Chaz Bono has said he was terrified at transitioning in public.

The 42-year-old Bono was honored Saturday at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center's 40th Anniversary Gala and Auction with the group's Board of Directors Award for his transgender activism.

In accepting his award, Bono, the child of gay icon Cher and Sonny Bono, said he would have transitioned sooner if the world wasn't watching.

“When I discovered I was really transgender, I felt like my world was going to fall apart. It took me over 10 years to come up with the courage that I needed in order to start transitioning and finally be myself. One of my goals since starting my transition, and believe me when I say if I could have done it privately, I probably would have done it years ago, but the idea of having to transition in front of the whole world was something that really terrified me. So when I finally did get the courage to do it, I wanted to take the opportunity to try and do it in a way where I could educate the public and shine light on what it means to be transgender. So many people just still don't have any information about that and that includes the gay and lesbian community. We say LGBT and it kind of rolls off our tongue but the B and the T are kind of like the stepkids at another table.”

“I'd like to challenge everybody here tonight to really take the time to learn a little bit more about what it means to be transgender, how it's different from sexual orientation and some of the struggles that we go through.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)