As a child, Chaz says he never felt comfortable in his own body. "When I was really little, it was very clear to me that I felt like a boy, and my friends were all boys," he says.
Watch Chaz discuss his feelings as a child
Chaz says puberty was an extremely difficult time for him. "It felt as if my body was, like, literally betraying me because I went from a very athletic, straight-up-and-down little kid to a very curvaceous woman, and it was just horrifying to me," he says. "You have this image of yourself, and all of a sudden, your body just does exactly the opposite of how you feel."
Chaz says he was also a tomboy as a child, something his father accepted more readily. "I wanted to be just like him, so any parent is going to love that," he says. "It was easy for him because I was like a son, and so I wanted to do all the things that he wanted to do, and we played sports and roughhoused in the pool and all of that."
Chaz says there was more of a conflict with his mother. "I completely understand why it must have been difficult. You have this expectation of your baby girl and how that's going to be, and I didn't act anything like she probably imagined," he says. "It always felt like a series of negotiations with us, with me trying to figure out how to feel as comfortable as possible without making her too upset."