VIDEO: Chaz Bono - "I Felt Like One Of The Guys"

Mar. 12 2010, Published 9:46 a.m. ET

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In rare interview Thursday, Chaz Bono told CNN's Anderson Cooper he always felt "like one of the guys" as he celebrated the one-year anniversary of beginning the gender reassignment process, and has the clip for you.

The writer/activist, who was born to 70s chart toppers Sonny and Cher as Chastity, talked about the personal turmoil he underwent that fueled his decision to switch genders.

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EXCLUSIVE: Outfest May Be Chaz Bono's First Red Carpet As A Man

Chaz shared that he never had a "feeling of rightness" when it came to his body, especially when his breasts grew. He also said that he didn't have to live as a man for along time and undergo too many psychological processes before starting his transistion, saying, "I did need a therapist's note before I had my top surgery, but other than that, other than using the men's bathroom, I felt like a man, I lived like a male, I dressed like a male, wearing almost exclusively male clothing, so it was just a matter of starting the hormones and then a matter of doing the top surgery a double mastectomy surgery to replace the female chest with a male chest"

PHOTO: Chaz Walks The Red Carpet With His Girlfriend

Chaz said that's there's a number of different ways to take hormone therapy, that you "can take it topically, or you can take it with injections" and that undergoing hormone treatments is "like going through puberty, you're like a 14-year-old, your voice starts to deepen, you start to grow hair, you start to build muscle mass."

Chaz said that top surgery was "a fairly easy surgery" that was basically a cosmetic surgery where they make "a male chest out of your female chest" and that it was "incredibly ratifying, something that has really made a huge difference out of my life."

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Chaz said that the surgery was just an "incredible feeling of rightness" and that "my breasts from the time that they grew never felt like they should be on my body. So now it's just a case of looking at the mirror and seeing reflected back at me a body I've always felt was right."

Chaz tried to explain his feelings by telling Anderson, "Try to imagine if you woke up tomorrow feeling exactly as you do but your body was female - how would that feel to you? That's basically how I felt from the time of puberty on."

Sadly Chaz went on to say, "I was never happy when I looked in the mirror, never, from the time I started to mature and look female on."

Chaz  shares that he is not traumatized by pictures of himself as a woman, saying, "this is part of my journey, you know, what I had to go though. But I know that I am so much happier, confident - I don't know, my life just feels so right now. There was always some kind of dis-ease inside myself that just doesn't exist any more.

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Psychologist Explains Gender Re - Assignment

And when it comes to looking back on photos of Chaz as a little girl named Chastity, he says, "My parents did a season of their show when I was a little older and I know there was a time when I requested 'no more dresses' I definitely put a stop to that. And I asked them to put me in overalls. That was my request, I did not want to be in a dress. And I'm struck by this irony, it's not missed on me, that this kid who my parents brought on stage as the all American girl in the 70's grew up to be a middle aged man."

Inside Chastity Bono's Lifetime Struggle

Thankfully Chaz shares that throughout his ordeal his family has been "pretty supportive"  going on to say that to most of the people in his family he had been "talking about this for years as this has been something I have been struggling with for years, so it really wasn't a surprise and then, like, 6, 8, months before I started my transition I talked to everybody again and let them know that I'm, that this is going to happen, and I'm at a point where I'm ready to do this and everybody has been pretty good."

Finally Chaz admitted that he's still getting to grips with male grooming, saying that he's up to "shaving twice a week now." Before going on to enjoy a male bonding moment with Anderson, agreeing that shaving is a pain.

Spoken like a true man Chaz!


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