Chaz Bono details sex change journey on "Oprah"

Actor Chaz Bono arrives at GLAAD Celebrates 25 Years Of LGBT Images In The Media, December 3, 2010 in Los Angeles.
Valerie Macon/Getty Images
Chaz Bono at GLAAD Celebrates 25 Years Of LGBT Images In The Media, Dec. 3, 2010 in Los Angeles.
Getty Images

(CBS) - Chaz Bono spoke candidly about his journey of transitioning from female to male on the "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Monday.

Bono, born Chastity to singer and actress Cher and the late Sonny Bono, told Winfrey that he felt his body was "literally betraying" him when he went through puberty.

Pictures: Cher

"It was just horrifying to me," the 42-year-old said. "You have this image of yourself and all of a sudden your body does the exact opposite of what you feel."

Bono, who also chronicles his transition in the documentary "Becoming Chaz," which premieres Tuesday on OWN, and in his new book, "Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man," to be released this week, said he first settled with the idea of being a lesbian, an identity he says "worked for a little while."

"I always had this idea that, 'Sure, I wished I was a boy and felt more like a boy and all of that.' But I wasn't, so I would deal with it. And I for some reason thought there were other lesbians that felt that way and that was just part of that community," he explained. "Then I started to realize, no, that isn't what a lesbian is at all. That's what being transgender is."

When he went ahead with the sex change, Bono said his mom, Cher, was first "unbelievably cool" but started to pull away when she first saw the affects of the testosterone injections.

"When my voice started to change, I think, is when it really hit her," he says.

He adds: "The hard thing for my mom, I think, is that because she's a public figure and because she has this personality of kind of being so cool about stuff and progressive, people forget that she's a parent."

"This is an incredibly difficult process for parents," he said. "The truth is that a lot of parents never speak to their transgender kids again. That's not the case in my family. There's no doubt about her love for me."

Today, Bono says he is at peace. "I feel really good. I feel like a man now, and I'm really happy."

Click here for the full interview.