In a two-part interview with Entertainment Tonight airing both this evening and tomorrow, Chaz Bono opens up about his gender reassignment surgery and the decision-making process.
He sounds truly happy about his transformation and it's good to hear!
Here are some HIGHlights:
On making the decision to undergo surgery:
"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. 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…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."
On taking male hormones and "top surgery":
"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. 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."
On the changing process:
"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. 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."
On why he's going public with his personal decision:
"[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."
ET asked about mother Cher's reaction and Chaz responded that he could not speak for her, but he does say that the people in his life are "just happy that I'm doing this and seeing the positive effect that its having on me."
We're happy that you're happy, Chaz!
[Image via Getty Images.]