Author-activist Chaz Bono has said there is no backing out of Dancing with the Stars.

On Monday night, ABC announced the 12 stars who'll participate in the upcoming 13th season of Dancing with the Stars, which premieres on September 19.

The inclusion of Bono, the child of gay icon Cher and the late entertainer-politician Sonny Bono, and openly gay fashion expert Carson Kressley has stirred up controversy. Bono has legally changed his name and gender.

During an appearance on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Dan Gainor of the socially conservative Culture & Media Institute (CMI) said Bono's inclusion was “another example of how Hollywood and particularly television force a sexual agenda on America.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

CMI and other conservative groups have called for a boycott of the show over its casting.

In an interview with San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, Bono, who has already begun training with dancing partner Lacey Schwimmer, dismissed the controversy.

When asked about the possibility of backing out of the show, Bono said: “Nope. We are going forward no matter what.”

“The most important thing,” Bono added, “is that I wish there was someone like me on television when I was a kid, or even when I was a little older and struggling so much. That is the inspiration for me. I know I can reach more people this way, those who are afraid to be themselves, or unsure and scared.”

(Related: Cher defends Chaz Bono from offended Dancing with the Stars viewers.)