[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/11/cher.chastity.jpg caption="Actress and singer Cher comforts her daughter Chastity Bono during a rally for 'National Coming Out Day' in 1996. Chastity started the transition to Chaz about 1 year ago." width=292 height=320]
As the daughter of Cher and Sonny Bono, Chaz Bono has been in the public spotlight for his entire life. Being well-known made the decision to transition from a female to a male even more difficult. Chastity had to accept that becoming Chaz would not be a private matter. Throughout the gender reassignment process, Chaz has had the support of his famous mother and his girlfriend. Now, he is speaking out as a member of the transgender community. Tune in tonight at 10pm ET to hear Chaz talk about his transition, regrets, experiences, and how being the child of celebrities shaped his identity.
This glossary from GLAAD has helpful information and terminology about the transgender community:
An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term may include but is not limited to: transsexuals, cross-dressers, and other gender-variant people. Transgender people may identify as female-to-male (FTM) or male-to-female (MTF). Use the descriptive term (transgender, transsexual, cross-dresser, FTM or MTF) preferred by the individual. Transgender people may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically.
Transsexual (also Transexual)
An older term which originated in the medical and psychological communities. Many transgender people prefer the term "transgender" to "transsexual." Some transsexual people still prefer to use the term to describe themselves. However, unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term, and many transgender people do not identify as transsexual. It is best to ask which term an individual prefers.
Altering one's birth sex is not a one-step procedure; it is a complex process that occurs over a long period of time. Transition includes some or all of the following cultural, legal and medical adjustments: telling one's family, friends, and/or co-workers; changing one's name and/or sex on legal documents; hormone therapy; and possibly (though not always) some form of surgical alteration.
Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS)
Refers to surgical alteration, and is only one small part of transition (see Transition above). Preferred term to "sex change operation." Not all transgender people choose to or can afford to have SRS.
Filed under: Gay & Lesbian Issues
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