October 4th, 2011
And I’m glad he can’t. Here’s why.
When it was announced that Chaz, a transgender man who was known to many as Cher’s daughter Chastity, would be competing on Dancing With the Stars, those who ‘love the sinner but hate watching him on TV’ threatened to boycott. The Christian Post did a good job of collecting the real-sounding excuses for objecting to Chaz.
“I personally do not mind watching Chaz,” wrote Callisandria2. “The problem is that I watch this show with my 10 year old daughter. I am sure the show will talk about Chaz and the controversy, and I am not ready to explain all of that to her yet. We just barely covered the birds and the bees. We always watch one show together, in the fall it’s DWTS, and in the spring it’s American Idol. Looks like we will try X-factor instead this season.”
Other fans were more blunt.
“Manufactured genitalia is not the conversation I want to have with my children,” said trident606.
Some fans had moral issues regarding Chaz Bono’s gender reassignment and refused to accept Bono’s “male” status.
Many posters were less concerned with Bono’s gender status than they were with the fact that he is not really a “star” in the first place.
“The name of the program is Dancing With the Stars. Since when is Chaz a star?” said an anonymous poster. “Okay, he starred in his own documentary about his transition to male, but other than that what has he done with his life? Stardom? Not hardly. I think I’ll pass on watching this season. Maybe they’ll get some stars next season.”
(Well… okay, I can agree with the last one. I do refer to the show as Dancing With the Has-Beens.)
But the show didn’t budge and the sinner-lovers didn’t boycott. And, as usual, DWTS is a hugely successful crowd pleaser. And, as it turns out, Chaz Bono can’t dance. At all. Even if you have a few cocktails. And squint.
Nope, Chaz Bono can’t dance.
Which is, as I said, a good thing.
Because while the judge express admiration for Chaz, they give him low scores. And on DWTS, the judges scores are combined with the viewers’ called-in votes to determine who will be eliminated. So unless the voters “save you”, your ability to impress the dance judges is what advances you each week. And so far this season, Chaz Bono has survived the first two eliminations with abysmal scores.
If Chaz could dance we might assume that his continued presence was due to fancy footwork or judge favoritism. But unlike the charming and Carson Kressely (who also appears to be a crowd favorite), Chaz’ continued presence can only suggest that DWTS’ voters have connected.
So just who are these viewers that are tuning to watch and vote for the transgender man with “manufactured genitalia”? Who is it that is choosing
Well, if you know a bit more about the demographic, you might understand how Jennifer Gray and Ralph Machio are “stars”. DWTS is the most popular show among adults ages 50 and over. The median viewer age is 60. When Aunt Thelma gets with her friends to watch, she’s the youngster in the room.
Yesterday, Chaz achieved a bit of an accomplishment: his dancing was even worse than the week before. Going into tonight’s elimination, he has 18 out of 30 point, three below his nearest competitor.
The odds are that Chaz will go. But whether or not the voters save Chaz Bono’s dancing feet, they’ve spoken their opinion loud and clear.
They may not fully understand why Cher’s little girl is now a rather hefty man with a beard, but he’s welcome in their living room. And that’s why I’m glad that Chaz Bono can’t dance.
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
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