Chaz Bono Won’t Back Down
Chaz Bono is speaking out for the first time about the controversy swirling around his recent casting on Dancing with the Stars.
Bono said, "It's made me realize I'm really glad I'm doing this because America really needs to see this."
With his partner Lacey Schwimmer by his side Bono spoke to Good Morning America.
Bono is the first transgender personality to ever appear on the show.
He says the reactions from some conservative watchdog groups have only reinforced his decision to dance.
"It just kind of shows why for me it's important to be on the show because so little still is known about what it means to be transgender and there's so many just completely inaccurate stereotypes and thoughts people have," said Bono.
Meanwhile, late night host Chelsea Handler of the E! Network is coming under attack for poking fun at Chaz.
Handler said on her show, "The Dancing with the Stars cast has been announced and it includes Chaz Bono otherwise known as Chastity Bono before she got her penis."
The gay rights group GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is blasting Handler, calling the joke "inappropriate and hurtful."
For the meantime, 42-year-old Chaz, who legally became a man last year after gender surgery, says he's not backing down.
"All I can do is share my experience, strength, and hope and that's all I'm trying to do," said a fearless Bono.