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Chaz Bono Says YES to Being the Face of Transgender America

“A lot of female-to-male transgender people end up doing a stint in the lesbian community because it just kind of makes sense,” says Chaz Bono, who is so right. “At 13, 14, I was real clear at that point that I was attracted to women. So I was like, ‘I’m attracted to women, I am a woman, I guess I’m a lesbian.’ … That’s the simple answer.”

It’s a pretty great interview with Bono, who says that he’s perfectly fine with being the public face for transgender Americans, particularly when it comes to fighting for trans-inclusive legislation. Except Bono — who notes that although she’s always been a queer activist, “I’m just a little bit more focused on the ‘T’ now, than the ‘L’ and the ‘G’ — was hung out to dry by ABC News’s written report:

chazabc

Oooh, strike-thru, clever!

By:           editor editor
On:           Nov 19, 2009
Tagged: , ,

  • 37 Comments
    • Keith Kimmel
      Keith Kimmel

      And this as the National Day of Remembrance for Transgender People is upon us. Great news.

      Nov 19, 2009 at 11:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlanInUtah
      AlanInUtah

      I am very please at this. I am surprised at how well spoken Chaz is in representing the community in general. Good for him for being able to be so comfortable in this process and in the spotlight. It wouldn’t be an easy thing to do. Kudos Chaz!

      Nov 19, 2009 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      I think Chaz would prefer ‘he’ instead of ‘she’. But how can you be expected to get the little things right when you confuse Brazil with Argentina?

      Nov 19, 2009 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emma
      emma

      How can you criticize ABC’s coverage of him when you’ve misgendered him right in this post (not to mention previous posts)?

      Nov 19, 2009 at 11:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      “…who says that HE’S perfectly fine with being the public face for transgender Americans…”

      “…who notes that although HE’S always been a queer activist…”

      There, I fixed that for you, Queerty. You should always refer to trans people using the pronouns that match the gender they identify as.

      Nov 19, 2009 at 11:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Keith Kimmel
      Keith Kimmel

      Can we possibly be any more petty? Jesus fucking Christ. Grow up, people. It would be nice if we could – for once – report good news here without it devolving into a shit throwing festival.

      Nov 19, 2009 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eugene
      Eugene

      You’re fucking kidding, right? SHE? SERIOUSLY?

      Nov 19, 2009 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queerunity
      queerunity

      I’d like to echo the above comments. Replace “she” with “he” please, if this is a slip it’s ok, but otherwise you should know better.

      http://queersunited.blogspot.com

      Nov 19, 2009 at 12:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      Asking a queer website to show basic respect to all members of the LGBT community is not petty. And, as I stated in a post yesterday, if there’s ANY site where people should be corrected and/or called out on such matters it’s a queer news blog.

      Nov 19, 2009 at 12:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      I’m glad that Chaz cleared up that he is more focused on the “T” in GLBT right now. I think that a lot of the media wants to completely generalize the community so they were treating Chaz almost as if he was a butch lesbian instead of a Trangender male, the same way they treat Trangender females like gay guys that just like to dress up.

      I was irritated at some of Chaz’s earlier comments because I felt that he was sticking it to the gay community, but now that he has cleared up “Hey, I’m trans, stop expecting me to be gay, lesbian, etc…” I get where his mindset is. Now HOPEFULLY the press will go to Chaz when they need a perspective from a Trans person and not be shocked when he doesn’t want to be a spokesperson for the lesbian community!

      Nov 19, 2009 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FakeName
      FakeName

      Chaz was “hung out to try” by ABC? Hung out to try what? I think you mean “hung out to DRY”.

      Nov 19, 2009 at 12:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emma
      emma

      Thanks for trying to correct this, Queerty, but you still missed one…

      Nov 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • daho
      daho

      Jeez, check your Queer StyleGuide on page 1. That’s a pretty f’d up mistake.

