Chaz Bono on naysayers: 'These people have an agenda. I have one as well'

Chaz-Bono

Image Credit: ABC

Chaz Bono is feeling pretty sore these days, but it’s the grueling rehearsals on Dancing with the Starsnot the internet backlash to his being the show’s first transgender — that is keeping him on ice.

Bono spoke of the grueling choreography while walking the red carpet of the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday. “It’s tough … everything is hard, the position that everything is supposed to be in,” he told EW. “I’m icing a lot, trying to sleep and eat well.”

Still, the only child of Cher and the late Sonny Bono admitted that the response by naysayers took him by surprise. Some of the pushback was so ugly that his famous mother took to Twitter to defend her son. “I didn’t completely expect it,” he said of the negative reaction, before adding, “It’s really pretty much rolled off my back and I’m just trying to concentrate on dancing because it’s hard.”

Surprisingly, Bono doesn’t think DWTS needs to focus on his personal journey once it returns for its 13th season on Sept. 19. Bono was the subject of the recent documentary Becoming Chaz, which aired on OWN and chronicled his emotional and physical transformation from a woman to a man. “You treat it as I’m not going to be doing anything on the show other than dancing.”

Still, it’s de rigueur for the competition show to feature back stories on its celebrities, so its likely scenes from the documentary will be included before one or two of Bono’s performances. Fortunately, Bono is used to heavy scrutiny. “I’ve been into activism since ’95. I’m really used to this. I  debated Jerry Falwell and I’ve had people picket events I’ve been at, so it’s not that big of a deal. I have a very thick skin … otherwise you’d be upset all the time.

“I look at it as a chess game,” he continued. “These people have an agenda. And I have one as well.” – With reporting from Carrie Borzillo

For more:

GLAAD on Chaz Bono: ‘Tremendous step forward’
DWTS cast revealed


Comments (104 total) Add your comment
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  • Angela

    Good for you, Chaz!!!

  • Just Jules

    I hope he does well…

  • James

    I thought the public might have learned something about transgendered public figures over the last 60+ years but I guess there’s a ways to go. Chaz has always seemed to be a great person and certainly doesn’t have the checkered past of some other contestants! (Blagojevich, DeLay…) Go Chaz!

    • sly

      nah, unfortunately the world is still filled with stupid bigoted people who think that society should only be populated with people who are as white-bread and straight as they claim to be (aren’t the strongest deniers often the biggest culprits?) … too bad … I’ll be rooting for you Chaz!

      • lovenlife4529

        We think very few people sensible, except those who are of our own opinion.

    • Tamr

      Nice one ,James. I concur with your assessment one hundred percent. I think Chaz danced very well for such an over weight person. He was ‘very light on his feet’.
      Go Chaz!

  • justsayin

    3 comments already and not 1 joke about the thick skin line?! EW trolls you disappoint me!

  • negatory

    disagreeing with self-mutilation and chemically changing your appearance to look like a different sex doesn’t make someone a bigot. many find such measures repulsive. whether or not she’s a contestant on a reality show is a matter for people with voids in their lives. but not approving of her lifestyle doesn’t make a person a bigot.

    • Captincool

      Uh yeah actually that does. Its not your life so its not your problem. They wouldn’t be getting the attention you hate that they get if people like you weren’t giving the issue attention in the first place. Its his body and he can do whatever he pleases with it.

      • negatory

        I don’t care anything about the attention she gets. I just don’t think disapproving of her self-mutiliation makes someone a bigot. that’s not the definition of the term. She certainly has the right by law to do certain things to her body(although she can’t injest certain drugs etc) that doesn’t mean everyone has to agree with her actions or be called a bigot. that point of view is itself a lack of tolerance. being freaked out by all of Heidi Montag’s surgery doesn’t make a person a bigot, either. it’s the person who has radical
        surgery and takes chemicals to alter their appearance sexually that has a problem with their thinking, not the person who disagrees with it.

