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Transgender Film Review: Becoming Chaz

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Last week, I was browsing Netflix and found Becoming Chaz. Chaz Bono(formerly Chastity) is the son of Cher and Sonny Bono. He was born a girl, always felt different, and realized at puberty that he was a young man trapped in a female’s body. I know that most of our readers at I Love TS are men interested in trans women, but if you want to learn more about trans relationships, the struggles they face and the TS community, this movie is worth checking out.

Chaz, now 44, first came out to his parents as a lesbian at the age of 18 and began his female-to-male gender transition in 2007. Between 2008 and 2010 the documentary Becoming Chaz detailed much of this process.

Many of the film’s scenes include Chaz’s long-time girlfriend, Elia (they broke up shortly after the film came out.) What was fascinating was knowing that she fell in love with Chaz when he was a “woman”. You can see and feel the deep love and affection they have for one another, a great strength they shared in facing many struggles such as alcohol and/or drug addiction, and Chaz’s physical and emotional changes from testosterone injections.

The film also covers the pre- and post-surgery time period when Chaz had his breasts remove. It’s an intense process which exposes all the emotional ups and downs the couple goes through. The aftercare scenes are a bit icky, but they also highlight the sense of humour which helps get everyone through tough times.

For me, the heart of the picture lies in the relationships filmed; not only between Chaz and Elia, but also with their extended families. Cher (who initially had all sorts of trouble with her daughter becoming a son) talks candidly about her own transformation. We also get interviews with Chaz’s half-siblings, grandmother, and aunt. He has lots of support from relatives of all ages; it’s a great example of how everyone should respect and embrace an individual’s decisions related to knowing they are in the “wrong” body.

Chaz has become a transgender celebrity; not only because he was born of celebrity parents or appeared on Dancing with the Stars, but in his own right. He’s a spokesperson for the transgender community, has written on the subject of transitioning, and is an advocate for LGBT rights.

I highly recommend watching Becoming Chaz. It’s a fascinating story about the journey of one transgendered man. After the film, Chaz appeared on The Howard Stern Show. To hear more insightful details about Chaz’s life, check out the awesome interview below:

Tell us what you think!

Tell us what you think!

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