Chaz Bono Says America Needs to See Transgender Contestant on Dancing With the Stars

Transgender activist Chaz Bono has responded to the controversy of his casting on Dancing With the Stars 2011 season 13 by saying he thinks America needs to see him on the show. Since the announcement that Chaz Bono would be competing on DWTS season 13, the celebrity offspring of Sonny and Cher has faced numerous attacks from the public and the media for appearing on the show.

Monica Cole, director of, told Inside Edition on Wednesday that members of her organization would “not be able to watch the show with Chaz on there.” Cole said having Bono on the show “is going to be very confusing for children, and [Bono] should not be included in their cast.”

Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, posted an ‘opinion’ piece on advising “parents to not allow their children to watch the episodes in which Chaz appears.” Ablow claims that “tomboyish girls and sensitive, less stereotypically ‘masculine’ boys’ could be influenced into believing they have a gender identity issue by watching Chaz Bono on Dancing With the Stars.

“It is a toxic and unnecessary byproduct of the tragic celebration of transgender surgery that millions of young people who do watch Dancing with the Stars will have to ponder this question: Maybe my problems really stem from the fact that I’m a girl inside a boy’s body (or a boy inside a girls body),” Ablow said. He claims Chaz Bono should have received psychotherapy and psychiatric medicine to fix his gender identity issues instead of surgery and hormones to transition from female to male.

Chaz Bono has responded to the attacks against his appearance on Dancing With the Stars season 13 by saying these negative attitudes toward transgenders proves why he needs to be on the show.

“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,” Bono told ABC News. “And there’s so many just completely inaccurate stereotypes and thoughts that people have.” Chaz Bono’s Dancing with the Stars partner Lacey Schwimmer and his mother, Cher, have both come out in the media to defend his appearance on the show.

“Watching Chaz Bono dance is not going to make your kid transgender,” Bono advisor Howard Bragman told Good Morning America. “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.”

“No way he’s going to back down,” Bragman added. “This has really reinforced his decision to be on the show.”

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Annaka Turner

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