Bristol Palin Defends Reality TV Career

At the age of 21, Bristol Palin already has three reality shows under her belt (and that's not counting her role in the 2008 presidential race, which packed far more televised drama than most of The Real World). Now, having joined the all-star season of Dancing with the Stars, the mother of 3-year-old Tripp is continuing her life in the spotlight. And in her eyes, it's a perfectly legitimate way to support her family.

"Do I like to provide for my son? Yes, I do," Bristol told the press at the Television Critics Association summer tour on Friday.

Besides, she told the critics, she's stuck with her fame; she might as well use it to her advantage.

"You're going to talk about me if I'm in my little life in Alaska or if I'm in L.A., so I might as well just have fun with it," Palin pointed out. "I just think that God provides opportunities like this, and you can either go out and do them or not do them."

Prior to becoming a TV star, Bristol made a six-figure salary speaking about teen abstinence. She's also talked about running for political office like her mother Sarah Palin, and at one point, seemed to be considering a college education (possibly focused in journalism or communications). But at the moment, she's happy to make her living being followed around by cameras -- even if the ratings for her current solo project, Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp, have been abysmal so far.

"I'm not whining, I'm not complaining," said Bristol. "I'm going to go out there and have fun."

During the TCA event, Palin also addressed the recent controversy over her son appearing to say a gay slur on an episode of Life's A Tripp. When asked if she'd mind being paired with a gay dancer on DWTS: All Stars, she replied, "You know what? I like gays. I'm not a homophobic and I'm so sick of people saying that."

She added: "Just because I'm for traditional marriage doesn't really mean I'm scared or anything of anyone else, and I don't hate anybody.

Dancing with the Stars: All Stars premieres in September. You can see the full cast line-up here.

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