Dancing with the Stars kicked off on Monday night and with that premiere was the highly anticipated dancing routine of transgender contestant Chaz Bono.
The son of Sonny and Cher danced with DWTS pro Lacey Schwimmer and he has been on 24 hour protection leading up to the show amid fears that he was being targeted by “crazies” who didn’t want Chaz to appear on primetime television.
One source says the extra security came when ABC officials became worried about his safety both on and off the studios lot. The tipster told TMZ:
“There have not been any specific threats against Chaz, but the honchos know there’s an element of hatred out there and they feel it’s necessary to block Chaz from harm.”
Born “Chastity Bono” the DWTS contestant went under the knife for gender reassignment surgery last year while his mom stood by his side as he made the lifestyle change.
LGBT civil rights group GetEQUAL in the meantime has been busy forming #ProBono viewing parties in support of “Bono as a positive role model for those who struggle with sexual orientation or gender identity.”
In a statement released on Monday GetEQUAL director Robin McGehee said:
“Tonight, as millions of American households watch the season premiere of ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ it is our hope that many viewers engage in real conversations about transgender Americans because of Chaz’s appearance,” while adding, “These parties are a fun way to engage folks, but there is serious work ahead of us in order to advocate for change in the hearts and minds of people throughout the country.”
Did you cheer for Chaz Bono during tonight’s season 13 premiere of Dancing with the Stars