Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Ain't HIS Mama, But I Am A Mama, And I'm Proud Of That Boy

I can't wake up this morning. I slept like someone had killed me, only with dreams, and now I just want to crawl back into bed and sleep some more. Sleep. Sleep. Oh, god, more sleep.
Am I dying?

I hope not.

Oh wait. It's probably the weather which is about to change big time. We're supposed to get storms this afternoon and then it's going to turn cold. Like, southern air is going to hit northern air and we're in the battleground and that's probably what's affecting these old joints, this old brain.

Either that or I'm dying.

We watched Dancing With The Stars again last night. I have to say that I have entirely fallen in love with Chaz Bono. I am old and I remember when Chaz was Chastity and she looked like this:

When the Sonny and Cher show used to be on TV, I never missed it. One of my favorite things to do was to get stoned and watch that show. I am not kidding you. I was in love with Cher. Not in a "I want to date her" way but in a "she kicks some serious ass" way. She was tough. She used to look like a human. And she'd put her hands on her hips and she'd tell that pipsqueak husband of hers where he could go.
And sometimes they'd bring out little Chastity and they'd sing I Got You Babe and it was just awesome. Especially if you were stoned.

Well, I quit getting stoned and Cher started getting surgeries and she morphed into a creature with big lips and a small nose and a different mouth and she kept getting tinier and tinier in the waist area and bigger in the boob area and she and Sonny broke up and it was all sort of sad.

And then you know- life. Whatever. But Cher never quit being Cher and I even went to see her on one of her "final tours" about fifteen years ago and she's still pretty amazing and some of the movies she has been in are some of my favorites and I still think she's beautiful.

But then suddenly, Chastity was back on the radar screen. She was coming out as a lesbian. Then, a few years passed and she announced that she had always felt as if she were a man and she got the surgery and took the T (testosterone) to become physically who she felt she was really and there will be no more "SHE" about this, Chastity is Chaz and he is he and god love him.
I do.

Is there anyone braver in this world? Not only has his transing had to happen in the most public way possible but he is a person of heaviness and not what we here in the USA think of as a person of grace and athletic ability and yet he has chosen to go on this show which people watch, as a man and DANCE. He is displaying vulnerability not just to his family, not just to his community, but to the entire world. He is saying, "This is who I am. I am a fat man who was born in a woman's body and I am not only out, I am out dancing my heart out."

And that's what he does. He's not a terrible dancer, certainly not the worst on the show (Nancy Grace- what a misnomer there) but not the best, but the thing to me is that he doesn't just dance with his legs and his arms and his butt. He dances with his HEART.

And his heart is obviously huge.

I can't even imagine the bravery it took for him to agree to do the show, for him to place himself in such a public way that could well lead to unbelievable criticism, horrible jokes, and religious damnation. Fuck. I would have had a heart attack the first step I took on that stage.

But here's the thing- he's pushed all that crap aside and he has dedicated himself to dancing.
Which, as I always say, is my favorite form of prayer.

And he's not taking it as a joke, he's working his butt off- literally- and he's serious and he looks like he is having the time of his life and whether he wins or loses is of no matter whatsoever, he is doing more for public understanding of transgendered people than anyone in this world right now.

His famous mother, Cher, admitted that at first she had a hard time with the concept that her darling daughter was not who she thought he was. But she's come around. When she was in the audience last week and Chaz danced she watched with tears in her eyes and she stood up and applauded her son- her very brave son- and I loved her for that.
And if anyone in this world can understand doing whatever he or she can to bring the body to be what the spirit feels it is, it would be Cher. Some people get plastic surgery to make themselves look younger or more feminine if they are women, and some people get plastic surgery to look more like the gender they were intended to be.

Look- sometimes brave is something that we find ourselves being due to circumstances beyond our control. The mother who saves her child, the soldier who saves his comrades. The circumstances dictate and the spirit follows.
And sometimes, bravery is a conscious and very deliberate act and it could be refused. It would have been perfectly fine and acceptable for Chaz Bono to undergo what he has in as private a way possible for such a famous couple's son to do but he has chosen to step forward and say, "Look, this is who I am. I am not the only one. I am not afraid to show you my heart."

And so he has and so he does with every butt-shake, every fast-step, every costume and every victorious moment when he accepts applause for his performance.

I'll say it again:
God love him.
I do.

Chaz inherited a lot from his mother. Like her, he is putting his hands on his hips and telling pipsqueak-souled people all over the world where they can go.
I think Cher finally realizes this. She is one tough mutha or she would never have made it. She would have never have become Cher.

And by god, her son is a tough man.
Courage doesn't really always look like John Wayne. Sorry to break it to you, but it doesn't. And toughness doesn't really look like Clint Eastwood, either. Not in real life.

Courage and toughness sometimes look like Chaz Bono wearing a tight-fitting disco shirt and dancing with a woman in his arms. Dancing his heart out and being vulnerable as fucking hell in front of the entire world.

