Survivor sparks fury as transgender contestant is outed

Ian Sandwell
Photo credit: CBS

From Digital Spy

Survivor caused controversy last night (April 12) as a contestant was outed as transgender by a fellow player.

During tribal council in the latest Survivor: Game Changers episode, Jeff Varner attempted to save himself by outing Zeke Smith. "There is deception here. Why haven't you told anyone you're transgender?"

The cruel move rightly saw the contestants support Zeke and criticise Jeff for making the announcement.

Jeff apologised during tribal council but was still voted out, following up his apology with a post on Twitter saying that he knew he was wrong and he "makes no excuses for it".

Photo credit: CBS

"Let me be clear, outing someone is assault. It robs a strong, courageous person of their power and protection and opens them up to discrimination and danger. It can leave scars that haunt for a lifetime. I am profoundly sorry," he wrote.

Zeke has also thanked everyone for their support with a touching post on Instagram, referring to the fact that he has been waiting for this episode to air.

"I cannot adequately express how touched and honored I am for the overwhelming love and support I've received tonight. It's been a long nine months awaiting this night," Zeke explained.

"I couldn't have made it through the journey without Nick Adams, Director of @glaad's Transgender Media Program. He's been a guide, mentor, and friend over these tumultuous months. I love you, Nick!"

Orange Is the New Black's Laverne Cox has praised Zeke for his reaction to the episode.

The current series of Survivor marks Zeke's second time on the show and in an interview with PEOPLE, he explained that he didn't plan on sharing that he was transgender.

"I didn't want to be the 'first transgender Survivor contestant'. I'm not ashamed of being trans, but I didn't want that to be my story," Zeke noted.

Want up-to-the-minute entertainment news and features? Just hit 'Like' on our Digital Spy Facebook page and 'Follow' on our @digitalspy Twitter account and you're all set.

You Might Also Like

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes