Pro Bono

NOW Magazine - Pride - - Books - SGC

TRAN­SI­TION: THE STORY OF HOW I BE­CAME A MAN by Chaz Bono, with Bil­lie Fitzpatrick (Dut­ton), 245 pages, $30 cloth. Rat­ing: NNN

If you’re fa­mil­iar with Chaz Bono’s tran­si­tion from fe­male to male through the doc­u­men­tary Be­com­ing Chaz, which screened re­cently at hot docs, and want to know more, his book, tran­si­tion, has got the goods. Where the film is all about the med­i­cal treat­ments re­quired for a sex change, the book keeps the fo­cus on Bono’s child­hood as Chastity, his at­tempts at fem­ming him­self up as a rock mu­si­cian in his 20s and the ways he tried to please every­body – in­clud­ing his les­bian lovers – by not be­ing him­self. That is, un­til he fig­ured out that he had to make an es­sen­tial life choice. It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing story – with par­ents Sonny and Cher, how could it not be? – even if it’s not told in a par­tic­u­larly cre­ative way. And it’s hard not to ad­mire Bono’s can­dour and on­go­ing com­mit­ment to the trans com­mu­nity. But if you’re look­ing for deeper in­sights into Bono’s re­la­tion­ship with his part­ner, Jen­nie – the el­e­ment that makes the doc­u­men­tary film so im­pres­sive – there’s less here than you’d hope. Though rest as­sured, the re­la­tion­ship, Bono tells me, is still go­ing strong.

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