      Nov 19, 2009 at 3:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rudy
      rudy

      Here’s a better face – somebody with great talent who’s worked hard all their lives and isn’t living off his parents’ fame:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/fashion/15genb.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

      Listen to the clips on her website – this trans broad is a genius. GLBTI – we can do anything as well if not better than anybody!

      http://www.sarabuechner.com/index.html

      Nov 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mmmexperimental
      mmmexperimental

      “Except Bono — who notes that although she’s”

      “she’s” ???
      What is that about? Get your sh*t together!

      Nov 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      Keith Keith Keith, how annoyed would you be if you were constantly referred to in the wrong gender… htis isn’t an isolated incident, Queerty’s been making a lot of these errors lately. Thankfully they fixed this one… well kinda…

      Nov 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      ooops my own proofreader was out to lunch…

      Nov 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • terrwill
      terrwill

      If you have such a problem with the Queerty people why not go to Traneerty.com????

      CAM: you are correct Chaz was indeed disrespecting the Gay community when Chaz first revealed the propsed plumbing change. There was a quote; “we are now just like any other straight couple” That seems like a pretty definite cutting of ties with the Gay community……………….

      Nov 19, 2009 at 5:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      God, he looks so uncomfortable in that interview.

      Nov 19, 2009 at 6:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Disgusted American
      Disgusted American

      As a Out Gay Man, I’ll never pretend to actually fully understand transexualism….but whatever makes someone happy..I don’t wan’t anyone Judging”me, so Im not judging anyone else….Best of luck Chaz…but that 11yr old boy in 1971 will always remember you as Chastity on “Sonny & Cher…Peace

      Nov 19, 2009 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cass
      Cass

      That is the first time I have heard Chaz speak, and I have heard “her” many times over her life, where he/she actually was grounded and in his/her boots. That soul figured it out and is liv’n the true self. Amazing. The transformation is totally amazing on all levels. I will be listening to him much more now than before. Good going MAN!!!

      Nov 19, 2009 at 6:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drewbrown
      drewbrown

      just one question: who is that DELICIOUS GMA host?

      Nov 19, 2009 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • martin
      martin

      good for him!

      Nov 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Max Ford
      Max Ford

      All people deserved to be happy, find peace and live in truth. I wish him the best and hope that if a dark day of doubt comes to Chaz, that he has someone close to him to show him all the love he needs to move forward. He has great courage to fight for his truth.
      Max Ford
      Phoenix

      Nov 19, 2009 at 8:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lady Ga-Gasp
      Lady Ga-Gasp

      My dad, when I was little, and in Alabama, maybe 10; we were driving in a shopping mall parking lot. I saw a transexual hooker and made a typical comment one would expect of a 10 year old.

      My dad…

      (who was never one to say much of anything to me on a personal level about sexual politics — I mean, what ‘wondering’ parent of an obviously gay 10 year old child ever is?)

      …said “Son, I have decided that the right thing to do is to accept people on their terms. If he wants me to think of him as a she, then that’s just fine, and I will.”

      What disturbs me is that 30 years later, I still react to so many (not all) transexuals the way I did as a 10 year old.

      There is something about the act of changing your physical self (versus your mental landscape) for the purpose of what (?) that I find hard to empathize with. Its like an old person trying to look like a young person, via plastic surgery.

      It smacks of something way beyond ‘who one is attracted TO’ and touches on what one sees one’s self as. And it feels violent as well.

      This is how I feel, and I hope the dialogue that results from this level of frankness can be enlightening instead of dull.

      Nov 19, 2009 at 10:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LiberalBitch
      LiberalBitch

      Is this the same as Trans Fat?

      Nov 19, 2009 at 11:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Missanthrope
      Missanthrope

      “There is something about the act of changing your physical self (versus your mental landscape) for the purpose of what (?) that I find hard to empathize with. Its like an old person trying to look like a young person, via plastic surgery.

      It smacks of something way beyond ‘who one is attracted TO’ and touches on what one sees one’s self as. And it feels violent as well.”

