Sonny and Cher were quick to introduce their young daughter Chastity Bono to the entertainment world via their television show back in the 70's. The sweet little girl with the big brown eyes, though dressed in frills and encouraged to play with dolls, realized that she was not like other girls by the time she was thirteen.
Chastity outed herself in the late 1980's, much to the displeasure of her celebrity parents. The free-spirited Cher got over her ire within a few days but her father Sonny Bono was, by then, a politician. The Congressman from California and his daughter struggled in their relationship. Sonny had been estranged from his daughter for over a year when he died in a skiing accident in 1998.
The civil rights advocate, journalist, author and musician formerly known as Chastity has now become Chaz Bono, according to an exclusive TMZ report. He began the process of changing genders after turning 40, earlier this year. The process, a slow one, is currently underway--with no turning back.
Bono's publicist, Howard Bragman, released the following statement:
"Yes, it's true--Chaz, after many years of consideration, has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity. He is proud of his decision and grateful for the support and respect that has already been shown by his loved ones. It is Chaz's hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his 'coming out' did nearly 20 years ago. We ask that the media respect Chaz's privacy during this long process and he will not be doing any interviews at this time."
View more photos below.