If you’re anything like me and my family, you have memories of a crowded living room, huddled around a television to see who got voted off the island this week on Survivor. What always made the show was how each person had such a different personality than the other… although what else would you expect from Reality TV?
Over the past thirty-four seasons of the hit show Survivor, there have been more controversies than one can count on their hands and toes. Between IRS evasions, allegations of harassment, and alleged ‘game-rigging’, perhaps the most shocking tribal council to occur occurred this past week.
Zeke Smith is a two time Survivor cast member from Brooklyn, NY. Smith is known as a “fan favorite”, and that’s the only title he went into this show wanting. This past week, he [ Smith] was forcefully ‘out-ed’ as Transgender by fellow tribe member Jeff Varner in front of the other contestants on national television. This season is called “Game Changers” and it definitely changed the game for the entire cast which is entirely made up of returning players who had a major impact on the show in previous seasons.
“There is deception here. Deceptions on levels Jeff that these guys don’t even understand,” Jeff explained before leering at Zeke. “Why haven’t you told anyone that you’re transgender?” You could literally see the color flush from his face. There is no “right” way to be Transgender. We don’t have a code to follow, or rules — we’re just human beings living life the way we feel is the most authentic way(s) for ourselves. That being said, most trans people choose to live their lives “stealth” and that’s okay, because it’s their choice, and it makes them happy. “I didn’t want to be the trans Survivor player, I wanted to be Zeke, the Survivor player.” Zeke stated after the gut dropping statement.
Moving forward, my hopes is that this continues to raise awareness of how Much people have yet to learn about each other. The fact that you choose to keep your Transgender status as “Stealth” is just that, yours. There could be a million reasons, or just one.. when you out someone it could open them up to many situations that they’re not ready to face. The most encouraging outcome that came out of this incident was the outpour of support from Smiths’ other tribe members, the show host, and fans alike.
Varner says his goal was to “show the deception.” Zeke being trans [per Varner] “reveals the ability to deceive.” Thankfully, Varner e