Warren Beatty's transgender son Stephen Ira clarifies Chaz Bono slam
Warren Beatty and Annette Bening's transgender 19-year-old son Stephen Ira Beatty has been making headlines for saying he doesn't want Chaz Bono to be the spokesmodel for transgendered people.
Bono, the transgendered son of singer Cher and a recent "Dancing With The Stars" contestant, opened up about undergoing a sex change to become a man and made several comments which Stephen Ira believes to be misogynistic.
"Chaz has appointed himself as the representative of a group of people who are not all like him," Stephen Ira wrote in his blog in September. He has said misogynistic and prescriptivist things about gender. I take particular issue with his comments on trans embodiment and on women."
One comment that Beatty found particularly offensive was from an interview Bono did with the New York Times.
"There's a gender in your brain and a gender in your body. For 99 percent of people, those things are in alignment," Bono told the Times. "For transgender people, they're mismatched. That's all it is. It's not complicated, it's not a neurosis. It's a mix-up. It's a birth defect, like a cleft palate."
Beatty argued, "I do not have a birth defect. If you feel like you have a birth defect, fine. That's how you feel. Go feel that. Do not put it onto me. Do not define me that way, and do not define other trans people that way unless they claim that label."
Beatty also took offense to statements Bono made on having a higher sex drive "like all men" and a comment he made about how he now zones out when his girlfriend Jennifer Elia talks because when he identified as a woman, he had "a tolerance for women that I don't have now."
Beatty, who attends Sarah Lawrence College and contributes to their SLC Speaks student newspaper, clarified some of his statements made about Bono in a new post and said he bears "no ill will" towards Bono and was not trying to start anything.
"He's in a difficult position and he's chosen to deal with it in a certain way. I disagree with the way he's dealing with it. I think he's got serious issues with women, and I think he's needlessly prescriptive in the way he chooses to talk about trans identity," Beatty wrote. "But Chaz already gets so much (expletive), and you know what? Just a couple of years after I came out, I was saying prescriptivist misogynistic nonsense too. I read a lot, I learned a lot, I spent time living as a trans guy in the world, and I came out the other side of that worldview. I didn't have a huge amount of fame or exposure when I came out, though, the way Chaz did, and didn't feel obligated to make myself a spokesman."
"I would be more than happy to sit down with Chaz, have a drink, and talk with him about how he can think and talk about gender in a way that's more inclusive. He seems like an all right guy, his questionable views aside," Beatty continued, adding, "And from what I've seen, he's really remarkably good at the cha cha."
Bono was recently honored by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center at its 40th Anniversary Gala. He was dubbed a "trailblazer in transgender activism," by the group, which gave him the Board of Directors Award and praised him for allowing his experience of transitioning to a man to be filmed for the OWN documentary "Becoming Chaz."
"I've hated my body since puberty," Bono said in "Becoming Chaz," which aired on OWN in April. "In high school, often at night, I would go to bed, praying that I'd wake up the next day as a boy. A sex change never occurred to me at that point. As a man trapped inside a female shell, I was very cut off from the whole world and now, for the first time, I'm living in my body and it looks like the way I want it to. It's making me feel more confident."
"I'm doing this because I want to try and help people," he added. "I want to put a face on an issue that people don't understand. That's why I did this publicly."