Born 1969 in Los Angeles, California, Bono is the only child of Cher and Sonny Bono of the pop duo Sonny & Cher, stars of a TV variety show on which the young child often appeared. He was named after the film Chastity, which was produced by Sonny and in which Cher (in her first solo role in a feature film) played a bisexual woman.
Bono came out to both parents as a lesbian at age 18. In Family Outing, Bono wrote that, “as a child, I always felt there was something different about me. I’d look at other girls my age and feel perplexed by their obvious interest in the latest fashion, which boy in class was the cutest, and who looked the most like cover girl Christie Brinkley. When I was 13, I finally found a name for exactly how I was different. I realized I was gay.”
In mid-2008, Bono began undergoing a physical and social transition from female to male. This was confirmed in June 2009 by his publicist, who identified Bono’s preferred name as Chaz Bono and said, “It is Chaz’s hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his coming out did.”
Bono’s legal transition was completed on May 6, 2010, when a California court granted his request for a gender and name change. Bono made Becoming Chaz, a documentary film about his transition that premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Before Chaz Bono, here are lovely photos of Chastity with their parents Cher and Sonny in the early 1970s.