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Published: Friday June 12, 2009 MYT 8:25:00 AM

Chastity Bono announces sex change

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Chastity Bono, the daughter of Cher, is having a sex change to become a man.

A spokesman for Bono, born a girl to Cher and Sonny Bono, says he "has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity" and began the sex-change process earlier this year.

Publicist Howard Bragman said Bono is proud of his decision and hopes "that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue."

The 40-year-old writer, activist and reality-TV star came out as gay 20 years ago, Bragman said.

In the book "Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming-Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, & Their Families," Bono describes the realization of being "somehow different - specifically different from who my mom expected me to be."

A message left with Cher's representatives was not immediately returned Thursday. Bono's second book, "The End of Innocence: A Memoir," details how relationships with Joan, a lover, and her parents changed after coming out.

In 1995, Bono posed for the cover of the gay magazine The Advocate and began working for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

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