Chaz Bono talks “Transgender”
to FIU Students
MIAMI – On Monday, fresh from his stint as Grand Marshal of the Miami Beach Gay Pride parade, Chaz Bono spoke with students at Florida International University about his experiences coming out, and later transitioning from female to male. Also, the part about telling mom Cher he planned to become transgender.
Bono says his multiplatinum entertainer mother reacted to the news better than he had expected. “I was astonished how cool she was,” said Bono, who went from being daughter Chastity to son Chaz. At Monday night’s An Evening With Chaz Bono, presented by the FIU’s Office of Campus Life, the 43-year-old Bono told attendees that he always felt “different.”
“From as far back as 5 or 6, I felt like [I was] a boy,” Bono told moderator and LGBT activist Elise Withers. “The only one I had difficulties in adolescence with was my mom,” said Bono.
“Everything seemed like a negotiation.”
Growing up as the female Chastity, Bono believed he (she at the time) was gay because of her attraction to women. “I joke about this,” said Bono, “but I felt like a really bad lesbian. I was doing it all wrong.”
Bono says that it took time for him to come to accept that he was a man inside a woman’s physique. “It took eight years from realizing I was transgender till I had the courage to do something about it,” he recalled.
Miami Gay Men’s Chorus presents
“New World Waking” to address
Bullying and Homophobia
AVENTURA – The Miami Gay Men’s Chorus will present its vocal ensemble INSIGNIA on Saturday, April 28, in a performance that will focus on surviving bullying, gay bashing, self-hatred, transphobia, and violence at home and abroad. The concert performance, titled “New World Waking!” will take place at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center at 7:30 p.m.
Inspired by an opportunity to play the piano on which John Lennon’s performed “Imagine,” composer Steve Schalchlin has created a song cycle journey styled in pop, salsa, gospel and lowdown dirty blues. The program also features a diverse array of people sharing personal stories of surviving bullying and oppression through the support of family, friends, and the community.
With a repertoire ranging from “the sublime to the ridiculous,” INSIGNIA is comprised of singers from within the Miami Gay Men’s Chorus, an inclusive, community-based organization of gay men and gay supporters that inspires and changes lives through the power of music.
Tickets are $15 and are available through the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center’s box office at 877- 311-7469 or online at aventuracenter.org.
Marriage Equality Group Gives “Brangelina”
Blessing on Nuptials Announcement
LOS ANGELES, CA – Last Friday, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced their decision to marry after seven years of common law-married bliss (and six children). The celebrity power couple has received numerous congratulations and blessings, including from the same-sex marriage advocacy group Equality California.
The acting pair has previously said that they wouldn’t tie the knot until all people have that right.
In September, Pitt told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres: “I’ve said that we would not be getting married until everyone in this country had the right to get married.”
Rebekah Orr, Communications Director for Equality California, told TMZ.com that the organization applauds their decision to wed. “Marriage is something that says ‘we’re a family’ in a way that nothing else can,” said Orr. “No one has to deny that for themselves or their family to prove they are an ally and supporter of equality.”
NYU Volleyball Captain Joins “It
Gets Better” Anti-Bullying Effort
NEW YORK, NY – The three-year captain of New York University’s (NYU) volleyball team recorded a three-minute video last week for the “It Gets Better” campaign, which seeks to offer hope to LGBT youth who have experienced bullying.
Jonathan (“Jay”) Hayes, 21, will graduate next month from NYU with a marketing and international business degree. “It’s cool, it’s liberating, and it’s another step in my journey,” said Hayes. “Hopefully it helps other people in their journey.” Hayes, a senior, came out to his family during his sophomore year at NYU. He said he was inspired to record an antibullying announcement after he heard about the “It Gets Better” campaign on outsports.com, a website for gay athletes.
The video initiative was spearheaded by author and activist Dan Savage and his partner, Terry Miller. The campaign began last September, following a rash of suicides across the country teenagers who had been targeted because of their sexual identity. “The more I thought about it, the more I thought the message would be way more powerful and impactful if we had a much more visible support system,” Hayes told the New York Daily News.
Others who have recorded “It Gets Better” videos include President Barack Obama, Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, and numerous professional athletes.
In his message, Hayes introduces himself and says that he is gay. Surrounded by teammates, Hayes says “I know I can achieve anything I set my mind on doing, and I can do that while being out and being proud of who I am.”