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Chaz v. Chastity Bono

20200815_104846To the left is an article I found in the Chersonian Institute a few weekends ago. It was a prescient find because I'm up to about episode #50 in documenting the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and it was about episode #48 that Chastity started guesting in the Vamp sequences. 

Chaz Bono's appearances on her parents' shows and articles like this (predicting a very feminine future) always raise issues of transgendring and how to refer to the person of the past. 

When I started documenting Chaz on the variety shows I had to think about whether I should refer to him as her/Chastity or him/Chaz. I opted to use her/Chasitity only because back then Chaz was a cultural artifact of the show, a character as well as a person behind-the-scenes. This is further complicated by the fact that Sonny & Cher and the show's creative team tried to present the family as transparent, very what-you-see-is-what-you-get, not an artifice of characters. 

This was not only debunked at the breakup of their couple-hood, but is a practical impossibility of show biz. Everything is an artifice once the camera stars rolling. So the character Chastity on the show is definitely not the same as Chaz the person. Not only that, but eliminating her/Chastity might be confusing to some people who have strong memories of Chastity, the character. 

This is all to explain one thing I just noticed from re-watching the ending goodbye "I Got You Babe" scenes of the show, something quite extraordinary. Cher consistently pulls focus from everybody everywhere, intentionally or not, on TV shows, movies, at the airport. It's like a superpower she has.

There's only one person I’ve ever seen with the power to pull focus from Cher (aside from Sonny, occasionally) and that’s Chaz Bono.

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