Chaz Bono has decided to take the final step in his transition from female to male by undergoing complex penile reconstruction surgery, he told Rolling Stone magazine.
The son of ’60s pop icons Sonny and Cher said he’s been saving up the money for the surgery, which costs an estimated $25,000 to $45,000. He also said he’s found a surgeon in Belgrade who specializes in the procedure.
Bono said that he is considering either the simplest procedure, which uses clitoral tissue to build a micro-penis, or a full phalloplasty. For the latter procedure, the surgeons take skin from another part of the body and use it to create a phallus that is attached to the groin.
Female-to-male transgenders don’t often have genital reconstruction, because it’s expensive and not always successful.
Bono’s spokesman Howard Bragman confirmed that the former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant is considering the surgery.
“It’s true, it's something he will consider at the appropriate time,” Bono's publicist told ABCNews.com. “But it’s not something that is imminent and not something he believes will make him a man. He feels comfortable with his own masculinity.”
Gender is between your ears and not between your legs," Bragman said. “And he knows it’s an imperfect surgery and that he will either get something small with some feeling or something normal that doesn’t have any feeling.”
Bono has said that he knew from an early age he was born in the wrong body. He first came out as a lesbian in the 1990s, but in 2009 he announced that he was transgender and began injecting himself testosterone and had his breasts removed.
About one-quarter to 1 percent of the population is born transgender, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.