child of two entertainment legends, Chaz Bono has been given an
incredible, unique platform to express himself and pave the way
for a new generation of advocacy and tolerance. As an LGBTQ
rights activist, author, lecturer and transgender issues
advocate, Chaz Bono has been chosen to headline the Fourth
Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade as Grand
Marshal. He recently spoke with Mark’s List about his role as
Grand Marshal, how his life has changed, missing a father
figure, Hollywood and his upcoming projects.
You’ve been chosen as Grand Marshal
for Miami Beach Gay Pride. Is this a great honor?
Yes, I’m going to be down in Florida doing
some speaking engagements and also acting as Grand Marshal for
Miami Beach Gay Pride. This will be the first time for me as
Grand Marshal in the state of Florida.
After an event like this, what do
you do in your down time?
I’m not really a bar person, but if I have
time I would love to go the beach. I like
warm water that you can see through.
What has changed the most about your
life in the last few years?
The comfort level I feel now is probably the
greatest thing. I had no idea how uncomfortable I was before.
I’m struck by how much more confident I feel and how much
easier everyday life is. I’m just really
What do you think of when you see
pictures of yourself when you were younger? Do you miss anything
about being Chastity?
No, because I never was Chastity.
That’s who everyone else thought I was.
Growing up in the limelight of Sonny
and Cher, do you have any regrets about not transitioning
earlier, or do you think it happened exactly when it was
Both. I went through a period of mourning
the fact that I didn’t get to live my life as a man when I was
younger. On the hand, I totally believe it happened when it was
supposed to. I wasn’t strong enough to handle
it earlier and also dealing with the public’s reaction to it.
I had to grow up and get more confident and not worry
about what anyone else thought.
Do you wish that your father would
have been able to see you as the person you are now?
Definitely. My dad [Sonny Bono] was always
really accepting of who I was growing up. He
never tried to change me or get me to express myself any
differently. It would be nice to have a man
or a father figure in my life.
You’ve participated in reality
television and other shows in the last few years.
Do you think Hollywood is starting to
become more accepting of the LGBTQ community?
I would definitely say we have seen a lot of
headway in the last few years with lesbians and gays. For the
transgender community, we are just starting to make some
progress and people are starting to understand.
LGBTQ advocacy is an important part
of what you’re about. What is your advice to someone who is
battling what you went through?
It’s really impossible for me to give
general advice, because everyone’s circumstances are different.
The only thing I can say is to follow your heart.
What else is on the horizon as we
move forward in 2012?
My latest book is coming out in paperback in
May, and I’ve added another full chapter to it.
I have a few television projects in the works, but we
can't talk too much about that yet. It should be a great year.
Miami Beach Gay Pride