The official celebrity cast for Dancing With the Stars 13 will be announced Monday night, and Scottsdale fans are ready. Many names have already been leaked, and at the top of the list is Chaz Bono. Will Chaz have the dance moves and fan support to get to the finals this season? For those who need a refresher, here’s a peek at who Chaz Bono is.
These days, Chaz Bono is known for being an advocate for the transgender community. He is the first transgender celebrity to appear on Dancing With the Stars and there is quite the buzz surrounding him already. Unfortunately, not all of that buzz is positive, but Bono has mad it clear he will not shirk from the spotlight and the opportunity to raise awareness for the transgender community. As fans know, Chaz grew up as Chastity Bono, the daughter of Sonny and Cher. Born in 1969, Bono is the only child Sonny and Cher had together, and he was a regular fixture on their television show in the 1970s.
In 1995, Bono came out as a lesbian on the cover of The Advocate. Chaz went on to author two books about his life and journey. In June, 2009, Bono opened up to Entertainment Tonight about the process of his female-to-male gender transition. In May, 2010 Bono officially changed his name from Chastity Sun Bono to Chaz Salvatore Bono, and officially changed his gender to male. A documentary about his life has been shown on Oprah’s OWN network.
Bono’s memoir “Family Outing” shares that he “always felt there was something different about me… When I was 13, I finally found a name for exactly how I was different. I realized I was gay.” By coming out in The Advocate, Bono was propelled into the national spotlight into a role that “Catapulted me into a political role that has transformed my life, providing me with affirmation as a lesbian, as a woman, and as an individual.” Chaz has shared that Cher had trouble with the familial changes at first, but is now fully supportive. Unfortunately, Sonny Bono struggled and their relationship remained strained until Sonny’s death in 1998.
After his transition was completed, Chaz’s publicist shared, “It is Chaz’s hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his coming out did.” His documentary Becoming Chaz premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, and it debuted on OWN on May 10, 2011. Joining Dancing With the Stars is a big next step for Chaz Bono, and supporters are hopeful that viewers will watch with open minds and hearts. Dancing With the Stars will air on Monday and Tuesday nights, beginning September 19. DWTS airs on ABC, Channel 15 in the Scottsdale area.
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