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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!

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37 Comments

  • Keith Kimmel

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

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • emma

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Eugene

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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • FakeName

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

  • emma

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

  • daho

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

  • mmmexperimental

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

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

  • 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…

  • edgyguy1426

    ooops my own proofreader was out to lunch…

  • 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……………….

  • Chris

    God, he looks so uncomfortable in that interview.

  • 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

  • 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!!!

  • drewbrown

    just one question: who is that DELICIOUS GMA host?

  • martin

    good for him!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • LiberalBitch

    Is this the same as Trans Fat?

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • alan brickman

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

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Straight as an arrow

    F**king diseased faggots!

  • 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)

  • DarlieB

    CHAZ IS AWESOME !

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