Thursday, November 18, 2010

In Case You Missed it: Cher Speaks Out on Chaz's Transition on Letterman (video)

With all the hype surrounding Conan O'Brian's return to late night TV, you may have missed Cher on Late Night with David Letterman last Thursday. The mother of all divas has been making the rounds promoting her new movie, "Burlesque" in recent weeks.

The two reminisced about old times, like the time she appeared on the show with her late ex-husband, Sonny Bono, 23 years ago and sang "I Got You, Babe", or the time before that when she called Dave an asshole on the air.

Then, the conversation turned serious when Dave asked Cher about her son Chaz's gender transition. She acknowledges that she struggles with her pronouns and says her son doesn't really mind. They discussed the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity in a way that illustrates the confusion that most people have with these issues, without being demeaning.

This is perhaps the first time on a mainstream network late night TV show that transgender issues have been discussed in a serious, respectful way, where serious questions are asked and answers are struggled with. It's sometimes difficult to talk about the trans experience without sounding gratuitous, biased, judgmental or just plain stupid.

It is refreshing to see that Dave can not be an asshole when it counts and it's inspiring to see Cher's unconditional love and support for her son, even though she admits that she is still struggling to understand what he's been going through.
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