New York Times Fail on Chaz Bono: Did Cher make you transgender?

With the news abuzz around the documentary premiering on Oprah Winfrey’s network tonight about Chaz Bono’s transition, I had expected there to be a decent amount of transphobic reporting around Sonny and Cher’s son — but come on.

In Cintra Wilson’s New York Times piece on Chaz, the writer discloses her own “questions” about Bono’s gender identity in her interview with him, and they are the most ridiculously ignorant and straight-up asinine questions you could imagine:

Could it be possible that the fact that Chaz is now a man is somehow Cher’s fault? Did the toxic culture of celebrity damage Chastity/Chaz’s gender identity? Did Cher’s almost drag-queenlike hyper-female persona somehow devour Chastity’s emerging femininity? Could Chaz’s transition have been motivated by gender-bent Oedipal revenge? Is he reclaiming the childhood attention his superstar mother always diverted?

I had to ask: It is remotely possible that he needed to make the transition because his mom is Cher?

Uh, what?

It looks like Chaz handled it with serious grace, but to me, these questions are likened with the same kind of absurd accusations by tabloids thrown at Angelina Jolie for allowing her daughter Shiloh to wear boys’ clothes. Not only will the media take any opportunity to demonize Hollywood mothers as raising “bizarre” and “troubled” celebrity children, but invalidate being transgender as a real identity in the process. Anything for a little controversy, right?

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