Chaz Bono on competing in DWTS: “America really needs to see this”

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The lead story on E! News this weekend was Chaz Bono’s involvement on Dancing With the Stars. They showed a clip of him on the red carpet back when he used to be a woman, (similar to this video around 1:15). The difference must seem striking to some people, as he now looks like the brother of the person he used to present as.

Chaz has finally said something, however brief, about the controversy over his participation on DWTS. He made a quick statement outside rehearsals for the show, saying that “[The controversy] made me realize I’m really glad I’m doing this, because America really needs to see this.” Apparently there’s a group that is announcing a boycott of DWTS, which will probably just bring the show even higher ratings than it normally has. You can read about it on this link, I’m not going to post it all here as it’s just the same crap we’ve already heard.

Meanwhile openly gay reality show designer Carson Kressly is also competing this season and getting much less publicity. He quipped on Twitter, “2 all freaking out about having the GLBT community represented on #DWTS – its a ballroom dancing show. Its pretty gay already.” Kressly is the second out gay person to appear on DWTS after Lance Bass. Producers have announced that they won’t have same-sex dance partner pairings, though. Executive producer Conrad Green said “This is not a social dancing show, it’s a dancing competition. A man should dance with a woman, no matter what your sexual orientation, in ballroom.”

Chaz’s spokesperson Howard Bragman perhaps best summed up this controversy over Chaz on DWTS. “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.”

Here’s the new portrait of Chaz with his dance partner, Lacey Schwimmer. More portraits are here.


And here’s Chaz and Lacey outside DWTS practice on 8/31/11.




Photo credit: Fame

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49 Responses to “Chaz Bono on competing in DWTS: “America really needs to see this””

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  1. aenflex says:

    Go, Chaz, Go!!!!!
    F&#* the haters!!!!!

  2. LeeLoo says:

    Despite anyone’s beliefs on transgender issues at least it is now being talked about rather than swept under the rug as usual.

  3. Nicky29 says:

    I just followed the link to the Youtube clip, and I can’t believe the stupidity in the comments section; it’s just so full of hate and backwards thinking! It all proves Chaz’s point: America needs this.

  4. The Bobster says:

    No, I really didn’t need to see that last picture.

  5. NoFrank says:

    LOL @ Carson Kressly. I was discussing this with my sister yesterday. She said “Did the conservatives JUST figure out that this is, like, the gayest show on TV? Holy shit, should we tell them about Elton John?”

  6. tapioca says:

    Your somewhat surprising The-more-conservative-members-of-the-DWTS-audience-are-a-bit-behind-the-times fact for the day:

    “As of 2008, Iran carries out more sex change operations than any other nation in the world except for Thailand. The government provides up to half the cost for those needing financial assistance, and a sex change is recognised on the birth certificate.”

    They’re still not that big on the gays though!

  7. tia says:

    GO CHAZ!!! A lot of educated, good-hearted people will be rooting for you. Don’t worry about the back woods, in the dark ages red neck conservatives. This is 2011 and you are going to do awesome. Keep your chin up and go for it. There are lots of good people out there. Remember misery loves company and people love to make themselves feel better by a pathetic attempt to trash others.. very transparent. TEAM CHAZ

  8. embertine says:

    Chaz seems a lovely guy, but nobody needs to see this, because it’s Dancing with the Stars and it’s unmitigated bat droppings. I wish him luck anyway and hope this gives him the incentive he needs to drop the pounds.

  9. Danziger says:

    @ Tia – condescension. What a great way to show how forward-thinking, tolerable and ‘above the rabble’ you are. Always the “us vs them” mentality, never the “enlighten the dark-dwellers” mentality.

    I like how Chaz has been handling this, though. As I thought, these comments (seemingly at least) bounce off him and instead he utilizes them to motivate himself. No petty retorts, no eye for an eye, just gentlemanly behaviour. I, at this point, admire him as a person for this.

    I’ll never see the show though. I ain’t American, I ain’t even Western European and therefore I will lack access, unless I pirate the crap out of it. It’d be interesting this once tho.

