Chaz Bono

Cher’s transgender son Chaz Bono will be one of the contestants in a new season of the hit American television competition Dancing with the Stars.

The ABC network described Bono as “an LGBT rights advocate, three time author, speaker and the only child of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher”.

The show will also feature an openly gay contestant in the form or Carson Kressley, who became famous as one of the cast-members of the hit show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He currently stars in Carson-Nation, a reality show on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network.

Bono and Kressley will compete against other celebrities including Ricki Lake, Ron Artest, Kristin Cavallari, Chynna Phillips, David Arquette, Nancy Grace, J.R. Martinez, Hope Solo, Rob Kardashian, and Elisabetta Canalis.

On Twitter, Bono said that he was “so happy to finale confirm that I am doing DWTS this season and I couldn’t be more excited about it”.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) welcomed the news that Bono and Kressley will be taking part in the show.

“With both gay and transgender contestants represented on this upcoming season, ABC will send viewers a strong message about the diversity within the LGBT community,’ said Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs at GLAAD.

“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 recognise that transgender people are another wonderful part of the fabric of American culture.”

Bono, who lives with his fiancé Jennifer Elia, will be partnered with a professional female dancer. It is not yet known if Kressley’s partner will be male or female.

Last year, Israel’s version of Dancing with the Stars become the first to feature a same-sex couple when lesbian TV sportscaster Gili Shem-Tov was teamed up with straight professional dancer Dorit Milman.

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