"Yes, it's true -- Chaz, after many years of consideration, has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity," confirmed Bono's publicist, Howard Bragman.
"He is proud of his decision and grateful for the support and respect that has already been shown by his loved ones. It is Chaz's hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his 'coming out' did nearly 20 years ago.
We ask that the media respect Chaz's privacy during this long process as he will not be doing any interviews at this time."
Bono's move was applauded by gay rights activists, with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) calling the decision "an important step forward" and urging the public and media to refer to "her" as "him."
"Chaz Bono's decision to live his life authentically represents an important step forward, both for him personally and for all who are committed to advancing discussions about fairness and equality for transgender people," said Neil G. Giuliano, president of GLAAD. "Coming out as transgender is an extremely personal decision and one that is never made lightly. We look forward to hearing Chaz's story in his own words in the future."
Sonny Bono's widow, California congresswoman Mary Bono, told TMZ she "loves and supports Chaz."