By: Shannon Ralph
Chaz Bono will be taking part in the newest season of Dancing with the Stars. The 42-year-old, who completed his transition from female to male earlier this year, will be the first transgender person featured on the primetime show and will be paired with a female professional dancer.
After the announcement, Bono told US Weekly: “I want people to know that transgender people are just like everyone else. We’re not people to be afraid of or misunderstood. I would love to get that message across.”
He went on to add, “I’m always serious. I’ve written three books, I lecture, it’s all serious stuff. But now I get to show that I’m a fun guy too!”
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation welcomed the news, saying, “At a time when transgender representation in the media is sorely lacking, Chaz Bono joining the cast of a series like Dancing with the Stars is a tremendous step forward for the public to recognize that transgender people are an important part of the fabric of American culture.”
This season of the show will also feature its first openly gay contestant—fashion guru and previous Queer Eye for the Straight Guy star, Carson Kressley.