Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man” as Want to Read:
Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  1,481 ratings  ·  219 reviews
Chaz Bono's groundbreaking and candid account of a forty-year struggle to match his gender identity with his physical body and his transformation from female to male

At first, America knew the only child of Sonny and Cher as Chastity, the cherubic little girl who appeared on her parents' TV show. In later years, she became famous for coming out on a national stage, workin

Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Transition, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Transition

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,481 ratings  ·  219 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
oh, chaz. oh, there are so many things about this book that irritated me. let me count them!

1. okay, i'm not one of those people who thinks that one must live a truly extraordinary life to write a good memoir. i think that, if one has an eye for detail, a love for the absurd, and the ability to tell a good story, one can write a brilliant memoir about waiting for the bus or going to the grocery store or whatever. chaz has none of those talents and he's "written" (i use quotes because he had a gh
Lisette Brodey
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
As a rule, I never read other people's reviews before I write my own as I never want to be influenced by others. In this case, because of the nature of Chaz's story, I was curious to see how others had responded. I'll get back to that.

I read this book because I remember when Chastity Bono came out as a lesbian and I remember reading when Chas became Chaz. I knew absolutely nothing of what had transpired between those two events and so was interested in Chaz' book.

While I knew nothing of Chaz' st
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a powerful book for me. My sister was born into the body of a man. She said that she knew that she was in the "wrong" body since she was little. Being on the outside of this and looking back at her growing up, it is easy to see that this was true for her. But I had no true idea of the pain that she was having emotionally. We talked as adults about what she was feeling.
The changes, hormones and life changes that she was doing to help to realize her true self finally. I can honestly say t
Nates Pop
Jul 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have to find a friend who has read this because I really want to discuss it. I don't want to sound flip or unnecessarily mean so let me begin by saying that I was so excited to read it and actually made the big leap to purchase a hard cover. As a gay man, I was intrigued to hear the behind the scenes thought process and the storyline that leads up to a decision to transition. I began reading already feeling supportive of Chaz Bono.

This is not that book. As other readers have said it is poorly
I think that Chaz Bono makes some disturbing generalizations in the introduction of his book that can be at least providing folks with misinformation, and at worst, alienating some transgender folks. In page 2 of the prologue he says, "And when the sex of the brain and the sex of the body clash, then the only treatment is some form of transition from one gender to the other. Without this treatment, in my opinion, lives are never fully lived."

He doesn't really clarify that statement, so I'd like
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Chaz Bono's book Transition is how ordinary it is. While for most books this observation would be dismissive criticism, for this book, it's anything but. Transition might have been expected to be the typical celebrity tattletale memoir, a minor celebrity cashing in on moving in a world peopled with celebrities and superstars. After all, the author is the only child of pop icons Sonny and Cher, has been in the public eye since infancy, first came out as a l ...more
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now what can I say about this book? That it's revealing? That it's well written? That it's nicely paced? Well, YEAH I could say that. And a WHOLE LOT MORE!!!

But before I get too ahead of myself, I just want to commend Chaz for being such an exceptional writer!!!

