In a series of messages sent via Twitter, Cher defends her son Chaz Bono’s decision to doDancing With the Starsagainst transphobic commenters and says the majority of viewers will love him. Bono’s casting in season 13 of the ABC competition series has drawn numerous complaints from some of the show’s more conservative viewers, who have targeted him for being transgender. In the first tweet, Cher writes, “lovelies! Chaz is Being Viciously Attacked on Blogs & Message boards about being on DWTS!This is Still America right ? It took guts 2 do it.” She followed with, “I support him no matter what he chooses 2do! God! will there always be haters! It took COURAGE 2 do dwts ! TG Chaz has an Unlimited supply.” Then came, “Can u guys check out sites & give him your support ? BTW …Mothers don’t stop Getting angry with stupid bigots who fk with their children!” Finally, she tweeted, “bet VAST MAJORITY of People will LOVE CHAZ on DWTS ! & it’s took Fkg Guts 2! Chaz isn’t exactly the “Gotta Dance Gotta Dance” kinda Guy.”
Chaz Bono New Special & Possibly Appearing On “Dancing With The Stars”
The Advocate reports:
Chaz Bono will follow up his acclaimed documentary Becoming Chaz with a sequel, and possibly a stint as cast member on the next season of Dancing With The Stars. Chaz & Jen, which chronicles Bono and girlfriend Jennifer Elia as they navigate their lives together following Chaz’s gender transformation surgery, is currently filming and will premiere on OWN this fall. Becoming Chaz has been nominated for Emmy awards in three categories, including Outstanding Nonfiction Special. “We set out to share my story honestly, hoping to help others,” Bono said in a statement released to the press. “The staggering response we’ve received culminating in this huge honor of being nominated for an Emmy is simply amazing.” The Emmy Awards will be given out on September 18. Meanwhile, USA Today reports that Bono’s name is among those slated to appear on the next season of ABC’s hit Dancing With The Stars. Other celebrities on the list include David Arquette and Nancy Grace. An official announcement is expected to be made tonight duringBachelor Pad 2.
The Hawaii Senate approved a bill, previously passed by the House, to ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression in the workplace. “The march towards full equality in the Aloha State continues,” said Alan Spector, Equality Hawaii Co-Chair. ”Providing employment protections to transgender citizens in Hawaii is a victory for civil rights and equal treatment under the law for all residents of our great state.” Equality Hawaii and The Human Rights Campaign worked together to build support for HB 546, which passed by a 22 to 2 vote on Tuesday. Discrimination against transgender individuals is already illegal in Hawaii for housing, public accommodations and employment, but the ban on employment discrimination has only been established by rulings of the Civil Rights Commission and has not been written into the state statute. The legislation moves to gay-friendly Democratic Gov. Neil Abercromie. Upon the governor’s signature, Hawaii will join 12 states and the District of Columbia to provide transgender employment, house and public accommodation protections.
Maryland senators voted on Monday to recommit the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination to the judicial proceedings committee, effectively killing any prospects for the bill to pass this session, which ends at midnight. Shortly before 1 p.m. on the last day of session, senators voted 27 to 20 to recommit the bill to the panel, which had advanced the measure by a 7 to 4 vote on Saturday. The move leaves no time to resurrect the bill in 2011. The vote dealt a major setback to advocates, who just last week had rescued the bill from certain death in the rules committee, where it was unexpectedly assigned after passing the house last month by a vote of 86 to 52. The legislation would have prohibited discrimination against transngender Marylanders in housing, employment and credit, but not public accommodations, which became a rallying point for some transngender advocates who called the bill inadequate and urged lawmakers to defeat it. However, advocates entered Monday feeling confident about the vote count for the measure, known as H.B. 235. The measure has failed in previous years, but Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk, the lead sponsor, had removed the controversial public accommodations protection with the intention of securing enough support. “We believe we had the votes,” said Dana Beyer, a transgender advocate who supported the legislation, in a brief telephone interview from the state capital of Annapolis.“There was pressure from up top not to allow our side to move forward.” The defeat reflects the shocking reversal of fortune encountered by the marriage equality bill this session. That bill passed the senate but last month the house voted to recommit it to committee, effectively pushing its hopes for passage to 2012. Now, the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act joins the marriage equality in being pushed to next year.
OWN announced a premiere date Monday for the documentary “Becoming Chaz.” The first in the network’s upcoming monthly Documentary Film Club, “Becoming Chaz” will air at 8 p.m. May 10 and will follow Bono’s journey undergoing sex reassignment surgery. The premiere will be followed by a special hosted by Rosie O’Donnell in which she will interview Bono, girlfriend Jennifer Elia, directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, and other people who have undergone transgender operations. Before its television airing, “Becoming Chaz” hit the circuit at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Here’s what what we had to say about it then.
