Chaz Bono: “The Negative Comments Are Motivating”
BY Jeremy Kinser
September 01 2011 9:15 PM ET
You’ll be dancing with Lacey Schwimmer on the show. Did you have any say in who your partner will be?
No, but I’m really happy it’s Lacey. I’m thrilled it’s her. We get along great. She’s really fun and an excellent teacher. We clicked really fast. I think we’ll be entertaining because our chemistry is good, so vote for us.
How are you getting in shape in advance for the show?
I was working out before I signed on, but I’ve started doing Pilates three times a week, which is what the producers suggested. I added that to working with a trainer and doing weights and cardio.
What kind of dancing have you done previously?
When I was younger I took a dance class.
Will any of your family come to the show?
My sister is back east in school, so she probably won’t. Maybe my brother will. I think some of my family will be there for the first show, but I don’t know whom yet.
I know that everyone wants to know what your mother thinks of your appearing on the show. Do you ever wish you could do something without everyone asking about her opinion?
Yeah, of course. But I also realize that I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the things I’ve been able to do if it wasn’t for my parents and them putting me on TV when I was a kid. It’s a double-edged sword.
How would you characterize the overall response to your book and documentary?
I’ve gotten really, really good feedback from people, not just the trans community. People told me that they didn’t really understand transgender people until they saw the documentary or read the book and saw interviews I did. They said it helped educate them and open their minds.
That must be gratifying for you. What did you hear from other trans people?
From the trans community I’ve heard really great things too. It’s been amazingly positive and gratifying. I’ve heard that trans people are being treated better at work since then. Parents are talking to kids again. I had a mom who told me that her son’s teacher came up to her to tell her that she finally understood. I’ve had people contact me and say they’ve been struggling for years and didn’t have the courage but seeing the documentary helped them along. It’s been amazing, and it’s really what I did all of it for. To really hear back from people in a real concrete way about how something you put out there helped them is just amazing.