From Chastity to Chaz: Bono Speaks Out

In June, Chastity Bono, daughter of entertainers Sonny and Cher, shocked the entertainment world by announcing that she was becoming a he.

Now, in his first interview, Chaz Bono, as he now calls himself, speaks to "Entertainment Tonight's" Mary Hart about his transformation, his famous family and the struggle he's gone through since childhood.

"I have to tell you that I was really quite moved with my time with Chaz. His honesty, thoughtfulness and warmth not only impressed me, but it helped me understand this very serious choice he's made," Hart told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

According to Bono, the most difficult step he had to take was, "finding the courage not to worry about what other people would think of me so much."

America first met Bono on "The Sonny and Cher Show" as an adorable, little blonde girl with pig tails.

Now 40 years old, and almost 15 years since coming out as gay, he is beginning to live life as he wanted to for a long time, as a man. He says the complete transformation will take four or five years and involves surgery and hormone therapy.

Along with a gender reassignment surgery comes facial hair.

"I shave about once a week now," Bono told Hart. "So it's not, certainly not thick. It kind of started to come in like peach fuzz," which he said was a thrill to experience.

The hormones have dramatically changed Bono's voice, which was a slight adjustment for him.

"It does it in stages, so, no. I'm literally going through puberty," he said.

Bono is currently creating a book and a documentary chronicling his journey into manhood.

The surgical process started already for Bono.

"It has. As a matter of fact, Chaz just recently underwent cosmetic surgery to have his breasts removed," Hart explained. "And I asked him about if it was difficult. He said, no, actually it was a relief."

Interestingly, Bono's changed voice sounds a lot like his father, Sonny, commented Smith.

"You know, Harry, you're absolutely right. There is a similarity," Hart added. "Chaz did tell me, however, that this process is a four- to five-year process and he thinks his voice will get increasingly deep.

"So, you know, the whole experience has been remarkable for him and the one thing he did tell me is that he said, 'you know, my outsides are finally beginning to match my insides.' I mean, he said 'I feel more like myself than I ever have felt.'"
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