be/ysNd4QGOgeY

I remember about 8 years ago election time
Cher was in Ft Lauderdale at a rally for John Kerry
She told the crowd of GAYS, that they needed to vote against Bush, because if he got back in, he would have all them all put on buses and sent off to concentration camps
I realized than, just how dangerous it is when we allow celebs, to give political advice

Someday they will be able to discover the gene that causes this dysfunction..so that in the future..instead of being born a girl and changing to a boy and visa versa..they can identify and correct the issue so the female ends up in a female body..sheesh...so many folks are screwed up by damaged DNA...and do not tell me that this is how it is..and it is natural...it is a screw up in the dna sequence..so..I am all for letting the current folks do their thing..but for the unborn..maybe we can correct this so there does not have to be a gender crisis and feel like you are in the wrong body..that is all i am saying

What is amazing is how these people don't realize this is a mental problem, not a physical one. Fix the brain, don't change your body. It is a lot simpler to fix the real problem than have all kinds of surgery and emotional adjustments and then you are still treated like a wierdo because you are one.

you all need to take a "live and let live" pill, you'd be amazed how peaceful it is when you don't feel you have to dictate how others live their lives

That's disgusting, you should be happy with who you are as a person.

Man in the Moon - you are absolutely spot on! Chaz was born with female DNA and no amount of superficial surgical mutilation will change her embedded DNA. She will always be genetically female. The fact that she psychologically and emotionally has not been able to connect with or accept that fact simply means there is someone wrong psychologically and emotionally with her - and that is precisely where the focus of treatment should be - on the mind and emotions - not on changing her natural biological sex that she was naturally born with.

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