How Chaz Bono is Being Unapologetically Chaz
OwningPink.com is all about being unapologetically YOU so you can heal, connect, and thrive. But doing so isnít always easy, and we all need role models.
Iíd like to shine a light on Chaz Bono, who is Owning Pink so fearlessly that Iím in awe. Chaz Bono was born Chastity, but he never felt like a girl. As a tomboy child, he struggled to fit in, and as a teen, he decided he must be a lesbian. But that didnít feel right either. Chaz just always felt like a man and suffered from the constant unsettling feeling that something just wasnít right. So two years ago, Chastity announced that she planned to become Chaz.
Back when Chaz first announced that he (then she) was going to undergo a sex change, I wrote this post praising the decision. Now, with the sex change process nearly done, Chaz is coming out with a memoir Transition, and a documentary Becoming Chaz. And Iím just tickled pink about the whole thing.
In a People magazine interview, Chaz discusses the challenges of being unapologetically Chaz. Apparently, Mama Cher just couldnít deal when she heard his voice deepening, and she cut him out of her life for a while. But then Cher announced on The Late Show, ďIf I woke up in a manís body, I would think, ĎOh my God, Iíve got to get out of here,í and thatís the way Chaz felt.Ē
Since then, Cher and Chaz have reestablished connection, but itís still a work in progress.
Next: Unapologetically YOU
When we embark upon the journey of being unapologetically who we really are, itís risky, and it can be incredibly scary. Before becoming Chaz, Chastity feared not just losing her mother. She also feared being rejected by her longtime girlfriend Jenny, being alienated by the LGBT community, and public criticism.
But instead of massive rejection, Chaz has been embraced by millions who see him as the poster child of someone who is willing to do something radical in order to be truly authentic — through and through. Chaz says, ďFor decades, I know I didnít make sense as a girl — not just to myself but to others, and both men and women were stand-offish. Now I am treated in a much friendlier manner, in particular by men. The parking attendant who has ignored me for years now says, ĎHey buddy, howís it going?í I canít express how good it feels.Ē
Chaz adds, ďEver since transitioning, I hear all the time that I seem so grounded, so present, so happy. And I am. This recognition means a lot to me and is further affirmation that I made the right choice.Ē
Chazís transition is big and obvious, so it makes him a noteworthy example of someone taking a huge leap of faith to be who he really is. But many of us suffer from similar unhappiness that arises when we pretend to be something weíre not. Maybe youíre considering a transition in your life — quitting your job because it doesnít feel like you, leaving your husband because the relationship just isnít aligned with your authentic self, coming out of the closet about your true sexual desires, or learning to love again after losing a loved one.
Regardless of what transition you face, you will never be truly, blissfully, authentically joyful and full of mojo unless youíre being authentic. Sure, Chaz could have sucked it up and convinced himself to be grateful for the blessings in his life, rather than making this radical change. But would he feel the bliss he feels these days? No.
Does it mean shaking things up and putting yourself at risk of rejection? Yes. Just like Mama Cher, someone in your life might have a hard time accepting the real you. But is it worth keeping your joy throttled in order to please those people?
That’s for you to decide.
All I can say is that, even since I decided to be ALL LISSA, ALL THE TIME, Iíve been filled with a joy that surpasses explanation. I feel jubilant. I feel radiant. And most importantly, I feel free.
When you discover you can feel this way, you want to shout it from the mountaintops, and thatís what Iím doing here with OwningPink.com. Iím inviting you to consider crossing the threshold, getting out of your own way, and Owning Pink.
Iím so passionate about this that Iím writing my next book about it. Itís all about helping women heal, connect, and thrive by tapping into their Inner Pilot Light and leaping into their dreams.
Are you ready to take the leap? Sign up for the free Get Out Of Your Own Way mini e-course and start taking the first steps. But most importantly, dig into your own heart, listen to the your Inner Pilot Light, and muster up the courage to take one baby step towards living a more authentic life.
What one step could you make — today?
What do you think of Chaz Bonoís decision? Are you be brave enough to be unapologetically YOU? Iíd love to hear your thoughts.
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Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Pink Medicine Woman coach, motivational speaker, and author of†Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.
Learn more about Lissa Rankin here.