Chaz Bono Hoping His 'Dancing' Experience Serves As An Example To People With Gender Dysphoria

Chaz Bono on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," September 29, 2011 Chaz Bono on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," September 29, 2011

Transgender activist Chaz Bono is hoping his appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” can serve as an example to young people who may be experiencing some of the same feelings he went through as a child.

During his appearance on Thursday’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” the late night host asked the celeb what he would say to an angry “DWTS” fan who claimed Chaz’s appearance on the show would make a child want to change their gender.

“Obviously, if you don’t have gender dysphoria, you’re not gonna watch me and want to change your sex, but I also look at the value for people and kids who are dealing with that,” Chaz told Jay. “If I had seen somebody like myself on TV when I was growing up, it would have made all the difference in the world to me.”

The activist and author said “Dancing” has been tough, and he blamed his age and weight for the troubles he’s been having.

“I’m 42 years old, I’m overweight and I’m dancing five hours a day,” he said.

Chaz admitted he did try and get in better shape prior to entering the competition.

“I started doing more cardio than I was doing,” he said. “I started doing Pilates three days a week.”

Chaz and his professional dancing partner, Lacey Schwimmer, landed at the bottom of the leaderboard in “Dancing’s” Week 2 for their slow quickstep, which was impacted by his right side injuries. While he hopes to continue on in the competition, he is already thinking about the future.

When asked if he’d be interested in going into acting, Chaz, who attended a performing arts high school (alongside Jennifer Aniston), said he would.

“I’d love that,” he told Jay.

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