If you’re a reality TV junkie like us, you know Chaz Bono, 42, (formerly Chastity Bono), son of Cher and Sonny Bono, was just named one of the contestants on the 13th season of Dancing with the Stars. Because Chaz was once a woman, some parents have expressed concern about how to explain Chaz’s gender to their children. ABC News has some suggestions:
TV reporter Juju Chang spoke with gender expert Michelle Angello, who said kids might actually be more likely to understand transgendered individuals than adults, who have grown up with societal taboos about gender.
“Children, in their concrete minds, can say, ‘So you have a girl inside, so I guess you should have a girl outside or vice versa.’ ”
When talking about someone who used to be a woman or man, try saying this, Angello says:
[She] “used to be a man on the outside and she had a woman on the inside, and she needed to let the woman on the inside out. Most kids that age will say, ‘Okay, that makes sense.’ “
For more resources about how to talk to children about transgendered individuals, read this essay that appeared on Tolerance.org and check out a simple description of transgendered people at KidsHealth.org.
And to Chaz, best of luck on DWTS! We can’t wait to cheer you on.
The season premiere of Dancing with the Stars airs at 8 p.m. EST, Monday, September 19. Chaz is shown above with Jennifer Elia, his girlfriend of six years.
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