June 11, 2009– In a statement released from his publicist, Chaz Bono, the child of Cher and Sonny Bono, and long-time advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, announced today that he has begun transitioning genders from female to male. Chaz has long been active in the fight for LGBT equality including serving as a national “Coming Out Day” spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. In 1996, Chaz was part of a group of celebrities speaking out during the Presidential campaign encouraging members of the LGBT community and allies to vote with equality in mind. A summary of those activities can be found here: http://www.hrc.org/issues/3354.htm
“This announcement by Chaz is nothing short of courageous. His decision to be public about his transition speaks to the courage he has in living his life openly and honestly, and will also undoubtedly help foster much-needed dialogue about the lives of transgender Americans and the need for full equality,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “It is our hope that all of us can feel great pride that we live in a country where each one of us has the ability to be true to our own identity. From the time we are born, we are taught that there are girls and there are boys. But like our history, our communities, are rich with people who have blurred, blended or crossed those lines. Chaz is now part of an impressive and remarkable group of Americans who have made our country a better place simply by being true to their selves.”
The Human Rights Campaign is committed to educating the public on issues that affect transgender Americans. HRC will continue to work at the local, state and federal level in coalition with transgender organizations and leaders to secure equal protection under the law for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
To read more information about transgender Americans’ unique experience and the laws/legislation affecting their lives, please visit: www.hrc.org/transgender.