Chaz Bono (formerly Chastity Bono): First Transgendered Person on Dancing with the Stars

Chaz Salvatore Bono used to be a woman named Chastity Sun Bono and is now a man. Being the child of famous entertainers, Sonny and Cher, probably did not make it easy for her to come out as a gay woman with the world watching. It was probably even more difficult for her to come out from beneath the scrutiny of the public eye as a transgendered female-to-male.

Having a mother who was famous, not only for her talent, but for her unique sensuality and beauty, probably made it all the more challenging for Chaz.

At the age of eighteen, Chastity Bono announced to her parents and eventually the world, that she was a lesbian and eventually transitioned from being a woman to being a man.

Chaz Bono has signed on for the upcoming season of the hit television show, “Dancing with the Stars” (DWTS) amidst public outcry. The criticism has been brutal, but Chaz is not backing down and he shouldn’t.

Along with being famous for the controversy surrounding the transition from female-to-male, Chaz Bono is an advocate for gay people and the transgendered. He is also a writer and author, an actor, a musician and has appeared in a documentary about his life.

While it’s uncertain exactly when Chaz began the transition and had surgery to change from a female to male, it is believed that he underwent the transition and surgery at around the age of thirty-nine. It was in 2010 that Chastity Bono legally became Chaz Bono.

As a heterosexual female, I admit that I have never quite understood the female/female or male/male attraction, but I accept it as a part of life for some people. It is difficult to fully understand things that are outside of what we may perceive as normal in society. Being a heterosexual female, I may never understand it completely, but it’s not my job to understand it, but only to accept it and respect others.

While many people find biblical scriptures and religion as their own proof that Chaz Bono is wrong or an oddity, as an agnostic, for me it has nothing to do with religious beliefs, but more to do with being human and having the right to be free to be who you are as long you don’t harm others.

Will Chaz Bono’s stint on DWTS, where she will dance with a female partner, harm others? I don’t think so, but many people do and they have signed petitions, written letters to the show’s network and taken to the internet to stop Chaz Bono from kicking up his transgendered heels.

Some say that DWTS is a family-oriented television show and the appearance of a transgendered person may confound, frighten and confuse children and teens. The world in itself and life in general can confound, frighten and confuse children. Isn’t it better for parents to prepare them to walk out into an adult world made up of all different kinds of people? I see this as a chance for parents to open up an age-appropriate dialogue with their children. This is how understanding, acceptance and respect are born and handed down from generation to generation.

None of us can stop the world from changing and why should we? Everybody has a right to be who they are and live as they wish as long as they respect others. We can only adjust and adapt and teach our children to do the same. We cannot hide or shield our children from what’s real, what they may experience or even who they may or may not become.

For those parents, who vehemently oppose Chaz Bono appearing on prime time television, always keep in mind that Chaz Bono could be your child some day. As parents, there is no way to guarantee your child’s future sexual orientation. While many parents hope that their children are heterosexual, there is a possibility that they may be gay, bisexual or transgendered and just haven’t come out of the closet with it yet. Would you disown them or love them any less? Your child will always be your child no matter what, so let’s let Chaz Bono dance and see what he does.

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