Tuesday, 25 July, 2017

'Survivor' Contestant Apologizes for Outing Zeke Smith as Transgender

Featured in the image is Sandra Diaz-Twine a participant in Featured in the image is Sandra Diaz-Twine a participant in"Survivor Game Changers
Edmund Wade | 15 April, 2017, 05:46

During the episode, Varner felt like he was going to be sent home and revealed to everyone the truth about Smith during a Tribal Council.

Fellow contestant Jeff Varner, who is gay, shared the information during Tribal Council on Survivor: Game Changers.

"There is deception here. Deceptions on levels, Jeff, that these guys don't even understand", Jeff Varner told host Jeff Probst before turning to Smith, an openly gay asset manager from NY.

Attempting to shift the critical eye to Zeke, he turns to his former ally and says, "Why haven't you told anyone you are transgender?".

Not surprisingly, the disgusting move backfired spectacularly. "We don't need to vote, just grab your torch", he told Varner.

"When you tell people you're trans, you get two reactions: Either they look at you amusing and pull back, or they go, "Aww, that must be so hard"..." He said Smith, a Brooklyn-based asset manager, "is a wonderful man and I will forever be amazed and inspired by his forgiveness and compassion". I have hope for Jeff Varner.

Smith continued, "I think the hardest part is that if he was just some ignorant bigot, you could just write him off, but he's not".

I think he hoped others would believe that trans people are risky and fraudulent. "What's great is that nobody bought it".

Varner outed Smith after he eliminated another contestant from the competition.

CBS worked with GLAAD to make sure that the final scene that was aired was sensitive to Zeke Smith, and that he had the support he needed once the information was made public.

Smith has also written a piece for Hollywood Reporter about the non-consensual outing of his gender identity.

"Moments like this prove that when people from all walks of life get to know a transgender person, they accept us for who we are", he said.

After the episode aired, GLAAD Transgender Media Program Director Nick Adams weighed in on Smith's outing.

In his op-ed, Smith acknowledged Varner's apology, writing, "Forgiveness does not require friendship".

He said that when he first applied to appear on Survivor, the show was unaware that he was transgender but became aware of it as the show progressed. "Forgiveness is not forgetting what happened".

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