Transgender author, activist Chaz Bono speaks out

April 19, 2013 10:00 AM

Carol Schlueter

It’s an exciting time in history for trans-identified people, whose voices are just beginning to be heard, says Red Tremmel, director of the Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity at Tulane. A campus audience will hear about celebrity Chaz Bono’s experience as a transgender man when Bono appears in McAlister Auditorium on Monday (April 22) at 7 p.m.

Transgender activist Chaz Bono

Transgender activist and author Chaz Bono will speak on the Tulane uptown campus on Monday (April 22). (Photo from Chaz Bono)

Tulane University Campus Programming, a student-run organization, is presenting “An Evening with Author and Activist Chaz Bono.”

The only child of entertainers Sonny and Cher, Bono identifies as a transgender man and has taken the name Chaz Bono. His most recent book was the 2011 bestseller Transition: Becoming Who I Was Always Meant to Be. His transition also was detailed in the documentary film Becoming Chaz that debuted in 2011 on the OWN Network. It was nominated for three Emmy Awards.

Tremmel is pleased that increasing numbers of trans-identified people are sharing their perspectives. “Though gender diversity has long been part of the social fabric of the United States, it has often remained quite invisible,” Tremmel says.

National data, he adds, has shown that LGBTQ youth of color are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement, more likely to be arrested and report being frequently profiled and treated unfairly by the police and other officials.

“This is a pressing issue," he says. "Individual well-being and a healthy democracy depend upon the basic right to exist and ability to represent one’s self in public.”

Bono represents just one voice and one celebrity perspective, Tremmel says, “but by sharing his unique experiences, he will hopefully invigorate a dialogue about how trans-identified people are treated on campus, in the city of New Orleans and beyond.”

A Q&A session will take place after Bono’s talk, which is free of charge and open to the public.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu