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Image: Chastity Bono
Vince Bucci  /  Getty Images file
A rep said Chastity Bono, who came out at 18 as a lesbian, and now goes by Chaz, hopes to stay out of the media’s glare during the transitioning process.
Access Hollywood
updated 6/11/2009 4:58:11 PM ET 2009-06-11T20:58:11

Chastity Bono, the child of Cher and Sonny Bono, has started the process of becoming a transgender individual.

A rep for the gay rights advocate and writer confirmed Bono is undergoing the process to go from female to male.

“Chaz, after many years of consideration, has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity,” rep Howard Bragman said in a statement.

According to TMZ, which first reported the story, Bono is in the early stages of transition, which started shortly after the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) activist’s 40th birthday.

“He is proud of his decision and grateful for the support and respect that has already been shown by his loved ones,” Bragman’s statement continued. “It is Chaz’s hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his ‘coming out’ did nearly 20 years ago.”

Slideshow: Celebrity Sightings The rep said Bono, who came out at 18 as a lesbian, and now goes by Chaz, hopes to stay out of the media’s glare during the transitioning process.

“We ask that the media respect Chaz’s privacy during this long process as he will not be doing any interviews at this time.”

Bono is one of many stars who have revealed they are transgender or are in the process of having gender reassignment surgery.

Katelynn Cusanelli shared her life experiences shortly after her final surgery to become a woman on MTV’s “The Real World: Brooklyn,” earlier this year. Additionally, last year on “Dirty Sexy Money,” a short-lived drama on ABC, William Baldwin’s character, Patrick Darling, was involved in an affair with a transgender male-to-female character, Carmelita Rainer, played by Candis Cayne, who herself is transgender.

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