Longtime LGBT activist Robin Tyler and attorney Gloria Allred held a news conference and then went on CNN's Dr. Drew show to announce their support for Chaz Bono who has been the subject of controversy for appearing on ABC's Dancing With the Stars. The pair said they are holding viewing and dancing parties the first night Chaz appears on the show. Dancing premiers on Sept. 12. Chaz is partnered with dancing pro Lacy Schwimmer.
Ironically, Chaz is becoming just as familiar by his first name as his mother Cher is by hers.
Here's the statement Tyler and Allred issued Tuesday afternoon:
SUPPORT CHAZ BONO ON DANCING WITH THE STARS VIEWING AND DANCE PARTIES TO BE HELD NATIONWIDE BECAUSE OF BACKLASH AGAINST HAVING A TRANSGENDER FEMALE TO MALE PARTICIPATE
Last week, Belinda Carroll, a lesbian from Portland, Oregon, posted a comment on my Facebook page, after I said how upset I was about the backlash against Chaz Bono, a transgender female to male, for appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Belinda said she wanted to have a viewing and dance party at a local club, to support Chaz Bono. As both the cofounder of successful campaigns such as stopdrlaura and don'tammend I suggested to Belinda that we take her idea of one party, and make it a National campaign. She agreed. So I contacted Gloria Allred to help us, as she has done so much legal work to support LGB and Tansgender rights, and was also my attorney in the successful same-sex marriage case in California.
"For Dancing with the Stars to receive so many hateful posts on their site such as "Chaz Bono. How low can this show sink?" and "when I heard Chaz Bono was going to be on, I was sick", was shocking. Our community and fair minded people will not tolerate this kind of bullying and hate mail. It was OK for Chaz Bono to be seen on a National cable documentary explaining his life and why he transitioned from female to male, but it is not OK to have Chaz Bono on Dancing with the Stars, actually dancing with a woman?," says Robin Tyler.
Belinda Carroll states, "I believe that everyone; gay, straight, or Transgender, should take a stand and support Chaz. He has shown incredible bravery and tenacity in coming out, being himself and showing others they can do the same. The backlash and misconceptions in the media regarding Chaz Bono and trans-people in general is absolutely reprehensible. By watching Dancing With The Stars and supporting Chaz in his efforts, you will be showing that we all have a right to live in this world as a human regardless of superficial designations like race, class, sexual orientation or gender."
Because of the enormous backlash and overt discrimination, we have decided to issue a National call for LGBT people and our allies to have Dancing with the Stars viewing and dance parties in support of Chaz Bono. There is a "Chaz Bono Dancing with the Stars" Facebook page which will be up right after this press conference, where people can sign up to do the parties.