Our society is just really beginning to come to terms with the gay and lesbian issue but has hardly begun to even deal with the transgendering issue.
Chaz Bono has kicked our asses into gear and made it quite clear that we have to wake up, we have to realize that there are those among us who feel so strongly that they were born into the wrong-gendered body that they will do anything to make that wrong a right. To correct nature's mistake.
And it's not a joke and it's not a whim and it's not necessarily the right thing to do to keep it a secret nor is it even necessarily a possibility.

So you dance, on Chaz. You keep leading with your heart. You take us all to school. And show us that there is SUCH joy in being exactly who we are if we allow ourselves to do that, if we accept ourselves as who we are, if we strive every day to become our own, unique, wonderful heart-led selves.

No matter what the world might say.

And then- show us that the world might say, "Damn. You sure dance good for a fat man."

The world might say, "Hey- guess what? We love you and accept you."

Lot of pressure for one dude. I think Chaz can handle it.

And one more thing:

Keep having fun with this, Chaz. It sure looks like you are. The more fun it looks like you're having, the less bullshit ammunition the ignorant will have to use against you. And the less it will matter if they try.

Click on the above image to go to Chaz's website. It's a good one.

And now I must move these old bones and get going into my day. The sky is growing darker, the air is so heavy that it's pushing against me like a recalcitrant donkey.
I have no idea what that means. I just like the way it sounds.

Let's all dance on with what we got to dance with whether it's grace or talent or just plain old joy and heart.


Love...Ms. Mama Moon


  1. Wow, what a great post Mrs Moon~

  2. I've always felt the same about Cher. Did you see her in "The Mask"? Same for Chaz!

  3. I love you. This is such a great and heartfelt post, and I couldn't agree more. We all just need to let other people be who they are.


  4. Oh, me. I'm about the same age as Chaz, close also in age to Lisa Marie Presley and how I envied them when I was a little girl!

    I absolutely adored Cher. I used to wrap my mother's slinky black nylon peignoir around myself, lean against our electric organ, and sing "She was a vamp..." and my mama & daddy would say, "Oh, she is going to be trouble." My Baptist daddy would make me go to bed just as soon as she came out in a revealing dress - I wonder how I ever got to see more than five minutes of an episode. The first song I knew all the words to was "Dark Lady" at four or five.

    I am so happy that Chaz is the man he is. Since my move to Portland I have met so many people who are open about their places on the spectrum of gender and sexuality and all of that whatnot. Back in SC things are a bit more hushed-up, you know, although from what I gather the ice of silence is melting even there, which makes me say HURRAH!

    And I wanted to ask you if you are familiar with the music of Antony and the Johnsons - if not, please do look it up. Antony Hegerty identified as transgendered and is creating beautiful, ethereal, soul-expanding music (I admit very quietly, cough cough, that it's times like this I wish we were facebook friends, cough cough, so that I could just post some music, cough cough I completely understand if that is weird, cough cough).

    At any rate, great post and Bravo Chaz!

  5. You are just so fantastic, so un-freaking believable.

    For a ghost, you have sure come up with one of the best posts ever -- :)!

  6. AMEN to a great Sunday sermon on a Tuesday! I wish Chaz could read this.

    I grew up on Sonny and Cher, too, and loved seeing Chastity when s/he was a young child. But I love this even more. Living out his truth as he does is one of the bravest actions imaginable. I believe Chaz will take acceptance to a whole new level. It's about time!

  7. YES and YES and once more, a resounding YES.

    Love and a-maze-ing grace to you this day, Mary Moon.

  8. We haven't had TV for over a decade, so I've never seen this show, but I do remember a youthful Sonny and Cher singing their signature I Got You Babe, first to each other and then to their little kid---they were utterly themselves in their different ways and it's good to hear their kid is, too. Cher was wonderful with Meryl Streep in Silkwood. There's a big-eyed, long-lashed fawn staring at me through the window right now, about two feet away. That's what we do instead of TV. Well, that and Netflix.

  9. Aw, this is a good one, mama. I shared it with some friends.

  10. Jo- He IS very moving.

    Rebecca- Thank-you dear.

    Rubye Jack- MOONSTRUCK!

    Stephanie- I am sorry, I am glad.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- Is that so much to ask?

    X-Ray Iris- Have you tried to friend me? If so, and I did not respond, it is because I had no idea who you were. Send me a message with the request. That's all.

    Elizabeth- Well, girl. I may play a ghost in the movies but in real life, I am very much alive. As of this moment.

    lulumarie- I am thinking of moments spent in Lis's kitchen. I am thinking of trusting you with my heart.

    Mary- And to you from this Mary.

    A- I am amen-ing you this very second.

    DTG- Love you, baby.

  11. I hadn't yet but now I shall, thank you kindly.

  12. I didn't realize all that. Good for him to be who he wanted to be. It must have been hard enough to grow up being Cher's child.

  13. x-ray Iris- I am not much of a presence on the FB.

    Syd- No kidding. Plus, his dad turned into a REPUBLICAN!

  14. Ms. Moon, that's cool. And I won't bug you over there. But if you get a chance, listen to the Antony and the Johnsons song I put up - it is truly beautiful.

  15. Ms Moon, you teach the world. Truly, you're way out front and the world better know to follow you.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.