Chaz Bono, a transgender public figure, appeared on an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. On the show, Bono was a guest judge to discuss issues with the contestants and to explain what he faced as a woman who was struggling with coming to the terms with transitioning as a man.
Before Chaz transitioned he was known as Chastity Bono, the only daughter to superstar couple Sonny Bono and Cher. The 45-year-old guest judged along with his grandmother Georgia Holt. Chaz along with Holt set the stage during a segment while having a conversation with drag performer Courtney Act. During the discussion Bono revealed that his purpose for activism was a calling, as well as his decision to document his initial steps to transition from female-to-male in the 2011 critically acclaimed documentary Becoming Chaz.
“You know, there was a number of years where I knew I was transgender but was afraid to do anything about it. And so it was kind of important for me to kind of give that back. I figured there’s other people out there like me who are stuck.”
Bono first came out as a lesbian back in 1995 based on feelings he had from a very young age. Chaz spoke about his 1998 book “Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Families” with season 6 contestant Bianca Del Rio.
“As my hormones started to go, I had an attraction towards women. And so I naturally just made the assumption that I must be gay, and that must be what all these feelings are.”
Chaz Bono’s appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race marks a significant moment for the show, and one they can really be proud of. Earlier the show got into some hot water after airing an episode that consisted of a challenge titled “Female or She-male.” During the segment the contestants were shown a photo of a body part and were then asked to identify its gender. To identify the gender the contestants had to call it a “cisgender (nontrans woman)” or a “she-male,” which is considered derogatory.
After the episode garnered reaction from the LGBT community Logo TV issued an apology:
“Logo has pulled the episode from all of our platforms and that challenge will not appear again. Furthermore, we are removing the ‘You’ve got she-mail’ intro from new episodes of the series. We did not intend to cause any offense, but in retrospect we realize that it was insensitive. We sincerely apologize.”
You can catch RuPaul’s Drag Race on Monday’s at 10 pm.