Sonny Bono and Cher divorced in 1975 when Bono was 4. He wrote in his book, "Transition," that he could dress and act like a boy at his father's house, but at his mother's house, it wasn't so easy.
"I grew up in the '70s and '80s," he said. "We didn't know anything about this and my mom has her first child who's a girl and, you know, had the kind of expectations that any mother would have of their first-born daughter...she said things like, 'You look like a truck driver, you look like a slob'...I just dealt with it."
Bono also remembers when he first started to think he was a lesbian.
"It was my 13th birthday, actually, and my best friend, we were living in New York, my mom was doing a play there," Bono said. "I mistook sexual orientation for gender identity. I went for the obvious answer."
Although he was outed at 18 by a tabloid magazine in 1987, Bono didn't come out publically as a lesbian until 1995. Even though he had serious, long-term relationships with women at the time, he said something did not feel right.
"I just thought that something was wrong with me," Bono said. "Like I am not being a good lesbian...because I was really a man so I never wanted to be a woman. That's how I was failing as a lesbian."
Now, after being reintroduced to the world as Chaz, Bono said he had a newfound sense of peace.
"I risked a lot but I finally got to the place where I knew this is what I'm supposed to do," he said. "I had absolute faith in no matter what, even if it was rocky or difficult, everything in the end was going to be fine, and it was. It has exceeded every expectation that I've had."