The American Family Association -- as well as some "Dancing With the Stars" fans and Clicker readers -- think that casting Chaz Bono, the transgender son of Cher and Sonny Bono, is a bad move that means the ballroom bash is no longer family friendly. But the soft-shoe in training disagrees.
"I'm going to be dancing. I'm not up there talking about anything other than dancing," Bono said Tuesday morning on "Good Morning America." "People who don't have gender dysphoria aren't going to catch it by watching me dance on television."
He insisted that though people may focus on the transgender issue, he won't be going near the topic. "It's a dancing show, you know!" Bono said. "I've gone on many talk shows and talked about transgender issues ... but actually on this show, I'm just going to be dancing!"
As to the AFA's claims that his participation on the show will be "very confusing for children," Bono told "GMA's" George Stephanopoulos that "it's just crazy."
Though he won't be discussing the gender issue on "Dancing," Bono said he thinks it'll be good for teens with gender dysphoria to see him on the small screen. "I know when I was growing up, if I had seen somebody like me on a show like this, it would've made all the difference in the world in my life," he said.
Perhaps another good thing people of all ages will see from his participation? That dancing -- and just being active -- can help with weight loss. Bono, who is paired with pro Lacey Schwimmer, said that he's already down about eight pounds. "Dancing" contestants practice several hours a day to nail all the fancy footwork.
But fellow contestant Rob Kardashian, who has said he wants the show to help him shed some weight, should take notes. Sources told TMZ that he's refusing to practice more than two hours a day with pro partner Cheryl Burke. And yet, he's bragging that he'll last longer than sister Kim, who was booted the third week of season seven, sources told the website.
Bono told Stephanopoulos that it's tough to say who's a frontrunner right now, but if Kardashian really is practicing two hours or less a day, well ... instead of weight, he'll likely lose some of his pride and the mirror ball trophy.
"Dancing With the Stars" premieres on Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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