Magazine article HRMagazine

Chaz Bono, Shiza Shahid Inspire Diversity Conference Attendees

Magazine article HRMagazine

Chaz Bono, Shiza Shahid Inspire Diversity Conference Attendees

Article excerpt

Chaz Bono remembers as a child feel- ing uncomfortable having a girl's body and the feminine trappings that went with it. The daughter of '70s super- stars Sonny and Cher gravitated toward boys' games and clothing, and his friends tended to be other boys.

'I knew there was something differ- ent about me. I wished I were a boy and felt like a boy," the 40-something Bono told the 600 HR professionals attending the 2014 SHRM Diversity & Inclusion Conference & Exposition in October.

It would be years before Bono would undergo the transition to align his phys- ical gender identity with his inner gen- der identity.

When "the physical body doesn't match the internal view we have in our minds, then there is a searing division within the self," he said in the book he co-wrote, Transition: Becoming Who I Was Always Meant to Be (Penguin Group, 2012).

"It feels like I've lived really two lives, and the one before was very, very difficult. Now life feels very complete and carefree by comparison," Bono told the conference-goers. "I just kind of feel like a regular guy."

Bono urged employers to offer sup- port for employees who are transition- ing from one gender to another and to educate managers and others about the transgender experience. …

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