Chaz Bono is to take part in the new series of Dancing With the Stars.

The 42-year-old, who completed his transition earlier this year, says he hopes to educate viewers about transgender people.

He told US Weekly: “I want people to know that transgender people are just like everyone else. We’re not people to be afraid of or misunderstood. I would love to get that message across.”

He added: “I’m always serious. I’ve written three books, I lecture, it’s all serious stuff. But now I get to show that I’m a fun guy too!”

Bono, whose mother is Cher, is the first transgender person to feature on the primetime show and will be paired with a female professional dancer.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation welcomed the news, saying: “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 recognise that transgender people are an important part of the fabric of American culture.”

The show will also have its first openly gay contestant – fashion guru Carson Kressley.

Read PinkNews.co.uk’s interview with Chaz Bono here.