‘Dancing with the Stars’ 2011 Cast: Chaz Bono to Compete

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  • Chaz Bono
    A transgender advocate, writer, actor and musician, Chaz Bono is the child of Sonny and Cher. He was the subject of a recent documentary, “Becoming Chaz” which is now up for three Emmys.
  • Chaz Bono
    Cher poses with her son Chaz Bono during a hand and footprint ceremony in Hollywood
  • Chaz Bono
    Chaz Bono poses for a portrait while promoting the film Becoming Chaz during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah
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The 2011 cast of Dancing with the Stars will include the likes of Nancy Grace, NBA star Ron Artest, Ricki Lake and Chaz Bono, ABC announced on Monday night.

The 13th season of the popular dancing competition show will be a groundbreaking one, as Bono will be the first openly transgender contestant on the program.

Bono, 42, was quick to express his enthusiasm about the show, taking to Twitter following ABC's announcement.

[I'm] so happy to finale confirm that I am doing DWTS this season and I couldn't be more excited about it, he wrote.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) also echoed Bono's excitement on Tuesday.

At a time when transgender representation in the media is sorely lacking, Chaz Bono joining the cast of a series like Dancing With the Stars is a tremendous step forward for the public to recognize that transgender people are an important part of the American culture . . . appearing on such a high profile show will allow millions of Americans to get to know him in a while new light, Senior Director of Programs, Herndon Graddick, said in a statement.

Bono, formerly Chastity Bono, is the only child of the legendary superstar duo Sonny Bono and Cher.

The younger Bono successfully completed a two-year gender transition from female to male in May 2010. His documentary about the transition, Becoming Chaz, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and later aired on Oprah Winfrey's network, OWN.

In May 2011, Bono released his book, Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man.

It's probably the hardest I've worked on anything in my life . . . this journey wasn't just about transitioning; it was a journey of coming to understand myself, learning how to take care of myself, putting my fears away and putting my needs as a priority instead of concerning myself with what everyone else thought. It's, essentially, really about growing up, Bono told the L.A. Times.

The rest of the DWTS cast include: U.S. soccer star Hope Solo, George Clooney's ex Elisabetta Canalis, Chynna Phillips, David Arquette, Rob Kardashian, Kristin Cavallari, J.R. Martinez and Carson Kressley.

Season 13 of Dancing with the Stars premieres on ABC on Sept. 19.

 

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