Is Chaz Bono Upset With WeHo?

chaz bono and ivy bottini
Chaz Bono, right, poses with Ivy Bottini at the Rainbow Key Awards. (Photo by Jon Viscott)

Is transgender activist Chaz Bono upset with the city of West Hollywood?

Rumors circulating around town are that Bono, who underwent a female-to-male gender transition between 2008 and 2010, is upset because longtime LGBT activist Ivy Bottini referred to him as “she” rather than “he” several times in an introduction speech at the city’s annual Rainbow Key Awards ceremony.

Bono, the child of entertainers Cher and Sonny, was one of seven LGBT activists receiving an award. He has not spoken publicly on the matter.

“I left a very nice apologetic message on his phone and told him I meant no offense. I admire him,” said Bottini, who first heard about Bono being upset on Wednesday night and phoned him Thursday. “I believe I said, ‘It took a lot of courage to do what you’ve done and that I’m sorry.’ And if he wanted to speak to me to call me, and I left my phone number.”

According to a transcript of the Rainbow Key Awards, Bottini begins by calling Bono a “she” while reminiscing about having “watched her on my [mumble] when she was this blonde cute, just adorable little girl. And then I watched her over the years grow. And then I actually have introduced her a couple of time at book fairs and things like that. And then suddenly ‘she’ was ‘he.’”

Bottini then refers to Bono as “he” in the second half of her introduction.

“He actually was on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and reached millions and millions of people because he was dancing as a transgendered person. And one thing that I have noticed since he has made the transition is that he smiles a lot more. It warms my heart. So, I would like you to welcome Chaz Bono,” Bottini said.

Bono is reportedly also upset that Bottini’s introduction focused on his television appearances – as a child on his parents’ variety show and more recently on the reality competition “Dancing with the Stars” – rather than his extensive work as a transgender activist.

The awards were handed out by the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board (LGAB). The 86-year-old Bottini served as one of the emcees for the ceremony.

At Thursday night’s monthly Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board meeting, board member Robert Gamboa mentioned the rumor to the board. He told WEHOville he brought the matter up because he was concerned about “addressing it quickly.”

“I hope we can make it right. I don’t know what the answer is, but hopefully we can,” said Gamboa. “It was my understanding that Chaz was upset, and I do not wish for anybody to be upset. It was an event to honor people and if we did anything unjust to them, we need to make it right.”

Gamboa hopes the situation will make people more sensitive to transgender issues in the future.

At the ceremony, Bono said he has been proud to call West Hollywood home since 1994.

“This means a lot coming from my neighbors,” said Bono.

Bono has been a social activist as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign and National Coming Out Day, and served as the entertainment media director for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).


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Me
Guest
Me

if you are trying to intimidate me, it’s not working…..seems you have a personal grudge against ivy

Jimmy Palmieri
Guest

CAVALIER , LES AFFAIRE, ALL SO IS SIMPLE WHEN YOU DON’T PRINT YOUR OWN NAME WHEN COMMENTING.

Me
Guest
Me

oy, it’s all as if someone was MURDERED for crying out loud…..stop the insanity….it was what it was and there was an apology….THE END. (or will it be?….should a lawsuit be filed?….public hanging?…..lesbian card be fetched back?)

Jimmy Palmieri
Guest

Chaz has every right to be upset. Chaz provided the board with a short bio of his ACTIVISM not television appearances. It was never used, although every other recipients bio was. The fact that research and wording wasn’t done to correctly reflect the important work that Chaz does in regard to transgender children and their parents, as well as opening up his life as a teaching opportunity is beyond excuse. . This is what happens when ego takes precedence over fact. The fact that someone who wasn’;t familiar and or aware of Chaz’s activism accomplishishments , his GLAAD award, his… Read more »

joetheplummber
Guest
joetheplummber

Well i’m still upset that s/he Chaz did a fund raiser for Mary Bono Mack (R) last year, her step mother who lost to Dr. Raul Ruiz in a Congressional seat run for the Coachella Valley District. Congresswoman Mack had a less than steller record on LGBT (emphasis on T) rights. If I was Chaz I would be less worried about people who genuinely support you than those with a history of denigrating our community.

Rudolf Martin
Guest
Rudolf Martin

So there was a rumor circulating that someone in WeHo is upset. But I’m hereby reporting another “circulating rumor” that that rumor may have been false. So there.

Eddie
Guest
Eddie

I think the point here is he was never a “she” and to remind a man of what a pretty little girl he was stings a little bit; buy, yeah, give Ivy Botini a break.

Me
Guest
Me

good lord, really????….UGH, in telling her story through the years, it seems ivy was referring to her when she was a she…..then switched to he when it was appropriate…and why couldn’t chaz just be humble and accept the gushing??….seems she wanted to control it all and if so, HIS PR rep should have given ivy a damn script to read instead of speaking from the heart…..i also wouldn’t mind hearing more about “his extensive work as a transgender activist”

Ali
Guest
Ali

palacinky – what do you mean by “second wave feminists”? And, why would anyone intentionally misgender trans people?

I thank both commenters above me and this article for educating me a little about this important subject.

I do think Chaz should give Ivy a little break due to generational perspective and just due to age in general. Things in these areas are changing so fast it is hard to keep up.

palacinky
Guest
palacinky

Your pro… most (not all) trans people consider that, even before they might have socially/physically transitioned, they were still NOT their assigned birth gender. It’s far safer to use our current gender/ID, name and pronoun even when referring to past memories than to try and explain or interpret who we WERE (because doing that you’re far more likely to cause offense). Maybe Chaz is taking Ms. Bottini’s generational perspective into account for laying low on this issue, but I suspect he was not in the least happy with being referred to as “she.” Moreover, a lot of second wave feminists… Read more »

Your Pro
Guest

This is a very important topic for transgender folks and I am often confused about how to address someone in their entirety, in other words, when talking about their past do I speak of them in their current gender as if the previous version of themselves never existed? … and, in truth, they’ve always been their “current” gender. See … I’m getting myself confused! I think the upshot here is … either this is over-dramatized fluff to create news … or Chaz should pick up the phone and have a chat. It’s all about education and I believe we could… Read more »