When Chaz Bono, a transgender male, was announced as being part of this year’s Dancing with the Stars cast, he became a target of hate messages and jokes circulated on the Internet. Chaz is the son of legendary singer Cher.
Listen to the entire Gloria Allred interview:
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Powerhouse attorney and CYInterview regular Gloria Allred has represented various transgender clients who have faced discrimination. She tells us in her latest CYInterview what she made of the negative comments aimed at Chaz:
“It’s really sad, but we have come a long way in terms of the battle to win equal rights and equal protection under the law for individuals who are transgender and obviously Chaz Bono is completely out of the closet about it, proud, unashamed, that’s the way he should be. His mom is very supportive and that’s the way a mom should be ‘cause that’s still her child. And those who are criticizing Chaz, I mean, really need to kind of look within themselves and realize that every human being is entitled to respect, every human being is entitled to dignity and every human being is entitled to the same opportunities and also to have the same responsibilities as anyone else.
In this case, Dancing with the Stars is an opportunity and it’s an opportunity that is afforded not to every person, but to some and it should be an opportunity that is not, that an individual can enjoy without being discriminated against, without being attacked. In a way it’s good for the show, but I think it just shows that we still have a long way to go in terms of educating people you know, because bigotry and ignorance is basically I think a lack of education, a lack of understanding. Sometimes people fear what they do not understand, what they do not know and I think knowledge is power and knowledge can help to end that fear and end the discrimination and the bigoted remarks as well…It’s a greater good and I hope Chaz can just have the courage to keep on and not let anything like this deter him.”
Focusing on ways to end discrimination and stereotypes about transgender people, Allred shares this:
“I’ve also had many employment cases which have been settled confidentiality where transgender individuals have been discriminated against by employers, sometimes large corporate employers, sometimes smaller employers and on and on. So yes, it’s a little understood minority and but again, talking about it is good because then we can listen to each other and I think for people to meet individuals who are transgender, the same way if they meet individuals who are gay and lesbian, they’ll find out they have the same wants and needs as anybody else in terms of the lives they lead and their hopes and dreams for the future.”
One of Chaz Bono’s fellow Dancing with the Stars cast members this year is Nancy Grace. Allred tells us her thoughts on her legal colleague doing the show. Gloria has appeared on Nancy’s show many times over the years. While Attorney Grace is heading to the ballroom dance floor, Ms. Allred says she doesn’t think she’ll ever be asked, but she does love to dance and would think about joining the ABC show if offered the chance.
“She’s [Nancy Grace] a multitalented individual and she’s gonna be out there on Dancing with the Stars and I’m very proud of her. It’s a huge opportunity for her and for anybody…For those who say, ‘Why should you have Nancy Grace on?’ I say, you know what? Nancy Grace is very entertaining…I tend to doubt it. I do love to dance. It’s just one of my very favorite things to do which I rarely do have a chance to do. So I don’t think that I’ll be asked, but if I ever am asked I would have to think about it at the time.”
The uber attorney follows up by saying she’d love to see her daughter, Lisa Bloom, do the show. Then Gloria caught me off guard when she suggested I do it. It’s ironic how life works. A few years back, during an interview, I suggested to my guest Kristi Yamaguchi that she do the show [interview here]. Now, here I am with one of the most famous attorney’s in the country and she’s saying I should do it. (Getting paid to be taught how to dance by a beautiful female dance instructor, where do I sign up?)
“I’d love to see my daughter on it, but she doesn’t seem to be very enthusiastic about that thought either. She certainly, but who knows? If she were asked, maybe she would do it. I don’t know. I have to say, my vote’s for Chris on it. How about you? Go for it.”
Finally, Gloria Allred will be heading to syndicated daytime television this month with We The People with Gloria Allred. She tells us about her new show airing in various markets across the United States:
“It’s a syndicated television show. I play a judge. I decide disputes before me and it’s gonna be very entertaining I hope. I’m tough, but I think I have a sense of humor as well and I try to get the just result and no one tells me how I have to decide. I make my own decision about how the case should be decided and who’s gonna prevail whether it’s gonna be the plaintiff or the defendant…You know I like to get to the truth Chris and I do a lot of questioning of people on the show and cross-examining them ‘because that’s the way to find out what the just results should be is to find out what really happened there and why people are standing there in my court…Just look for me in the black robe.”
We The People with Gloria Allred starts September 13th. Markets airing Gloria’s new TV show include KNBC in Los Angeles, WNBC in New York, WMAQ in Chicago, KXAS in Dallas, KNTV in San Francisco, KNSD in San Diego and WVIT in Hartford. Check your local listings.
You can email Chris Yandek at ChrisYandek@CYInterview.com