Canada’s Parliament Approves Transgender And Gender Identity Protections
By a vote of 143-135, the Canadian Parliament has narrowly approved a bill granting transgender and gender identity anti-discrimination protections nationwide. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it faces a tough battle. Via Dented Blue Mercedes:
Bill C-389 now goes to the Senate, where it must go through three readings. Readings in the Senate don’t take months-to-years as they do for Private Members Bills in Parliament. However, as far as I know, a Senator still needs to be found who is willing to bring the bill to the floor. There could be some perils in the Senate. In the past, the Senate has mostly just ratified and tweaked legislation passed by Parliament, but as Harper has packed more conservatives into the Senate (rather than reforming it to create an elected Senate, which he once campaigned on), it has been sometimes used more undemocratically. In one recent such move, he used a lack of attendance of Liberal senators to kill a climate change bill. It is also still entirely possible that an election call could kill the bill before it is enacted into law. What would happen then is that as a community, we would need to press candidates and parties to pledge to finish what was started, and also to address other glaring omissions such as the absence of sex / gender from the hate crimes provisions from the Criminal Code of Canada.
GLAAD To NBC: Apologize For Offensive Transgender Skit On SNL
GLAAD is asking for an apology from NBC after this weekend’s airing of a Saturday Night Live skit that mocked transgender women.
The piece was a mock commercial for estrogen replacement therapy and featured men with facial hair wearing dresses, meant to represent transgender women. This segment cannot be defended as “just a joke” because there was no “joke” to speak of. The attempted comedy of the skit hinges solely on degrading the lives and experiences of transgender women. Dehumanizing holding people up for ridicule simply on the basis of their identity fuels a dangerous and hurtful climate and puts people in danger, especially given how infrequently the media shines a fair and accurate light on the lives of transgender people.
GLAAD wants the clip removed from Hulu and excised from future reruns of the episode. The clip is on YouTube (for the moment) and can be viewed on NBC’s site.
With his girlfriend and his stepmom, Rep. Mary Bono Mack, in attendance, Chaz Bono premiered his documentary, Becoming Chaz, at Sundance over the weekend. Oprah snapped up the rights to air the documentary on her OWN network before its Park City, Utah, debut. The movie chronicles Chaz’s transition from female to male. “I wanted to do this because I wanted to help people,” he told E! Online.“And I knew that…I could put a face on this issue that people just don’t understand because it’s a hard one to understand. I wanted to be able to change people’s hearts and minds on this.” In the film, Chaz is shown having his breast-removal surgery — and Cher admits she was “terrified” to see her son after the procedure. Cher also says in the film she thinks her Chaz’s father, Sonny Bono, would have supported their son’s transition. For more on the documentary, click here, and click here for pics of Chaz and his girlfriend, Jennifer Elia.
Before the movie debuts at the Sundance Film Festival later this month, Oprah Winfrey’s cable upstart OWN,has snapped up the rights to Becoming Chaz, a documentary that follows Chaz Bono’s gender reassignment journey. Deadline reports that OWN is planning a major party at the festival and will announce the acquisition there. The film is directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, the duo behind The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Inside Deep Throat, and Party Monster.
The New York Times caught up with Givenchy’s transsexual model Lea T. for its Thursday Styles article “Bold Crossings of the Gender Line.” Lea told the Times: “When you are a transsexual, you look for your future, and you can’t see it,” Ms. T. said. “I thought this would be a nice message for another tranny: ‘Look, we can be the same as other girls and boys.’ It’s small, but it makes you feel like you have a little chance. Maybe a transsexual will open a magazine and think: ‘That’s cool. We can be whatever we want.’ That’s why I did the Givenchy campaign.” Since appearing in the campaign in May, Lea’s modeling agency, Women, has gotten over 400 requests for interviews. The Times also cleared up what the “T” in Lea T. stands for: Tisci, as in Givenchy’s Creative Director Riccardo Tisci. Lea said she’s presently in Milan waiting for her sexual reassignment surgery. She explained, “I will always feel uncomfortable, but it will make my life a little easier, and I will look in the mirror and see something I like more.”
Becoming Chaz, a documentary about Chaz Bono, will have its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The film, directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, is described by saying, “born biologically female, Chastity Bono invites the viewer into a deeply personal journey as he transitions from female to male, embracing his true self, which is Chaz.” The festival takes place in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah January 20-30. For a complete lineup, click here.
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