Full disclosure: I do not watch “Dancing With the Stars. ” In fact, I can’t even say I’ve ever intentionally viewed it unless you count a YouTube clip of Bristol Palin dancing in a gorilla mask. And then there was the time I was subjected to about 10 minutes of the program while my wife was flipping through channels. And I really wish I could have those 10 minutes of my life back.
Another full disclosure: I do not love Chaz Bono. I don’t hate him either, mind you. He’s just not someone I think about a lot. He never calls, he never writes. But then again, neither do I. So when I heard he was going to be on DWTS, I thought, “That’s nice.” I mean, hooray for transgender visibility and all that, but I still wasn’t about to watch the show.
Of course, that was before I learned that Bono is making kids who watch the show turn transgender. That’s not even something I thought was possible before, but color me intrigued.
Bono, granted, has been rather coy about this whole thing. In fact, it was psychiatrist and Fox News contributor Keith Ablow who let the tranny cat out of the tranny bag, as the saying definitely goes.
“If you care about your kids, don’t let them watch ‘Dancing with the Stars’ starring Chaz Bono,” Ablow wrote in a Sept. 2 opinion piece on the Fox News website. Why? Because if kids see Bono strutting his stuff, they’ll get the idea in their heads that turning tranny will solve all of their problems.
According to Ablow, these impressionable youngsters will say to themselves, “Maybe all this angst and suffering I’m feeling as I emerge into puberty and pass through it isn’t just because I’m changing, but because I should change completely — and have my breasts removed or my penis amputated!”
That’s right. Bono will inspire mass amputation of this nation’s pubescent private parts.
“It would be wrong to think that gender dysphoria cannot be kindled by celebrating those who have undergone sexual-reassignment surgery,” Ablow continues. In other words, just by seeing Bono getting any kind of positive attention, kids will want all of the fame and fortune and adoration and glory that comes with being a transgender person in the United States. No, make that the world.
American Psychiatric Association President Dr. John M. Oldham thinks otherwise. “There is no evidence that viewing a television game show with a transgender contestant would induce gender-identity disorder in young people,” he says.
But what does Oldham know? He’s merely the APA president. It’s not like he’s a Fox News commentator or anything.
Ablow’s view that being transgender is some kind of airwave-born contagion has earned him some other critics as well, including Fox News’ own Megyn Kelly, who called Ablow out on the Sept. 14 “America Live.”
“Isn’t it just tolerance?” Kelly asked after Ablow declared that letting transgender folk be shown on TV in a positive light was “irresponsible.” In fact, he was so adamant about this point that I shudder to think what would be an acceptable portrayal of transgender people on TV in Ablow’s eyes.
“There’s so much hate out there. There’s so much hate for gays and lesbians and transgendered people,” Kelly said, clearly exasperated with Ablow. “The thing is, Doc, you seem to be adding to the hate.”
Thankfully, Bono seems to be above all of that. As he told “Extra,” “I don’t really pay attention to the haters, but the people who’ve been so supportive have been a huge motivation for me.”
Not that Ablow sees it that way. As far as he’s concerned, Bono’s DWTS role is the ushering in of the era of the tranny tween.
As for people who are already transgender, watching Bono on TV will not turn you trans. It will, however, make you believe that Cher is your mother.
D’Anne Witkowski has been gay for pay since 2003. She’s a freelance writer and poet. When she’s not taking on the creeps of the world, she reviews rock ’n’ roll shows in Detroit with her twin sister.