LOS ANGELES, June 11 (UPI) -- Chastity Bono's publicist has confirmed the U.S. gay-rights activist and author is undergoing gender reassignment surgery.
Bono, 40, is the biological daughter of entertainers Cher and the late Sonny Bono.
"Yes, it's true -- Chaz, after many years of consideration, has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity," Chastity's representative Howard Bragman said in a statement issued to Usmagazine.com Thursday. "He is proud of his decision and grateful for the support and respect that has already been shown by his loved ones. 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. We ask that the media respect Chaz's privacy during this long process as he will not be doing any interviews at this time."
"Chaz Bono's decision to live his life authentically represents an important step forward, both for him personally and for all who are committed to advancing discussions about fairness and equality for transgender people," Neil G. Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, told the magazine. "Coming out as transgender is an extremely personal decision and one that is never made lightly."