  10. Feebee says:

    What are they going to see? He’s already stated he’s there to dance not talk about his transgenderness. So we’ll see a guy called Chaz dancing with a girl called Lacey.

    I see the producers are taking a different stance from those in Europe where a lesbian contestant danced with a female pro. I have to agree with the US producers on this one. Even I don’t want to see Carson Kressley dance with Maks.

  11. gee says:

    @Danzinger – I don’t think there is anything wrong with what Tia said. I mean, of course it’s great to teach those the ways of tolerance; but truth be told, haters gon hate.

    Chaz needs to keep himself pumped up right now. It’s important that he stays above the negetivity.

  12. Annaloo says:

    An aside note… I know a lot of forward thinking COnservatives who would defend Chaz’s presence on the show as an example of freedom and individual liberty. Although I consider myself more left leaning, I cringe when I listen to SOME of my fellow left-wingers, bc they sound just as bigoted and prejudiced when they start spouting generalizations about an entire group of people.

    Can we ourselves practice the tolerance we preach and scream for others to show? Could we just laser in our criticisms for individuals and groups you CAN verify as anti-gay (Carrie Prejean, NOM, Focus on the Family, etc) instead of clumping all of them in one group? It just adds to the animosity that is so unproductive today in politics. Don’t forget, there are homophobes that run in the party of blue also (eg, Ruben Diaz of NY).

  13. lolas says:

    on the pictures, there are links now to ‘get the look’. Um, no thanks.

  14. Christine says:

    Good for Chaz. I don’t see the big deal, but apparently there is a lot of hate out there.

    Now can we talk about the unholy ugliness of Lacey’s glasses??? ~shudder~

  15. Shay says:

    I love the producer’s comment about ballroom dancing being between a man and woman, no matter their orientation.
    I remember when Perez Hilton was freaking out about getting a same sex couple on DWTS, and I always thought it was ridiculous…there’s a male and female role in dancing, and that is how it should be.
    I dont understand the upset, because this season you will see Chaz, a man, dancing with Lacey, a woman. Which is how it should be

  16. Erinn says:

    Well said.
    I’m sick of everyone jumping to politics, blaming their opposing views on whether you’re right wing, or left. It’s just a petty attempt at putting others down, and making yourself seem more enlightened.

    Yes, there are right-wingers who are homophobic, but there are also plenty of left-wingers who are homophobic as well.

    @Tia you have no problem claiming you are enlightened and all, but you have no problem pulling stereotypes such as back woods rednecks into this. Not classy. Also, I don’t see why you personally are addressing your post to Chaz, seeing as he’s probably never going to read this. My boyfriend could be called a bit of a redneck- he lives in the woods, loves his hunting, atvs, and making a living with his hands. His family was very religious, and has strong values. He’s got strong conservative leanings. Does this mean he hates gays, or transgenders or abortion? No. Does this mean he sits around and makes generalizations about other political figures? No. I’d say that my redneck, back woods boyfriend is a hell of a lot more enlightened than you are.

    Leave the politics out of it. Leave the stereotypes out of it. Either root for Chaz, or don’t.

    I’m personally not a huge fan of him- I just don’t find the appeal. But I admire him as a person, for doing all that he has done.

  17. Kellie says:

    Chaz is gross. I will not be rooting for that thing. I hope the drs explained that you cant change your DNA so it doesnt matter what she looks like on the outside she will live and die as a female-period.

  18. palermo says:

    Forget Chaz, what the hell did Lacey do to herself? Bleached out hair, big fake boobs, she used to be beautiful, now she looks like a hooker.

  19. Joe's Mom says:

    I don’t think they need to change the rules of normal ballroom competition because someone is gay. Does anyone realize that some of the pros who dance on DWTS year after year, are gay, yet they always dance with the opposite sex, because those are the rules of this sport. Chaz is a man, dancing as a man, with a female partner. Let the games begin.

  20. bluhare says:

    @kellie: What’s gross is your post.