      What’s wrong or violent with becoming yourself? People modify their bodies all the time, they have since the beginning of the human race. I changed my physical self to match my inner self. Would you have rather me live in the closet (dying of suffication) and try to change my inner self so my body can live up to your expectations? That’s ex-gay-like bullshit.

      I’d bet you would never ask a queer person to not be themselves to make yourself comfortable.

      I would also say in all honesty (and not getting confrontational about it) that this is more about your issues about gender and body modification and not about the lives of transgender people. Just like how some straight people have hang-ups/fears about sex and project them on to gay people, you project those fears on to us.

      Just like those hang-ups are nothing really to do with gay people, your issues have nothing really to do with trans people. It’s all about you.

      I do not exist for you comfort or discomfort.

      Nov 20, 2009 at 2:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeoffM
      GeoffM

      I don’t understand it all, but how absolutely cool and refreshing to see someone VOLUNTEER to be a role model vs being dragged out and then proclaimed a hero! Bravo Chaz!

      Nov 20, 2009 at 8:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HeyBudBoston
      HeyBudBoston

      @Missanthrope and Lady GaGasp
      re:issues
      As a gay man, when I am attracted to someone and want to make a move in the romantic direction, I am always sure that the object of my affection is also a gay man. I know what I like, and I want to be with someone who knows and likes the same things that I do. This is a typical expectation. Gay men have sex with men — they both like penis. Lesbians have sex with women– they both like vagina. All very straightforward.

      Transfolk? Not so straightforward. Chaz *was* a lesbian and was attracted to girls. *Now* Chaz is a straight man who is attracted to girls. But the only thing that has changed is Chaz’ perception of himself.

      And therein lies *my* issue: from what I read on trans-friendly sites, being trans is not so much about coming to terms with one’s own sexuality (as it is with being gay/lesbian.) It seems to be more about rectifying one’s identity within the larger non-trans community and the non-trans community’s perception. To me, this seems like a much different, bigger struggle than coming to terms with your own sexuality. Thus, even though my sexuality falls out of the mainstream, I have a hard time understanding the relationship and correlation between the “T”s and the LGBs.

      Nov 20, 2009 at 8:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caleb
      Caleb

      HeyBudBoston-
      I think the correlation is that in as much as we cannot change our sexual orientation and we would hope people would not treat us differently because of that (it’s part of our makeup), trans people cannot change their gender identity (it’s part of their makeup) and we would hope people would not treat them differently because of that.

      I think Chaz is also a perfect example of the correlation because he describes growing up knowing he was attracted to women and lived as a lesbian, but later realized it was much more about the fact he felt he was male and not female and not that he was a lesbian. I mean if you identify as another gender I can’t imagine there isn’t a time where you don’t question whether you’re gay or what the deal is. Physically you know you are one gender and yet you know you are attracted to another gender. I can’t imagine being able to accept and articulate that the reality is you feel you were born the wrong gender comes instantly.

      I don’t always understand it either. That is how I connect the two issues. But I agree in reality they are different issues. But from a political perspective, they are the same. Do not treat anyone differently because of the way they were born. What is funny is that trans people actually, in a way, have one advantage because there is a way to live your life openly by changing your gender, both physically and legally and then be able to marry and be, as Chaz pointed out, just another straight person.

      Nov 20, 2009 at 10:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Missanthrope
      Missanthrope

      “Thus, even though my sexuality falls out of the mainstream, I have a hard time understanding the relationship and correlation between the “T”s and the LGBs.”

      When bashers are beating a person to death in a parking lot, they don’t stop to ask how they identify or who you’re attracted too; we’re all “faggots” to them.

      When straight trans women or straight trans guys try to marry in places like Texas or Kansas, where courts have decided that sex is determined by chromosones (surgeries don’t matter to them) then they are subject to DOMA. A couple of people have already had their marriages annulled or disinherited because of this.

      I’m bi/queer or whatever you want to call it, if I want to marry a cisgender gay guy or another trans woman, DOMA affects that. Even if I get my birth certificate changed, then I can’t marry a cisgender (non-trans) woman, again DOMA affects.

