Chaz Bono knows what it’s like to grow up with gender identity issues in the public eye. That’s exactly why the child of Cher and the late Sonny Bono says that he’d like to offer some assistance to another famous pair — Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, whose 4-year-old daughter, Shiloh, and her tomboy style has been the subject of many headlines.
“I would love to talk to [Brad and Angelina] at some point,” Bono, 42, tells E! News. “To at least let them know we have this resource for them if they ever need it.”
Chaz, who up until recent years was known as Chastity, volunteers for a group of children with gender identity issues and their families.
“I relate to these kids,” says Bono. “The difference between them and myself is that I didn’t articulate it and fight for it and say, ‘No, no, no! I’m a boy!’ I have so much respect for these kids that do.”
Though he’d never assume that Shiloh’s decision to dress “boyishly” meant that she was struggling with her own gender identity, Chaz says that the media’s obsession with her has fortunately brought more attention to transgender issues, and if the Jolie-Pitt family ever needed his insight, he’d be more than willing to help.
People get too freaked out about kids and what to do with kids. If you just let kids do what they need to do they usually have the right idea,” says Chaz.
“For me, part of the way that I got through my fears is by reading books and seeing documentaries of people who transitioned before me,” he adds. “So I look at myself as one of those people who are just out in the community and the difference is that I just have a little bit of a larger reach.”
Chaz’s memoir, Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man, was just released today (May 10). Bono’s journey is also documented in Becoming Chaz, which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network.