I mean, this book was such a treat to read, that I finished it in less than three days! (And I'm usually the slow reader type--usually taking a month to read anything.) But there was NO WAY it was going to take me that long to read this
Jul 31, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to read an insightful book on gender, read Nina Here Nor There. There is just so much off about this memoir that I don't know where to begin. As someone that has struggled with society's gender binary my entire life and have read numerous memoirs and talked with others, something seemed off. I found myself thinking "What?", instead of "oh yeah, I know what that feels like". Glad I checked it out from the library. ...more
Chaz Bono seems like a decent enough bloke, with the meat of this book being the story of his FTM experience. Knowing that Bono has written two biogs before, the rehashing of his complicated relationships with ex-lovers and family - here seen through the lens of his body dysmorphia - is relevant but not always terribly engrossing. Essentially, while you always wish Chaz well, he's not the best storyteller, and there's an unacknowledged veil of wealthy privilege that shrouded this book for me. ...more
Tracy Morton
If you are unclear about the difference between being gay or lesbian and being trans gender then this is a great book for you. Chaz Bono honestly reflects on her life as a trans gender person and frames his feelings and experiences in such a way that I found that I finally really got it.
Chastity was the only child of the world-famous Sonny and Cher. She grew up in the spotlight, on her parents' show as a child and later in the tabloids. Then she made headlines when she came out as a lesbian in her twenties. Through all of this, Chastity felt like something just wasn't right. She never felt comfortable in her body or, really, anything related to being female. She finally realized that she was transgender, meaning that though she had a female body, her gender identity was male. T ...more
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-books
This book could have been so much more. There's not much written in the way of autobiographies/memoirs from a transgender so Chaz could have been a leader in this aspect. Instead, the writing was poor and the topics were just okay. Most of the book is about him growing up and about the time he was a lesbian. I thought more would be about his transition. I get that it's only written about 2 years after his transition so maybe that's why. He plugs his previous book a lot too, which i found annoyin ...more
Mjlibrary NDSCS
306.768 B644
Transgendered individuals are a mystery to most people, not knowing anyone personally who has experienced this dramatic change of their person. For many the whole concept is a joke rather than and awareness of the painful confusion which the person must be experiencing. Yet now we all know someone who has undergone the confusion and pain to come out on the other side of changing from a woman to a man. Chastity Bono was a famous child due to the celebrity status of her parents. Many p
May 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone.
This is a very in depth, informative, raw book. Chaz reaches down deep to address all aspects of his transition. Having a friend that has gone through much of this I found it helped me understand some of my own feelings about his need to transition and what he might have gone through. Though my friend was open in journaling his path Chaz help me to see much of it more clearly. Hearing about how his relationships changed, how his mother dealt with it, helped me to see my own feelings that I have ...more
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The story of Chaz Bono's transition from female to male is an interesting tale. Those loooking for some kind of celebrity tell-all would be better off finding another kind of book. This one is light on the sensationalism and heavy on the truth and honesty.
I never was really interested in Chastity or Chaz. Didn't judge, just wasn't interested but I'm glad this book came across my desk. It opened my eyes to a story I might otherwise have missed. Chaz is a good storyteller..honest, clear without un
Carol Drufke-Zeller
Chaz really reveals to the reader who he is as a person, and why he made this choice. He shares some heart-wrenching details of his personal life with family, lovers and friends. He goes in depth into his psyche, and I feel he is validated in his choice. I found his book enlightening and his character genuine. I feel he made the best choice for him, even though it was a very long and agonizing battle. I respect him as a person, and feel this book can really enrich us all by sharing insight into ...more
Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...
I am surprised by Chaz' open and honest telling of his story. I imagine that coming out is the hardest thing that most people will ever do in their lives. Doing so with so much public scrutiny must be even more difficult. Chaz lays himself bare sharing his story with frankness and strength. He allows the reader to come into his life and become his friend. I am very happy to have read his book and believe that I learned more about a family member I love who recently came out. I thank Chaz for tha ...more
Bridgett Pride
For being a book titled Transition, I find it shocking that Chaz Bono only dedicated the last two chapters of his book to discuss the physical aspects of transitioning (hormone injections and top surgery). The entire work leading up to it, he talked about growing up neglected by Sonny and Cher, his mentally abusive nanny Helen and his addiction to pain killers. Not at all what I was hoping to get out of this work.
of interest only if you are into Cher. Chaz has no real insight to offer regarding masculinity, transitioning, or being FTM. most of the writing is his life story, with lots of name-dropping (which is semi-interesting), prior to his coming to understand himself as trans. read/skimmed it in an afternoon.
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping for less of a biography, and more of a focus on the transition. I have a friend who recently went through this, and have questions that I'm too embarrassed to ask. Instead Chaz focused on his life, his early identification with being a male, his friends, drug use, spoiled little rich kid problems. ...more
Sep 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and insightful read. Glad Chaz has found peace, support, and closure on this chapter of his journey. As Eleanor Roosevelt said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Bravo Chaz for finally taking the lead and sharing it with others. ...more
Lissa Albert
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up Chaz Bono's book just a few days ago and immediately got into it. I didn't know what to expect, nor did it matter; rarely do I have expectations of a book beyond its premise.

