A slew of mixed reactions flooded ABC's Dancing With the Stars Web site and other online portals following the announcement that Chaz Bono would be competing on Season 13 of the show.
Bono, who was born a female to entertainers Sonny and Cher and christened Chastity Bono, underwent a sex change in 2010 and legally became a man last year, changing his name to Chaz.
A writer, musician, actor as well as a gay rights and transgender advocate, Bono is the first transgender competitor on the show, ABC says.
Well i have watched from day one and i must say this is a sad day because i know i will not be watching and i know already my family and friends wont[sic] be either. if all of u[sic] nuts think it is ok to do what he did, oh please u[sic] r born as a man or women and u[sic] r[sic] not born to change your gender, these people r[sic] all freaks and if all of u[sic] think it is normal then u[sic] r[sic] a freak just like the it, posted one commenter on the show's ABC Web site.
Another commenter called Chaz a self-loathing woman with deep psychological issues.
She is a modern day Frankenstein's monster. ABC should be ashamed of themselves for corrupting the airwaves with this head case and trying to pass it off as normal, the commenter added.
But Bono's diva mom, Cher, came to her son's defense. She took to Twitter to say that it took guts for Chaz to participate on the show.
Lovelies! Cher wrote on Twitter, addressing her fans. Chaz is Being Viciously Attacked on Blogs & Message boards about being on DWTS! This is Still America right ? It took guts 2 do it.
I support him no matter what he chooses 2do! God! will there always be haters! It took COURAGE 2 do dwts ! TG Chaz has an Unlimited supply, she tweeted.
Mothers don't stop Getting angry with stupid bigots who (expletive) with their children she added.
There were fans who commended Bono's courage to come on the show too.
I support Chaz! I think all of us supporters should ignore the haters ......we have too much life, too many things to be HAPPY about. Let them be angry and cast stones and judge and hate .. .we do not do that ;) we love one another the way for who we are, we do not discriminate, name call or judge .....I am heterosexual[sic] and I support each and every one of you to do what feels best in your heart as long as you not hurting anyone else - i choose to allow YOU to make your own choices for your OWN life :) and i will love you! Let's do this Chaz, posted a fan on ABC's DWTS Web site.
Bono was thrilled to have his mother's support.
Thanks for all your support mom, Chaz tweeted Cher back. The haters are just motivating me to work harder and stay on DWTS as long as I possibly can.
Bono will be paired with pro dancer Lacey Schwimmer on the reality show, where celebrities and their professional partners perform various ballroom dances for judges' scores and viewer votes.
I'm so thrilled to let you know my dance partner on [Dancing with the Stars] is [Chaz Bono]!! He is such an amazing person! And so sweet! Weee!, 23-year-old Schwimmer tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
Chaz hopes to use DWTS as a platform to enlighten viewers about the LGBT community, reports Us magazine.
At this point I want people to know that transgender people are just like everyone else. We're not people to be afraid of or misunderstood, Chaz told Us Weekly. I would love to get that message across.