Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man (Unabridged)
by Chaz Bono
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Chaz Bono's groundbreaking and candid account of a 40-year struggle to match his gender identity with his physical body and his transformation from female to male. At first, America knew the only child of Sonny and Cher as Chastity, the cherubic little girl who appeared on her parents' TV show. In later years, she became famous for coming out on a national stage, working with two major organizations toward LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights and publishing two books. And just within the past 18 months, Chaz Bono has entered the public consciousness as the most high-profile transgender person ever. All through the hoopla surrounding his change, Chaz has insisted on maintaining his privacy. Now, in Transition, Chaz finally tells his story. Part One traces his decision to transition, beginning in his childhood - when he played on the boys' teams and wore boys' clothing whenever possible - and going through his painful, but ultimately joyful, coming out in his 20s, up to 2008, when, after the death of his father, drug addiction, and five years of sobriety, Chaz was finally ready to begin the process of changing his gender. In Part Two, he offers an unprecedented record in words and photographs of the actual transition, a real-time diary as he navigates uncharted waters. These chapters capture the day-to-day momentum of his life as his body changes. Throughout the book, Chaz touches on themes of identity, gender, and sexuality; parents and children; and how harboring secrets shatters the soul. It is an amazing contribution to our understanding of a much-misunderstood community.
This book should have been titled "Me, Me, Me, I , I, I." Have you ever had a really annoying friend, who was always obsessing over his own feelings, perceptions, up-bringing, childhood, etc? Well, that's Chastity Bono! Every page is about how uncomfortable she felt in this situation, that situation, how she didn't fit in, didn't feel included, didn't look the way she wanted to, hated her breasts, blah blah blah. Well guess what, Chaz? Nobody grew up on Waltons Mountain, and everybody has problems. BUT what is different between you and the rest of the non-self-pitying human race is that we don't wallow in it. As this book drones on and on and on, we learn that Chaz is, or has been in, at least 500 "support groups," involving everything from transgender "support" issues, to gay support groups, to 12 Step programs, to God only knows what else. Eventually I had to start tuning her out because I was about to spit up. I felt this over-powering urge, after about 200 pages of this drivel, to shake her/him and scream GET A GRIP ON YOURSELF. Chaz SERIOUSLY needs a JOB. She needs to get a life.
The tabloids are all talking about how evil this book is regarding Chaz's mother, Cher. I am not seeing that at all. So Cher had some problems along the way with Chaz's incessant identity crisises? So what? She's lucky Cher didn't strangle her! Instead, Cher bought Chaz "a nicer house" amongst other things. Doesn't sound like Mommie Dearest territory to me.
I read all the show biz memoirs and I never thought any celebrity book could be as sickeningly self-pitying as David Cassidy's, but this one tops it.