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Dancing With The Stars contestant Chaz Bono proposes to girlfriend Jennifer Elia on new TV special

By Laura Schreffler

Manly move: Chaz Bono proposes to girlfriend Jennifer Elia on the OWN special Being Chaz

Chaz Bono is known to refuse to let the things that scare him hold him back.

In addition to ignoring his critics when he appeared on Dancing With the Stars this season, the transgender activist also swallowed his fear to propose his girlfriend.

Bono pops the question to long-time lady love Jennfier Elia on the one-hour TV special Being Chaz.

It is the follow-up to his Emmy-nominated documentary Becoming Chaz, which focused on his transition from female to male.

Dressed in his typical attire of a blue polo shirt and blazer, the 42-year-old hands his partner a gift, saying that he wanted to get her something beautiful for her birthday.

Although he doesn't actually pose the 'Will you marry me?' question, Elia understands that the diamond is not a simple gift.

'It's gorgeous,' she breathes. 'Thank you so much. It's stunning. It's huge.'

She admires the sparkler at leisure before Bono slips the rock on her finger and the two share a touching embrace.

Viewers can see the magic moment, which took place last May in Seattle, Washington, this Sunday on the OWN network.

The special highlights the good and bad times Bono and Elia have gone through, including the backlash he faced for appearing on DWTS.

In a preview for the episode, a tearful Elia says she's fearful for her partner given the amount of hate mail he had received, and that being the face behind LGBT activism wasn't worth his life.

'People feel so angry that Chaz is entering their television. People who make change get shot, and I don't think that's worth it...'

'This is insane. It's not worth doing a show if you're going to get shot. I don't want him to die for a cause.'

In love: Chaz and fiancee Jennifer Elia attended the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in September

Although his girlfriend worried about his well-being, the activist staunchly refused to bow to prejudice.

'I didn't watch any of that or look at any of those things,' he told 'I've been doing LGBT activism for a long time now, since 1995, and I've gone up against people like Jerry Falwell and stuff like that.'

'So dealing with that kind of controversy isn't really new to me, and it's pretty easy to just let it roll off my back.'

He added: 'Any pressure I felt [was] because of the support that I was getting. I wanted to do a good job because I knew many people were supporting me and were there for me, and I didn't want to let anybody down.'

Dance champ: The transgender activist performs with partner Lacey Schwimmer on Dancing With the Stars



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