Chatting with Chaz Bono
by Armando Diaz

Set to be the Grand Marshall of this years Miami Beach Gay PRIDE Festival
on Ocean Drive, AMBIENTE had an EXCLUSIVE one on one with the iconic
and inspiring, son of Cher.

And hello Chaz Bono thank you for taking some time to chat with us,
how are you doin
g today?
I’m good...a little tired, I just flew to Boston and back in a day.

Oh that’s right you had a speaking engagement right?
Yes I did.

Chaz who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

You know, I’ve never even given it a single thought....I don’t know it’d
probably have to be (2) people. <laughs>

What is your favorite comfort food?
Probably pasta, I’m Italian and I grew up on that

What kind of pasta?
Probably a good meat sauce.

As for your family and loved ones, what do you feel has been the most
challenging aspect of this entire journey?
Well I think it depends for some you know, just understanding why
somebody would want a transition and then just kind of getting used to
everything...because you change so much when you do this...that you’re the
same person but you’re definitely a different version of yourself.

If you could have a dinner with anyone past or present, who would it be and what would you say to them?
Probably President Clinton, just because I kind of grew into being politically active while he was in office.  I’ve always loved him and Hillary
and I would just want to shoot the breeze.

What surprises did you encounter on your transition journey that you might want to warn
others undertaking the same thing?
There’s no warnings...for me it’s an incredibly positive experience.

So it’s kind of like a dive in the pool type of a situation?
Well it seems like that but the truth is it all happens very slowly...it’s not like you take
hormones and wake up the next day and everything is different, it’s a slow process and
therefore you have time to adjust to everything.

When was the last time you hung out with your mom, what did you guys do?
I was over at her house a couple of weeks ago and it was my birthday earlier this month and
we had a little family get together there.

That’s right your birthday was March 3rd?
Oh no it was March 4th.

Well happy belated birthday!
Thank you.

What is your all time favorite movie?
I would say “The Godfather”

It might seem rather soon, but are you enjoying single life and would you like to pursue
a relationship in the future?
I’m enjoying the growth that comes from being alone...it’s been a good growth time for me...
Getting to understand myself a little bit better and work on some issues that kind of get
glossed over when you’re in a relationship and dealing with other things.  I definitely at some
point like to be in a committed relationship, my goal is to settle down permanently but ‘m also
not really in a rush at this point.

I’m sure that won’t be a problem...I happen to think you’re a very handsome guy!
<laughs> Thank you.

You’re welcome and yes I am flirting with Chaz Bono!

How do you feel about being Grand Marshall for the Miami Beach Gay Pride?
I think it’s going to be a great time, Miami is a great town and I’m sure you guys throw a great
party and I’m glad to be a part of it

What would you like to do while in Miami?
It’s really funny because every time I’ve been down to Miami...I’ve spent two Christmas’s
there with my family and both times the weather was absolutely horrible! <laughs>
So I’ve never gotten to swim in Miami, I’d LOVE to do that! I love warm tropical clear water which we do not have here in L.A.

How do you feel about your experience on Dancing With The Stars, how much fun was that?
For me probably the greatest professional experience I’ve ever had.  I had a great time and it was hard...the hardest thing I’ve ever done!  It
was just really fun...it was a strange experience you know...I see it, I remember when I was doing the show I was curious...every episode
we taped we had people on the show who had competed in past seasons in the audience and I thought that was kind of strange at first.  
But now I totally get it because now I’m one of those people and that show is like a family it’s just a really big family and doing it was a
genuine pleasure.  I loved the cast that I worked with, we became very close... Became close with the pros and with the people behind the
scenes and I am very proud to be an alumnus of it...and continue to be able to support the show.

That’s wonderful and you know all that hard work paid off because when I saw you...I mean... You can move!  You really can!
<laughs> Thank you!  You know I’m still actually dancing...I really enjoyed learning to dance and I still take lessons as part of my fitness
routine...I do a little kick boxing, weight lifting and dancing!

So Chaz if I may, boxers or briefs?

You’ve mentioned the transitional process has been like going through a second puberty.  And we all know not all changes in puberty
are desirable.  What have been the most undesirable changes you’ve experienced so far?

I would have to say acne is the most undesirable thing! <laughs>  Luckily I didn’t have acne the first time around but pretty much every
trans-guy that I’ve met is just part of the process, you start to break out.  And that’s not fun in your 40’s...but the good thing is not going
through it as a teenager is you’re a little more self aware and know how to take care of yourself better.

What do you feel has been the best thing about being a man so far?
Everything...this is who I’ve always been and now I feel comfortable physically in my body and that’s the best thing about it.  There’s nothing
that doesn’t feel 100% right about being in a male body.

Do you have a favorite cologne that you use right now, what is it?
I use different stuff but probably my go to is John Varvatos.

What do you have going on right now with GLAAD?
They’re a great organization, I will always support them.  Their media awards are coming up and my documentary was nominated for a
GLADD Award.

Through your excellent memoir “Transition: How I Became A Man” and the documentary “Becoming Chaz” which aired on OWN, your
bravery has truly been remarkable! You have presented your own struggle and journey so publicly, thereby lessening the struggles of
others. What message do you have for our transgendered sisters and brothers?
You know not really a message, if anything just being out there and sharing my experience is helpful for the community, especially for
younger people who might be considering transitioning or are having a hard time with it and are scared.  I definitely drew on the strength of
other people in the community who came before me and documented their transition through books and film...and I just wanted to be able
to give back in that way.

What would you like the world to know about Chaz Bono?
Oh God, there’s probably nothing left that I haven’t already said! <laughs>
Between my documentary and my book you know there isn’t anything, I’m pretty much an open book!

Chaz Salvatore Bono was born Chastity Sun Bono on March 4, 1969.  He continues to be the most public and high profile advocate of the
transgender community both in the United States and abroad.  Chaz is an accomplished writer, and musician, and he is the only child
between legendary pop entertainers Sonny and Cher.  
 In 2011, he shared his life and experiences in the three-time Emmy nominated documentary, “Becoming Chaz" which debuted at the
Sundance Film Festival and was later aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
 Chaz currently resides in Los Angeles.

See Chaz in person as the Grand Marshall of
Miami Beach Gay Pride on Sunday, April 15, 2012
in Miami Beach

CLICK HERE for more Armando Diaz

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The best thing
about being a
man so far...

Everything...this is
who I’ve always
been and now I feel
physically in my
body and that’s the
best thing about it.  
There’s nothing that
doesn’t feel 100%
right about being in
a male body.