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Chaz Bono gives Degrassi storyline a boost

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TORONTO -- A ground-breaking storyline on Degrassi gets a celebrity boost Friday when Chaz Bono drops by to offer some words of advice to a troubled transgender teen.

Bono says he leapt at the chance to appear on the series when he learned of its Emmy-nominated plot surrounding Adam, a female-to-male transgender student.

The celebrity advocate says he wishes there were such TV representations of transgender life when he was growing up, noting that he spent "years and years in pain and confusion."

"It permeated every aspect of my life, even more than I was aware," Bono said of a prolonged identity struggle that saw him live as a lesbian for much of his adult life.

"It's not the kind of thing that you want to have to go through in your life, not understanding about yourself like I had to."

Bono, who was born Chastity Bono to celebrity parents Cher and Sonny Bono, pops up when Adam's rock group WhisperHug competes in a battle of the bands contest.

Turns out that Bono is one of the judges, and Adam approaches him for tips on how to cope with a painful struggle for acceptance.

Back-to-back episodes of Degrassi air Friday on MuchMusic.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 23, 2012 D5

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