The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation doesn’t typically weigh in on the latest round of celebrities on Dancing with the Stars, but then it’s not every season that a transgender and an openly gay man decide to tango under the mirror ball. As a result, GLAAD lauded ABC for including Chaz Bono and Carson Kressley in the 13th season.
“With both gay and transgender contestants represented on this upcoming season, ABC will send viewers a strong message about the diversity within the LGBT community,” said Herndon Graddick, senior of director of programs for GLAAD, in a statement. “At a time when transgender representation in the media is sorely lacking, Chaz Bono joining the cast is a tremendous step forward for the public to recognize that transgender people are another wonderful part of the fabric of American culture. Appearing on such a high-profile show will allow millions of Americans to get to know him in a whole new light.”
Bono has been very candid about his gender transition from female to male. The only child of Cher and the late Sonny Bono was the subject of the recent documentary Becoming Chaz, which aired on OWN and is now up for three Emmys.
Kressley, who hosts his own show on OWN, isn’t the first openly gay man to participate on DWTS. Lance Bass, who came out in 2006, danced with pro Lacey Schwimmer in season 7. And pro Louis Amstel, who hoofed it with Kendra Wilkinson in season 12, is openly gay.
Viewers won’t learn who Bono and Kressley will dance with until Wednesday, when the pairings are announced on Good Morning America.