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Chaz Bono can’t dance. And that’s a good thing.

Timothy Kincaid

October 4th, 2011

Chaz Bono can’t dance. It isn’t a gender thing or a self-perception thing or an effort thing. It’s just a sad reality thing: Chaz Bono can’t dance.

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.

Comments

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Priya Lynn
October 4th, 2011 | LINK

When I first heard Chaz was going to be on the show I thought Chaz is just too heavy to be a good dancer.

Christopher
October 4th, 2011 | LINK

Chaz can so dance. He may not ever join Alvin Ailey, but he’s having a ball and enjoying the process.

We should ALL go out dancing more often – tonight I’m going to party like it’s 1979!

Regan DuCasse
October 4th, 2011 | LINK

Personally, I only cannot handle watching DWTS because for years I’ve watched Championship Ballroom Dancing and So You Think You Can Dance and the talent is breathtaking.
I only wish that DWTS was actually CBD for primetime.
THAT I would LOVE to watch.
Typically the partners working with the professionals have sometimes become such petulant brats, it’s a wonder adults would want their children exposed to the tantrum behavior displayed sometimes.

Anyway…
Personally, I actually LIKE Chaz. He’s very cute and has a wonderful smile that lights up a room.
And seriously, I’ve asked some of the usual hater straight men if THEIR wives or girlfriends are as hot as Chaz’s is.
IF they even HAVE either.

So let’s just say, Chaz is truly a more likeable person.
As is Carson. Carson is a good natured hoot.
And of course, Mr. Martinez is a marvel in what he’s accomplished considering his terrible injury while serving our country.
I’d say they are role models of how to display CLASS when challenged. And Lacey Schwimmer, who I met a few years ago, is a class act herself in her support and affection for Chaz.

But being a LIKEABLE transgender or gay person is the worst of the haters troubles.

Regan DuCasse
October 4th, 2011 | LINK

Oh and I wanted to mention, the song Chaz and Lacey danced to that was written by Chaz’s father Sonny Bono is one of my favorite songs. It was perfect and I loved it.

Emcee, cubed
October 4th, 2011 | LINK

I’d accept the argument that Chaz shouldn’t be on because he isn’t a “star” if those saying it had complained as loudly when Bristol Palin was on the show. She doesn’t have any more claim to “stardom” than he does.

Roa
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

Amen Emcee, can you imagine how many “stars” there would be if being an unwed teenage mother got you on the show?

TomTallis
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

I’m actually concerned that Chaz may wreck his knees in this endeavor. I was as big as he is, and my knees are a disaster area, and I never danced. I love Chaz for his bravery, and commitment, but I worry about Chaz hurting himself.

Charles
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

The show just does not interest me in the least. Those who like the show but protest Chaz being on it are just being themselves …….. boneheads.

dave
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

I’m so glad they just gave him a chance to dance, like they would anybody else. He tried. He danced. What’s wrong with that?

Bryan H
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

Hey, Roa, even heard of a little show called “Sixteen and Pregnant”? It seems that being an unwed teen mother IS, in fact, a catylyst for “reality” stardom these days…considering what we celebrate as newsworthy and glamorize through our television programming these days, is it any wonder that we in America are viewed so poorly across the globe?

jojo
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

still not grasping why ur glad he can’t dance…and i just read that entire article…thanks for wasting my time!

Priya Lynn
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

Jojo, I think what Timothy is saying is that because Chaz can’t dance his not being eliminated proves the general public is comfortable with his being a trans-man.

SammySeattle
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

I must disagree. Chaz can dance, most everyone can dance. How well? That’s an entirely different question. The great thing is that he’s doing it and having a good time at it.

Roa
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

Amen to you too Bryan H. I haven’t watched TV since 1981 with a few exceptions outside of my home. I can’t help but hear about many of the shows such as DWTS but 16 & Preggers I missed! Do you suppose it’s to keep the masses pacified and things that should be non-issues (gay equality) are kept front and center so we miss the really big issues like the way corporate America has taken over? GO OCCUPY WALL STREET!

Reilly
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

I’d like some insight into the thought process of this “Callisandria2″. How, pray tell, does she think the topic of Mr. Bono’s genitalia would even get introduced on a show that focuses on dancing? If it isn’t introduced on the show, and yet Callisandria’s daughter still makes the connection between Chaz and the reason for his fame, then she must already have known that Chaz is a trans person — so what further “damage” (as a bigot would call it) could really be done?

The only possible conclusion is that our nation’s transphobes are opposed to even the very acknowledgment that trans people exist. That takes hatred to a whole new level.

Richard Rush
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

When Bristol Palin was on DWTS I thought the producers were perhaps testing a concept for a spin-off. Now, with Chaz Bono, I’m sure of it. The spin-off will be named Dancing With the Star’s Relatives.

TwirlyGirly
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

Reilly wrote: “I’d like some insight into the thought process of this “Callisandria2″. How, pray tell, does she think the topic of Mr. Bono’s genitalia would even get introduced on a show that focuses on dancing?”

Reilly, I watched the first episode. Each of the stars was given the opportunity to talk a bit about themselves via a pre-recorded segment, and Chaz said “I was born with a female body, but have transitioned and am now a male.” To be honest, I didn’t think it necessary for him to be that specific, because in my opinion, he was playing right into the hands of the fundies/conservatives by doing so. Having to answer questions from the kiddos about why someone might need to change their gender, and how that is done, was their main objection to his inclusion. I think he should have just said he is transgendered – any adults who don’t know who he is, or what being transgendered is, can easily look it up. (Although now that I think about it, those who have never heard of Chaz Bono or don’t know what “trangendered” means must be living under a rock, and probably don’t have a TV on which to watch “DWTS” to begin with!)

I am glad there are apparently more people out there who support Chaz, and other transgendered individuals, than not (as evidenced by their voting to keep Chaz in the show). On the other hand, I think an opportunity was missed to show sensitivity to parents who may feel exposing young children to such specific information about trangenderism is inappropriate.

Yeah, I know – how much sensitivity do the fundies/conservatives show the LGBT community? None. But being the better person has its own rewards, and who knows? Maybe it will rub off on a couple of them….

Chiz
October 25th, 2011 | LINK

dwts is full of it if they allow this clumsy oaf to continue. He should have never even signed up for the challenge.

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