Chaz Bono opens up about penile construction surgery
Chaz Bono has been making several life changes lately, ending his engagement to his longtime girlfriend Jennifer Elia and now making plans to undergo penile reconstruction, the final step in his transition from female to male.
The LGBT activist and recent "Dancing With The Stars" contestant told Rolling Stone magazine that he was saving up for the risky surgery and discussed the options.
"I could get a phalloplasty, which builds the phallus from a donor site on your body, but I'm leaning more toward a metoidioplasty," Bono told Rolling Stone. "It's a procedure that uses what you already have down there, which has grown larger from the testosterone. You end up with a smaller phallus than with the phalloplasty, but it's fully functional, it gets erect, and the sensation is all there."
The 42-year-old told the industry magazine that he has never felt better. Bono already had a mastectomy to remove his breasts but now plans to get the "bottom surgery," which he revealed might have been a deal-breaker in his relationship with his former fiancé.
"I think Jen wished I wouldn't get the bottom done, but she understood my need to," Bono said. "You have to understand, though, for me the life transformation has already happened."
The penile construction procedure can be expensive, but Bono explained that the cost depends on the "options" you choose.
"There's different ways to do the surgery, from real basic to more and more options. It's like a car," Bono explained. "Well, I mean, to break it down, the surgery I want to have, I'd like to have the testicular implants and all of that, and I'd like to be able to urinate through it. I mean, it's not that big a deal to sit down, but some of the toilet seats in men's rooms are disgusting. The doctor I want to use is in Belgrade. It's going to be a little cheaper there. Probably $25,000, maybe $45,000, I really don't know."
Bono announced the end of his engagement to Elia in December, just weeks after sharing the proposal on the OWN documentary, "Being Chaz," which was a follow-up to the Emmy-nominated "Becoming Chaz," which aired in May.
Bono announced on a May 12 episode of "Piers Morgan Tonight" that he had proposed to Elia, his girlfriend of twelve years. Bono told Piers Morgan that the couple planned to wed within the year and had actually been engaged for two years but had to "put things on hold" when he underwent his gender transition.
Bono, who was born Chastity Bono, is the daughter of Cher and Sonny Bono. He previously opened up about his struggles in his book, "Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man."
In March 2009, he began the process of becoming a man. Chaz Bono took testosterone and underwent procedures such as having his breasts removed, which he told TIME magazine marked "the greatest day, probably of my life."
Chaz Bono and Elia appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in May and she told the talk show host that "it was really hard" when her partner transitioned from female to male, Us Weekly magazine reported.
On October 25, Bono and his partner Lacey Schwimmer were voted off "Dancing With The Stars" after receiving low scores for their Tango. War veteran and actor J.R. Martinez went on to win the mirror ball trophy.