  21. SolitaryAngel says:

    @ kellie: Careful, honey–your hatred is showing. Also, take your meds.

  22. Seal Team 6 says:

    @kellie —

    I am very, very proud of you.

    It takes a person comfortable in their own skin to be able to spew such ignorance and hatred for all to see.


  23. Onyx XV says:

    I don’t really see anything wrong with what Tia said, only because I agree with her. But – Annaloo does have a very good point, that we should practice what we preach. True.

    That said – Go Chaz! I never watch this show, because it doesn’t interest me in the slightest, but this appears to be a good move for Chaz for many reasons, not the least of which is the exercise. (& I don’t mean that condescending, either – it’s from one chubster to another lol).

  24. MissVJJ says:

    Half you people on here would freak out and cry if your children told you they want sex changes and are gonna do it when they get older. Quit being so fake.

  25. Annethescribe says:

    If Chaz is so happy with himself, why is he hiding under all the fat? I don’t care if he dances or not, but I think he needs to find something else to do than appear on reality shows. Maybe go to college? Get a job? Start a business?

  26. cailinos says:


    Damn right, what’s with those spex? Staff at my local Marks n Sparks wear such things when collecting taking from tills, to resist acid attacks, no doubt.

    Anyway…good luck to Chaz, a thoroughly lovely chap, from what I have read.

  27. wonderwoman21 says:

    I wish I had tv because I’m sooo excited about this!

  28. Hibiscus says:

    Freak Show!

  29. Lushus L. says:

    I can only wonder what Sonny would say if he was still alive.

  30. Lynnie says:

    @Kellie & @Hibiscus: You’re just plain mean. 🙁

  31. Kellie says:

    Say what you want people but Chaz is a sad being. She mutilated her body, took unecessary meds all because she hated herself-and you applaud this. What she needed was therapy not the foundation to build a penis. I’m not spewing hate, its disgust-get it right.

  32. sam says:

    “We will not be able to watch the show…. this is going to be very confusing for children”

    Actually its not confusing for children unless the adults in their lives make it confusing. Chaz looks like a man and dances the part of a man on the show. Tell the kids it is a man (if you need to tell them anything) and problem solved!

    Kids don’t judge the way we do. Sure they are honest and think that some things we do are silly (they might laugh and say look at the funny looking man) but I really don’t think most kids would spend one second thinking about how ‘controversial’ it is to see Chaz on this show.

    I understand that people might be uncomfortable with the idea of transgendered people, even though personally I am not. However, you always have the option to turn off the t.v, or change channels if something on a show does not fit with your values.

  33. Seal Time 6 says:

    Good post, Sam!

  34. Seal Time 6 says:


    Well, no, it is hate and rank ignorance. Your reveling in your ignorance on this subject, this MEDICAL subject of gender ID, is what is disgusting.

    It’s also kinda evil.

  35. Kim says:

    Chaz being on this show is NOT going to make Americans who arent ok with transgender all of a sudden ok with it. I think it will backfire and they will dislike her and transgenders even more.

    SAM – Kids are the harshest judges! Are you kidding – have you been to a junior high or high school campus lately. Kids bully FAR more than adults.

  36. Kim says:

    We bag on people with extensive plastic surgery but whats the difference between that and Chaz? They are both people altering their bodies to feel better about themselves. How is one right but not the other and vice versa? We are all hypocrites to some degree.

  37. sam says:

    Thanks Kim. I see your point and to be honest I was mainly thinking about small children in my post, and yes bullying etc can be problems with children – but I don’t think this is fixed by ignoring issues. In my experience with young children they are beautifully accepting of differences and are also often quite honest and frank about it at the same time.

    I still think that parents can – and frankly should – change the channel if they disagree with something(seriously whats the big deal if you miss out on a show you like – its hardly the end of the world). Parents could also chose to be brave and use the show to discuss the issue (what ever their views) with their children.

    At the end of the day the show wouldn’t get away with discriminating against a person who has a disability, who has dwarfism, who is of a different color, weight, religion, age, political view… the list goes on.

