Face-Shaven Chaz Bono: 'I'm Living the Life That I Always Wanted'

"GMA" Exclusive: Chaz Bono revels in decision to live as a man.

ByABC News via GMA logo
November 19, 2009, 7:12 AM

Nov. 19, 2009— -- Chaz Bono, eight months into his gender reassignment, said he is now living the life he always wanted.

"I feel so much more comfortable that I've ever been," Bono told "Good Morning America" in an exclusive interview. "I've felt male as far back as I can remember."

Bono, born Chastity Bono to singer and actress Cher and the late Sonny Bono, said the entire process of transitioning from female to male will take about four to five years. So far, he's received hormone treatments that have caused his voice to deepen and he's had his breasts removed.

And, to his delight, he's even begun shaving his face.

"This was a very difficult decision to make, but it was the best decision I've ever made," Bono said, promising more changes to come. "I feel great."

Bono -- who reiterated his stance that "gender is between your ears and not between your legs" -- said the biggest hurdle of his decision to begin gender reassignment was the realization that "I'm not going to be able to do this privately as most people can."

"Then it came down to realizing that I have to live my life for myself," he said, "and that life is short and life is precious."

Looking back, Bono said, "it would almost be easy to say, 'Why did I wait so long to do this?'"

And if his public transformation helps others struggling with the same issues, then "I'm happy to do that."

Now that Bono, who lives in California with Jennifer Elia, his girlfriend of four years, is one of the most recognizable faces of the transgender community, his mother Cher has pledged to stand behind her child.

"Chaz is embarking on a difficult journey, but one that I will support," Cher said in a statement issued to Us Magazine in June. "I respect the courage it takes to go through this transition in the glare of public scrutiny, and although I may not understand, I will strive to be understanding. The one thing that will never change is my abiding love for my child."