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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 13

Chaz Bono: Criticism shows it's important I go 'Dancing with the Stars'


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/02/2011 

Chaz Bono says criticism about his participation in Dancing with the Stars' upcoming thirteenth season has shown him why it's important he do the show.

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"It's made me realize I'm really glad I'm doing this, because America really needs to see this," Bono, a transgender advocate who was born Chastity Bono to entertainers Sonny and Cher but underwent a sex change in 2009 and legally became a man last year, told ABC News.

"You know, it just kind of shows why for me it's important to be on the show, because so little still is known about what it means to be transgender. And there's so many just completely inaccurate stereotypes and thoughts that people have."

Some viewers and conservative groups have expressed disapproval over Bono's participation in Dancing with the Stars' next edition because he will be the first transgender person to compete on the ABC reality ballroom dancing competition -- a move they firmly believe will not coincide with family programming.  

"We will not be able to watch the show with Chaz on there," Monica Cole, the director of OneMillionMoms.com told Inside Edition, according to ABC News. "This is going to be very confusing for children, and should not be included in their cast."

The online group is reportedly persuading people to boycott the show and claiming the casting of Bono "is completely unacceptable and Christians should not watch the show, no excuses!"

Despite the controversy and complaints, Dancing with the Stars professional Lacey Schwimmer has said she is thrilled to be paired with Bono and his team couldn't be more excited about the opportunity. 

"What I tell people to do, my clients, is ignore it. It's people writing on a bathroom wall," Bono's adviser Howard Bragman said during a recent appearance on Good Morning America.

"Watching Chaz Bono dance is not going to make your kid transgender. But what it can do is possibly save your kids life because young transgender kids, kids with gender identity issues, have a huge suicide rate and if they see one positive influence, one positive role model, this can save lives and that's why Chaz is here."

Dancing with the Stars' thirteenth season will premiere Monday, September 19 at 8PM ET/PT with a two-hour broadcast.

All 12 celebrities will perform a Viennese waltz or cha cha routine with their professional partner during the premiere, and the couple with the lowest combination of the judges' scores and home viewer votes will be eliminated on the following night's results show.

(Photo credit ABC)


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