      • Danny

        Do the people “disapproving of self-mutilation” expend this much energy on poeple who have breast augmentation? Or breast reduction? Or gastric by-pass? Or lyposuction? Or nose jobs? Or tatoos? Bunch of celebrities out there who have doen these things and I never see comments condemning them for “self-mutilation. So, no they haven’t, no they don’t, not to the vicious extent the do now with Chaz, to hide their garden variety transphobic bigotry behind what they think is a more acceptable veneer or disapproval of “self-mutilation”.

      • negatory

        actually, I mentioned being freaked out about Montag’s surgeries. gastric by-passes are usually done for health reasons, so that’s a faulty analogy although I think Al Roker shoulda just got on a friggin’ treadmill. a nose job is hardly the same as Chastity’s surgical and chemical make-over and getting a boob reduction to relieve back pain isn’t the same thing, either. implants are nasty but still don’t reach the severity of Chastity’s disfiguring herself. neither do dentures, wigs or padded bras. find some other examples. good luck.

        and other than a few posts I haven’t expended much energy. I do think it’s worthwhile to say a person isn’t a bigot if he doesn’t accept and tolerate every freaky lifestyle the modern world is able to produce. this is unpopular in an Oprah culture but…I don’t give a damn.

      • Squishmar

        negatory, I don’t want to get into it, but that’s twice now you’ve used the word “lifestyle”. Chaz is not gay he is transgendered. It’s not a lifestyle.

      • SAZ

        Negatory, the fact that you continue to refer to Chaz as a she instead of referring to him using the correct pronoun indicates to me that you simply do not understand what transgendered people go through. Perhaps you’re not a bigot, but using words like “freaky” to describe a transgendered person’s “lifestyle” sure sounds pretty bigtoted to me….

    • Adriana

      I would be less likely to look at you as bigoted if you respected Chaz as a person and used the pronouns he asked be used. Chaz is and is presenting as male and therefore he is the appropriate pronoun.

      Also, he did not change his appearance sexually. This is not about sex, it’s about gender. Those are two very different things. Sex is what’s between your legs, gender is what’s between your ears.

      • lovenlife4529

        Those of you who think you know everything are annoying those of us who do.

    • Emma

      I hate people who call him a “she”. He is a male now, and no “opinion” changes that. It’s not about people claiming that they talk about she because they personally see it that way, it’s bigoted using the power of the word. It would be the same as people would talk about gays using the word “sodo**te” and saying that it’s okay because they see it to mean the same thing.

      • negatory

        Chastity isn’t male. a DNA test would say she is as she was born…female. I’m under no obligation to refer to her as she wants…just as she is, regardless of her surgical and chemical disguise.

        when you fill out a form(at a doctor’s office for example) you’re often asked to check a box, sex…male or female. so sex does involve being a male or female.

        and calling a person a sodomite is generally an insult referring to a person’s behavior. calling them a female(if they ARE one, which she is), isn’t.

      • mark

        you speak as though gender and sex are the same thing and that there are only 2. if you were at all intelligent you would realize that there is a spectrum that falls between male and female, both in biology and in psychology. just because society (the church) forced people into 2 boxes doesn’t mean it’s right. having your brain and your body disagree as to who you really are would be terrible. you don’t have to like that chaz made the change, but the thing that makes you a bigot is the fact that you can’t respect or acknowledge that chaz has a different experience than yourself. saying “she” is so disrespectful to chaz and makes you a bigot.

    • Catboreal

      It’s sad to see that people still equate gender with what dangles or doesn’t dangle between one’s legs. The simple fact is that science doesn’t understand gender *AT ALL*! An X or a Y chromosome determines sex, that’s all and that’s a long way off from defining gender. People fix things that are wrong with their bodies from birth all the time, be it a hole in their heart or a cleft lip, why is fixing you body to match your gender any different? You act as if gender reassignment surgery is like getting a nose piercing. It’s not. Try educating yourself before you go spouting off. Chaz is a *HE* despite what his genetic make-up does or doesn’t tell you.

      • Tamr

        negatory,you need to check the definition of the word bigot.You don’t seem to understand it.

        GO CHAZ!!!

    • Scott in NYC

      Negatory, you are a bigot, ignorant and closed-minded. Chaz became who he was meant to be – it’s not self-mutilation. But, who cares what you think anyway? I sure don’t. Get help.

