The only child born to music legends Sonny & Cher, Chastity Bono became a weekly fixture as a blonde, cherubic child on her parents' variety series "The Sonny and Cher Show" (CBS, 1971-74). After growing up in the public eye, she came out as a lesbian in 1995 and worked as a writer and LGBT activist, choosing not to pursue an entertainment career as her parents had. Several years after an appearance on "Celebrity Fit Club" (VH1, 2005-2010), Bono made headlines for undergoing the social, legal and physical process of female-to-male gender transition, becoming "Chaz Salvatore Bono." Stating his determination to become an advocate for the transgender community, he filmed the documentary "Becoming Chaz" (OWN, 2011) and penned his third memoir, "Transition: The Story of How I Became A Man." In a revolutionary casting coup that shone a spotlight on issues dear to his heart, Bono joined the cast of "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ). Although he chose to keep a lower profile than that of his superstar parents, Chaz Bono showed unique courage to become a much respected icon of a different sort: a hero to the LGBT community and proud ambassador for the often misunderstood transgendered population.
Born March 4, 1969 in Los Angeles, Chastity Sun Bono was the only child born to entertainers Sonny Bono and Cher, famous at the time as the singing duo Sonny & Cher. Named for a 1969 film produced by her father and starring her mother, Bono was in the spotlight from birth, appearing frequently on her parents' popular variety series "The Sonny and Cher Show" (CBS, 1971-74). She came out as a lesbian to her parents at 18 and then publicly via The Advocate in 1995. Although she dabbled in music, as an adult Bono mostly eschewed an entertainment career, focusing on working as a writer and LGBT activist, serving as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign and as Entertainment Media Director for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Sadly, Bono and her Republican congressman father were estranged due to political differences when he died in January 1998 from injuries suffered during a skiing accident in Northern California, but she was able to gain the full support of her mother, who became a staunch LGBT ally.
In 2006, Bono appeared on the third season of "Celebrity Fit Club" (VH1, 2005-2010) and served as a team captain for the weight-loss series. After extensive therapy and soul-searching, Bono began the physical and social process of gender transitioning from female to male in 2009. On May 7, 2010, his legal transition was completed and he took the name "Chaz Salvatore Bono" in tribute to his late father. Publicly stating a desire to serve as an ambassador and advocate for the trans community the way he already had for the LGBT community, Bono made the acclaimed documentary "Becoming Chaz" (OWN, 2011) and published Transition: The Story of How I Became A Man, his third memoir, following 1998's Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming Out Process for Gays, Lesbians and Their Families and 2003's The End of Innocence. Bono made history with the revolutionary news that he had joined the cast of "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ), sparking a national conversation about an underrepresented community.
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Penned the book Family Outing; detailed Bono's coming out
Was one of the team captains for "Celebrity Fit Club 3" and was supported by girlfriend Jennifer Elia
Made "Becoming Chaz," a documentary film about his sex change that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network acquired the rights to the documentary and debuted it on May 10, 2011
Joined the 13th season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars"