Ever since the producers of Dancing With The Stars announced they’d chosen Chaz Bono to compete on their thirteenth season, the Internet has been ablaze with ridiculously hateful comments about him and fellow cast member Carson Kressley, a gay man. “Both are LGBT rights advocates and promote this destructive lifestyle,” reads a petition circulated by conservative wing nut group OneMillionMoms. “DWTS is helping them create visibility for the LGBT community. This is completely unacceptable and Christians should not watch the show, no excuses! Kressley will be paired up with a female dancer, and since Chasity, transformed to Chaz after her sex change in 2009, will also be paired with a female dancer blah blah hatred bigotry blah.”
Although his famous mom Cher has been quick to respond to these attacks, Chaz has remained relatively silent on the issue until today, when he spoke with Good Morning America about it. When asked how he felt about the attacks, he had this to say:
To be honest, I really haven’t been paying that much attention to it…I’m really kinda just focused on dancing and enjoying everything that’s happening…I think it’s a much bigger deal to everybody else than it is to me.
But what did he mean when he said “America needs to see this”? What does American need to see?
That I’m just a regular guy. That all these ideas of children shouldn’t watch me, that it’s gonna be confusing…all that stuff is just crazy. For all of the teens and kids out there with gender dysphoria, I think it’s gonna have a really positive impact. I know that when I was growing up, if I had seen somebody like me on a show like this, it would’ve made all the difference in my life.
I love how all these “won’t somebody please think of the children” people conveniently forget that some children happen to be LGBT themselves, and that said children’s lives are often unnecessarily difficult because of the hatred groups like OneMillionMoms propagate.
When asked how he’d respond to people who say he’s pushing a political agenda (on the children, no less), he responded sensibly that he’s not going to be talking about anything other than dancing, and that “people who don’t have gender dysphoria aren’t going to catch it by watching me dance on television.”
This is all quite true. But sadly, to many people in this country, “I’m just a regular guy,” or even, “I am a human being who deserves to be treated as such” is a political statement coming from a transgender person. So long as that remains a topic of debate, the show is taking a position by treating Chaz like any old semi-famous person who wants to dance their way into America’s hearts. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay. For the sake of LGBT kids everywhere, I applaud the producers’ decision.