      • lovenlife4529

        What you are lacking in intelligence, you more than make up for in stupidity.

    • Tamr

      Intolerance of other’s differences and ignoring the person’s preferred pronoun is bigoted.

  • Bds

    Just because you cannot understand things doesn’t make things not real. A bigot believes in only what they choose to believe denouncing everything else. I’m not familiar with transgender, but it really doesn’t impact my daily living! Spend your energy where it matters! This person still has a soul that needs nurturing! Become like god….

  • Ellen

    Chaz and Lacey – now there’s a couple to root for and vote for on DWTS

  • lostidol

    Anyone else not surprised Chaz was partnered with Lacey? Lacey was also partnered with Lance Bass, the first gay contestant on the show. If Chaz weren’t here, I’d bet she’d be partnered with Carson Kressley. Just like Louis Van Amstel gets the lesbian partners. There’s a pattern here.

    • jul

      Yeah. A pattern of stupid comments by people who see patterns that aren’t really there.

    • Claire

      I just take it as Lacey being an amazingly open and accepting person.

  • @ Captincool

    NO, actually it doesn’t!!! Expressing an opinion different from another person does not make that person a bigot!! TREATING a person like crap because he or she is different is being a bigot or a racist!!!!! Like when black people were not allowed to vote, eat in restaurants, drink from water fountains………… THAT was ignorant and RACIST!!!! ABC saying that Chaz could not be on the show would make them a BIGOT!!! JMO!!!!

  • Little comment

    I guess it’s hard to concentrate when you’re about to give birth to triplets.

  • lbabb

    i’m voting for chaz because i can. love his momma too.

    • lovenlife4529

      Well, there’s no accounting for taste.

      • Tranzchick

        Ironic that you’re “lovenlife” yet such a hater.

  • Robbie P

    While I support Chaz’s decision to go through his process to find happiness, I question including someone as a “celebrity” just because they had half a sex change. He got accepted on the show solely on the fact that he was known for being transgendered and nothing else – it’s fair for people to question that (but not be hating) as a reason for him to be on the show.

    • Adriana

      He has been a vocal activist for well over a decade now. In addition to this he has extremely famous parents. I also just learned he had a brief music career. If Blagojevich can make it by being a corrupt governor, I see no reason the Chaz can’t for being an activist.

    • BLT

      Chaz has been in the public eye since the ’70s, when his parents brought him on the Sonny & Cher tv show.

    • jul

      Why, then, did they have Bristol Palin?

      • lovenlife4529

        Because she had nice legs and can half-way dance…unlike Chaz. The thought of all that blubber bouncing around…ewwww….and you can forget about the lifts.

    • Scott in NYC

      Chaz is a celebrity, you idiot. If he shouldn’t be on the show, how about Bristol Palin, whose claims to noteriety are her mother and being a teen mom? Chaz is the child of a superstar and a well-known activist.

    • LiLa

      Then Heather Mills would never have made the cut either.

  • lbabb

    i forgot to add. i’m 74.

    • jul

      :)

  • robert j

    I have never watched dancing with the stars (not one of my faves) but for Chaz I will support her. Thank you for your strength Chaz.

  • Isis Emerald

    Some people sound so effing ignorant. Do your research on transgendered people. It isn’t as easy as changing your sex because you are unhappy in your own body. Some, if not most, trans people are born with genital deformities and chromosonal abnormalities that make them sexually ambiguous. They may be born with a penis that is too small to be considered ‘male’. The parents may make him into a ‘girl’ because it is more acceptable. This is accomplished through painful sex reassignment surgery without the child’s consent. The child then grows tormented as a girl and then it is a shock when this ‘girl’ wants to be a boy. Perhaps this happened to Chaz.

    What do religious people have to say about this? I don’t think the Bible talks about this. But hey, I still believe that God doesn’t make mistakes.

    • @ Isis Emerald

      Small penis? You make me think of my exhusband!! lol

    • lovenlife4529

      You’re right, God doesn’t make mistakes. In the beginning he created male and female. He still does. It’s human beings who are trying to alter that.

      • Tranzchick

        For once I agree with you. God does not make mistakes. He made me transgender and he made you a jerk.

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