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Cher Gives Birth to Chastity Bono (March 4, 1969)

Chastity-bono-sonny_and_cher Cher was 22 years old when she gave birth to daughter Chastity on March 4, 1969.  Very few children who weren't actors (like Shirley Temple) or the offspring of presidents (e.g., Caroline and John-John Kennedy) received the amount of media attention as did Chastity Bono.  As a toddler she was carried out on stage by her parents to say good night at the end of every telecast of their CBS variety show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (which began as a summer replacement series in 1971 when Chastity was 2-1/2 years old.)   



Chastitybono Once the show went off the air in the mid-70s Chastity was able to grow up without the glare of cameras.  However, attention returned when she was a young adult.  First, she started a band named Ceremony and then she came out in the Advocate in 1995.  Her visibility took off upon becoming a guest columnist for the magazine, took a high profile positon with GLAAD and became a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. 



Chaz_bono Chazbono_dancingwiththestarsAnd then in 2009 Chastity captured more headlines by announcing that she was transitioning to a male and had her name legally changed to Chaz Bono.  A documentary about this transition, titled Becoming Chaz, premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival and in May 2011 had its TV premiere on Oprah Winfrey's new OWN cable network.  Then in the fall of 2011 Chaz was chosen to compete on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.  More recently, Chaz went on a weight loss program and slimmed down, losing nearly 50 pounds by February 2013. 


Chaz's story about coming out to his parents (about five years before his public announcement) is told in the 1998 book Family Outing while a second book The End of Innocence: A Memoir, published in 2003, talks about his band and some trying relationships.    



I would support my child's deiicson to be straight, gay, or transgendered. Having many LGBTQ friends one common thread I have seen is that this is NOT A CHOICE. Many of my friends who are a part of the family knew they were gay as far back as they could remember.As far as being transgendered goes, sometimes people are born in the wrong body, and when it happens it can be extremely traumatic, especially when they do not have support on the home front. I have seen it all too often. However, when the person gets the sex change often times they feel complete and better about who they are. It's like the puzzle piece that was missing is finally there.If my child would say, Mom, I am transgendered. I would immediately tell them that I loved them no matter what. I would also have them talk to a counselor to make sure that the sex change is what they want, because adding or subtracting breasts when the time comes as well as hormones are a life altering albeit costly deiicson. In addition, I would make sure they were mentored by someone who successfully transitioned and was living full time that had a job, a house, and a complete life. I would want what is best for my child, and therefore around someone like them who is a good influence and happy with who they are.In addition, I would tell my child I love them unconditionally no matter what gender they may declare or who they chose to date.But on the flipside, I would let them know the world will not always be as forgiving and tolerant as I am. We will have an open dialogue about this so it's not a big shocker. In that dialogue I hope to give my child a sense of self to be who they are. Because no matter who or what you are, people will hate you for one reason or another.Am I more tolerant than most, probably. But I have long since had friends in the LGBTQ community and have been to several Gay Prides. To the transgendered folks my heart goes out to those who have the courage to openly be who they are in a world that doesn't always welcome them let alone understand the torment of being born in one body when you know you should be in another.It is my belief and my dream that we all have the courage to be who we are no matter what. Sure am I ideal? Probably. Was this long winded, probably. It's just that I will love my children no matter who they are, and when it comes to my children there is no place for hate in my heart regarding something they do not have a choice about.

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