      Yeah, there are differences. But but having both lived as a queer man and now a queer trans woman, I think we have more in common than our differences in the way that we are all on the margins of society and systematically discriminated against.

      Also, a good number GLB people are discriminated because of their varient gender expression more than their sexuality (a number of butch dykes have been thrown out of women’s bathrooms because they’re have been read as men), and gay men how have been ejected from places for being “too fruity”.

      And also, trans people have to deal a lot with sexuality issues. There no hard numbers, but in my personal experience about a third of trans people I’ve met are straight, a third bi and a third gay, that’s even a bigger ratio of queer people in the trans population than the cisgender population.

      Even many of the straight trans people usually live as gay men and women in LGBT community before trnasitioning. So they are dealing with sexuality too, especially if they are visibly trans and people treat them as their birth gender, then people treat them as if they are “etremely gay”.

      So there are a lot of point where our subjectivities intersect with homophobia, transphobia and misogyny in our society.

      Anyway, why are we focusing so much on our differences? I thought the community was about fostering connections and finding common ground. Gays and Lesbians have very different issues a lot of the time, but nobody ever asks why either of those groups are included.

      Caleb:

      “What is funny is that trans people actually, in a way, have one advantage because there is a way to live your life openly by changing your gender, both physically and legally and then be able to marry and be, as Chaz pointed out, just another straight person.”

      It isn’t so simple as that. First off, not all trans people are straight (I’m an example). And unless you can afford or want surgery (some trans people don’t), then you can’t get your documentation changed. If you can’t get you’re documentation changed, you’ll be outed anytime you apply for a job or have to work with official paper work. And not all trans people pass as the gender they identify with. so please don’t assume that transitioning is an automatic ticket to acceptance or so advantageous.

      But yes, luckily if some people’s stars align in the right way, then they do have an advantage in a way, but it’s kinda a illusionary one, because in this age of electronic databases w old records can pop up and out you at any moment, I’ve known some people that this has happened too.

      Nov 20, 2009 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      some of you need jobs or lives… maybe not in that order though….

      Nov 22, 2009 at 11:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer

      If i was a mother and my daughter wanted to become a man, i would kill her in her sleep. That “Man” is a disgrace to the human race and i hope “he” burns in hell for disrespecting how God made him.

      Nov 23, 2009 at 10:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      No. 33 · Jennifer said…
      If i was a mother and my daughter wanted to become a man, i would kill her in her sleep. That “Man” is a disgrace to the human race and i hope “he” burns in hell for disrespecting how God made him.
      ______________________________________

      Interesting that you purport to be upset at how Caz is disrespecting “God” yet you talk so casually about breaking one of the TEn commandments (Thou Shall not Kill). I guess it’s ok to go against God’s law when it’s all about YOU though isn’t it?

      Nov 23, 2009 at 10:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Straight as an arrow
      Straight as an arrow

      F**king diseased faggots!

      Nov 24, 2009 at 1:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      (Love you too #35)

      Heaven loves ya
      The clouds part for ya
      Nothing stands in your way
      When you’re a boy

      Clothes always fit ya
      Life is a pop of the cherry
      When you’re a boy

      When you’re a boy
      You can wear a uniform
      When you’re a boy
      Other boys check you out
      You get a girl
      These are your favourite things
      When you’re a boy

      Boys
      Boys
      Boys keep swinging
      Boys always work it out

      Uncage the colours
      Unfurl the flag
      Luck just kissed you hello
      When you’re a boy

      They’ll never clone ya
      You’re always first on the line
      When you’re a boy

      When you’re a boy
      You can buy a home of your own
      When you’re a boy
      Learn to drive and everything
      You’ll get your share
      When you’re a boy

      Boys
      Boys
      Boys keep swinging
      Boys always work it out
      (David Bowie)

      Nov 24, 2009 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarlieB
      DarlieB

      CHAZ IS AWESOME !

      Nov 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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