With Transition, I was pulled in and as a result, I finished it within 3 days. And after closing the book, I realized that my expectations were more along the lines of preconceived notions of transgender issues - or at least the issues with which I was familiar. Those expectations were quickly dispelled.

First, th
Jun 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: celeb-memoirs
You know, I didn't think this book was particularly well-written, or even that compelling for being a book about a woman becoming a man, but Chaz Bono seems like such a nice person, and he's so honest about his emotional turmoil as he accepts being transgendered, that I upped it to 3 stars. It's probably only a 2.5, but I think it's important that someone so well-known is being so open and honest about this topic. The book itself is fairly slight (240 pages), and half of it is about his growing ...more
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, first-read
I won a paperback copy of this book through First Reads giveaway.

Now I read this book when it came out about a year ago and loved it. So the giveaway was for the release of the paperback version of the book which included a new epilogue.

So first of all, Chaz Bono is one of the most inspiring men on the planet, in my opinion anyway. I wanted to read this book because I am a supporter of GLBT community. I myself am straight, but I have gay friends and personally believe that everyone
Jun 02, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, memoirs
I have some friends that are trans, so I was interested in hearing about an account from a "famous" person on their experience. The amount of privilege was a little annoying -- Chaz talks about how he had to work for the money to have his top surgery done, but the "work" was first an advance on a book deal and then later an appearance somewhere. Both are things that the average person definitely wouldn't have the opportunity for.

There was a point when he was describing a woman and the first thin
Rue Baldry
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've seen the reviews on here saying that this book was badly written, and I can accept their reasons, but I found this a lot easier to read and better written than some of the other trans* memoirs I've read/tried to read/started. (& not as well-written as others, granted). I actually liked Chaz's relaxed conversational tone and enjoyed spending time in his company.

His childhood was unique. As he says, America has replaced monarchy with celebrity, and they don't come any more celebrity royal tha
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a touching view on the life of Chaz Bono, and the journey he has endured and faced to become the man he is today. There are moments that are so raw and touching that you can't help but empathise with the struggles that Chaz faced in the journey of self-acknowledgment and transition.

As someone who has never faced any journey relating to gender identity, I found this to be a very in depth book in understanding the struggles that a person faces when they are in the depths of questioni
Amy Vickers
Jun 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
While the sentence structure and wording is well done, this book could have benefited from some better organization. The book is roughly chronological, but also jumps around too much.

Chaz mentions a large number of relationships; family, friendships, girlfriends, but barely explores any of them. When he speaks about his relationships, in this book, he doesn't go much beyond whether or not the person accepts him (as a person, as gay, as transgendered).

Perhaps previous books had explored these rel
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chaz appears to be a really nice person! I think if I were to write a book based off of my life experiences, it would probably sound a lot like this book. It's pretty straightforward, the title says it all. It's not extremely complicated, or anything. Just Chaz talking about becoming a man, and his experience being a transgender person. Nothing extraordinary, just really honest and kind of sweet in a confessional way. The most insightful part of all it in my opinion is him talking about cultural ...more
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the story which Chaz tells of beginning his life as a female, feeling out of place with his sexuality for so many years, and then transitioning to a man. I didn't see his appearance on "Celebrity Fit Club" or his documentary on OWN but I do remember the little angelic, blond girl hoisted into her father's arms on "The Sonny and Cher Show." The bravery it took to come out as a lesbian, and later as transgender is something to be commended. Some negative reviews have noted that only a fe ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Secrets of My Life
  • Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home
  • Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman
  • What We See When We Read
  • Dandelion
  • Tilly Witch
  • Mop Top
  • P is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever
  • Norman the Doorman
  • Music Was IT: Young Leonard Bernstein
  • Flash the Dash
  • Goodwin the Goat
  • Beady Bear
  • Chuggy and The Blue Caboose
  • Cece Loves Science and Adventure (Cece Loves Science, #2)
  • Fly High, Fly Low
  • Sweety
  • Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again
See similar books…
Chaz Salvatore Bono was born Chastity Sun Bono, the only child from entertainer Cher's marriage to Sonny Bono.

After over a decade of being publicly out as a lesbian, Chaz began transitioning in mid-2008 and continues his work as an LGBT advocate.

News & Interviews

  Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team...
17 likes · 2 comments