CHAZ BONO: "MY OUTSIDES ARE FINALLY STARTING TO MATCH MY INSIDES. I FEEL LIKE I'M LIVING IN MY BODY FOR THE FIRST TIME"
October 28, 2009 (Los Angeles, CA)-- ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT's MARY HART sat down exclusively with Chaz Bono at his Los Angeles home as he opens up for the first time about undergoing gender re-assignment surgery to become a man, in a new two-part interview to air Thursday, October 29th and Friday, October 30th.
About his life-changing decision, Chaz tells Mary, "It wasn't a sudden decision. I've been doing therapy for a long time. It's a long process going back almost a decade. I got clean and sober in 2004 and I couldn't have done this before that."
He goes on to say, "I always felt like the male from the time I was a child. There wasn't much feminine about me. I believe that gender is something between your ears not between your legs. That is something I discovered in the early 90's. It was just a long process of being comfortable enough to do something about it. I was turning 40 and I thought it's now or never. I want to still feel vibrant and be able to enjoy my life in a male body and not wait until I am an old man."
Chaz tells ET about taking male hormones, "I started in March. It lowered my voice. Fat redistributes, muscle growth, hair growth, sex drive increases. It doesn't change anything mentally and emotionally. [I'm] still not anywhere near what I will look like but really for the first time I am feeling much more comfortable with how I look physically." On having his breasts removed, "Most people call it top surgery. The construction of the male chest from a female chest. When I went through puberty and started to grow breasts, it was very uncomfortable and emotional." When asked if he plans to undergo further surgery, he replies, "That's a personal decision and I don't really feel comfortable talking about anything below the waist."
On how the changes will progress, "I will be changing for about 4 to 5 years in total but I'll be on testosterone for the rest of my life. The nice thing about this process is it is slow. I am literally going through puberty." Any negative side effects? "Just muscle aches... growing pains."
Chaz reveals that he has begun shaving his face, "I shave about once a week now. It kind of started to come in just like peach fuzz. I always wanted to shave. It is a very natural process. For my birthday I got a lot of shaving stuff."
How has Chaz's mother Cher felt about her child's experience? Chaz tells ET he cannot speak for her. However, he says everyone close to him has been nothing but supportive. "The people in my life are just happy that I'm doing this and seeing the positive effect that its having on me," he says.
Chaz goes on to tell Mary he hopes that his life experience will help others, "[I'm] trying to use my life experience to educate people. I feel more like myself more than I ever felt. I feel happier and more confident. I used to live most of my life in my head because I was so uncomfortable in my body. The most important thing about this for me is that my outsides are finally starting to match my insides. I feel like I'm living in my body for the first time and it feels really good."