    Finally to paraphrase the internet: If you don’t like transgendered people, blame the straight people. They’re the ones that keep having transgender babies!!

  38. ManicPixieDreamGirl says:

    I hope he wins!!! Someone will have to let me know because i definitely don’t watch that piece of shit show!

  39. xxodettexx says:

    go chaz! and i love all the positive words and comments i am reading here today! yeah, a few negative nellies but it is their choice/right to hate/dislike/find disgust or otherwise in stuff the rest of us find honorable and brave! and i wont tell them to change the channel since i doubt most of the complainers even watch the show, considering the fact that if they DID watch the show, at all, in the last few years, they would[should] have noticed the assorted gays, playmates and sextape queens that are the primary makeup of DTWS! i mean, come on!

  40. Emily says:

    @tapioca, I’ve read that Iran does that for gay people. As in, they will make a gay man into a woman, so that they’re now “straight”. Apparently mutilating somebody’s body against their will (or at least under coercion) is better than letting two gays get it on in peace.

  41. Hibiscus says:

    Well, the “Bearded Lady” has been a classic act on circus side shows.

    This seems to be the contemporary version of it.

  42. judyjudy says:

    What shocks me is that so many people care. As a culture we REALLY need to find something more important to worry about than everyone’s genitals and what they do with them, or how they dress them, or whatever. Honestly.

  43. Zvonk says:


    I wish DNA could be changed. Then science would have the ability to implant YOU with the intelligence and compassion you are so obviously lacking.

  44. Kellie says:

    @Zvonk, you are a moron. DNA has nothing to do with compassion. Dont judge my opinion. Perhaps everyone should be just like you.

  45. Zvonk says:


    You have shown yourself to be the moron. DNA governs EVERYTHING about you. Intelligence (or lack thereof, in your case), height, weight, and yes, even a person’s ability to feel compassion, all are governed by a person’s DNA makeup (not the stuff you put on your face, you imbecile). Take your head out of your bigoted arse, and do a little research, you insufferable little troll.

    And no, I don’t believe that everyone should be like me. I love the diversity that DNA mutation has created in this world. And that includes men like Chaz Bono.

    Furthermore, I reserve the right to not only judge your opinion, but also vehemently disagree with it. When you posted your bigoted comment on this page, you opened yourself up for ridicule and judgement. In future, if you wish to avoid the prospect of your opinions being judged, perhaps your should consider keeping your bigoted and uneducated musings to yourself.

  46. AnonWatcher says:

    She doesn’t even look like a man. Can look at her face and she she’s a woman.

    And she talked about her gender reassignment before she danced, so yea, while some people blew it out of proportion I do think that parents who were concerned had a point. They don’t need their small children listening to that, or prompting conversations about it at young ages, IMO.

    Also, not agreeing with what she did to herself doesn’t make anyone a bigot. I don’t understand how people who are pro this think they are some how empathetically superior to those against it…

  47. Concerned says:

    The obesity issue for Chaz iss a really big concern of mine- as well as the hormones that shes taking. If I am correct, she is still concerned a female until she has the penis surgery. If she still has a vagina- she is still a girl. I see a very sad lesbian.

  48. Concerned says:

    I cannot see her as a male- I see a butch lesbian. There are just natural things that cannot be changed- and for ner mental health- I would suggest counseling. She seems to be penly rude to others and not a very happy person. If she lost weight- it would be better for her. I think that my basic concern is also for her partner- who has to apologize for her abusive behavior. Its so strange.

  49. Marilyn says:

    Dear Producers for Dancing with the Stars:
    I have significant concerns with the Judges. Professional Judges should not publicly humiliate (Scold) the Contestants. Remarks such as those made to Chaz Bono by a judge, especially on National television, is highly inappropriate and disappointing.
    Judges should limit their comments to technique and performance and not personally slander contestants.
    It is commonly understood that people should be respectful to one another .– praise people in public and Admonish them in private.
    A loyal viewer,
    Marilyn Walton