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GLAAD statement on Chaz Bono joining ABC’s Dancing with the Stars

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ABC joins the CW in featuring gay and transgender contestants on fall reality shows

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

August 30, 2011

New York, NY, August 30, 2011- The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today responded to ABC’s announcement that transgender advocate Chaz Bono and gay stylist Carson Kressley will be featured on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars.

Earlier this month, the CW announced that transgender model Isis King and openly lesbian Kayla Ferrel would return for the all-star cycle of America’s Next Top Model.

“With both gay and transgender contestants represented, ABC and the CW have created primetime firsts that reflect the growing acceptance of gay and transgender people in America today.”

“At a time when transgender representation in the media is sorely lacking, Chaz Bono joining the cast of a series like Dancing With the Stars is a tremendous step forward for the public to recognize that transgender people are an important part of the fabric of American culture,” said Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs at GLAAD. “His documentary, ‘Becoming Chaz,’ was a great chance for viewers to meet the man behind the headlines. Appearing on such a high profile show will allow millions of Americans to get to know him in a whole new light.”

ABC and the CW both received ‘Good’ ratings in GLAAD’s annual Network Responsibility Index this year. 33% and 23% of the networks’ primetime programming were LGBT inclusive, respectively.

America’s Next Top Model - All Stars premieres on September 14, while the new season of Dancing With the Stars premieres on September 19.