Dancing With the Stars
Seen here with dance-partner Lacey Schwimmer, Chaz defied critics to spend 6 weeks on DWTS http://yfrog.com/kjft9vkj

Dancing With The Stars announced their new line up of celebrity participants. The cast includes athletes like NBA star Ron Artest, actors including David Arquette, and...former lawyer and television journalist, Nancy Grace. Beyond the cluster of reality stars and talk show hosts, ABC has a new variety of contestants with Chaz Bono joining the gang.

Chaz Bono, 42, is mostly known as the only child of Sonny & Cher. However, he is also known as an LGBT activist. Bono was born as Chasity, a female. In 1995, Bono came out as a lesbian. In 2008, he began a female to male gender transition process. The legal transition of name and gender was completed in May 2010. A year later, a documentary was released entitled Becoming Chaz that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and debuted on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network later in May. The documentary is now up for three Emmy awards.

Chaz couldn't be happier, said his attorney Kristina Wertz in a statement after the surgery. The gender reassignment was the best decision I've ever made, Bono said.

Now, Bono will be joining a list of stars in highly anticipated season 13 of Dancing With The Stars.

Chaz is smart and articulate, and a great representative of the community, Mara Keisling, Executive Director at the National Center For Transgender Equality, told RadarOnline.com. I don't know if he can dance but I think he will win over America very quickly.

Dancing With The Stars is happy to have their first transgendered contestant. It is hoped that viewers will not be put off by this unprecedented addition. I don't think people will be worked up about it, even though some groups get upset over everything, Keisling added. This is how we overcome hate, America will see that he is just like every other contestant on the show.

We'll see if Chaz Bono has any dancing chops. Apparently, he has been trying to lose weight for some time and hopes the show will help him burn the bulge. His dance partner, Lacey Schwimmer says he has already dropped 5 pounds in just six days of working. It's so great. He says he's not eating any differently, he's just dancing, she said.

Bono and Schwimmer have definitely hit it off. They are both enjoying rehearsals as the two have become good friends. He's such a great guy, the professional dancer says. He is so nice, and he's such a kind person. He's awesome. I couldn't have asked for a better partner this time.

When I first met him, he didn't want to do anything that made him look silly, she said of Bono. Now he's all for it. He's goofing off and he's pretending to be Maks [Chmerkovskiy] in rehearsals. It's really funny.

Although Bono has found his groove on the dance floor, there are some boundaries he is not yet willing to cross. Chaz has already told me he doesn't want to dance to any of his parents' songs, Schwimmer says, referring to the iconic duo--Sonny & Cher. But the show really wants it to happen, so we'll see.

Whether or not they will dance to their songs is still unknown, but Schwimmer is still hoping to at least meet Cher. Rumor has it that Cher wants to come to the show...So I hope that's still in the works. I'd love to meet her, she said.

Catch season 13 of Dancing With The Stars on Sept. 19.