As some of you may know, I am currently a graduate student at Antioch University, studying psychology with a focus in LGBT issues. My oh-so-liberal school recently screened the documentary, ‘Becoming Chaz’. It follows the then female, Chastity Bono, transition into the now male, Chaz Bono: A transgendered man.
Let’s recap for those of you who aren’t entirely well-versed on the Trans stuff. Transgender is the state of one’s “gender identity” (self-identification as woman or man) not matching one’s “assigned sex” (the one you are born with). Many trans people, choose to change their sex to match their gender identification. When referring to someone who is trans, it is best to defer to how they reference themselves; so I would now refer to Chaz as ‘he’. Check out the gender-bread person below, for further clarification.
The doc was awesome, and quite funny, as Chaz was dating an alcoholic, rather outspoken, woman at the time – who adds a lot of comic relief. After the film, the floor was opened up to questions for Chaz. He appeared relaxed and comfortable in his own skin, fielding questions with charm. Chaz states, “gender isn’t between the legs, it’s between the ears.”
I would highly recommend the film, particularly for someone who needs a crash course in trans issues. Also, most of the screenings at Antioch are free, and open to the public. They usually serve wine an snacks too! If you are located in Los Angeles, join us next time .