Top-surgery is officially called bilateral mastectomy, referring to the removal of breasts.
The only child of star entertainers Sonny and Cher, Bono appeared and sounded unquestionably masculine at the lecture, a result of years’ worth of testosterone supplements and surgical procedures.
“Everything about the physical transition was, for me, just really exciting,” Bono said, “and it made me incredibly happy”.
Bono began identifying as a lesbian in high school and came out to his parents at 18. It wasn’t until later that Bono identified the real problem as not desiring the same sex, but being trapped within his gender.
“I didn’t realize how many of the difficulties of my life were based on this issue. There’s definitely a part of me that wishes I got to live more of my life like this,” Bono said, in response to a pressing question if he wished he were simply born a male, to which he then rebutted: “I’m very happy as a transgendered man. I do believe very strongly that none of this was a mistake.”
In the second half of the lecture, Bono took questions from students and supporters during an open-microphone session. Students, and many people directly involved in the LGBT community, covered many interesting topics with Bono. Brave members of the transgender community were applauded as they stood and told their stories and spoke with Bono during the session.
Many of the questions concerned the pride and hardships of publicly identifying as a transgender individual.
“I think that people in the trans-world… we just have to have a really thick skin,” Bono said confidently. “If somebody has a problem with you, it’s their problem.”
During the session, a curious student also brought up Bono’s tenure in the 13th season of ABC’s hit show, “Dancing with the Stars.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever been as scared as I was during the first episode of ‘Dancing,’ on live television,” Bono admitted. “I left the show feeling like I could do anything after that.”
After sharing many memorable moments, laughs and cheers, the lecture concluded with a book signing featuring Bono’s 2011 release, “Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man,” on sale outside the ballroom.
Bono’s gripping lecture brought an unfortunate end to this spring’s lecture series, which will return in fall 2012 with even more welcomed guests.