The popular television show Survivor has been in hot water for outing transgender man Zeke Smith. According to BBC, Smith's friend Jeff Varner told their co-stars about Smith's transformation. He later apologized on his Twitter account for exposing Smith's identity, but he was definitely unapologetic about his actions on the show. Varner says to his group, "There is deception here," before he looks at Smith and says, "Why haven't you told anyone that you're transgender?"
Smith had told nobody of his secret, so Varner involved his teammate in an uncomfortable situation. However, their group responded with shocking support. "Several other contestants quickly defended Smith after Varner's comments, telling the former news anchor his actions were 'so wrong' and that he 'didn't have to do that,'" the BBC article continues. Varner's snarky comments were discouraged by other individuals, not to mention Smith himself. Varner was in the wrong, and he knew that he made a mistake.
"In a Twitter message posted after the show aired, Varner offered his 'deepest most heart-felt apologies to Zeke Smith,'" the article relays. Varner's also part of the LGBTQ+ community, as well. Both he and Smith share a commradery. They should be united, and not divided. The show has allowed them to elevate their platform, so they have the perfect excuse to help others struggling with their sexuality or identity. Smith seems like he has already prepped for the challenge. Instead of criticizing his former friend, Smith chose to respond with a simple message.
He says, "In calling me deceptive, Varner invoked one of the most odious stereotypes of transgender people. Varner is saying that I'm not really a man and that simply living as my authentic self is a nefarious trick. In reality, by being Zeke the dude, I am being my most honest self - as is every other transgender person going about their daily lives."
You can read his full statement below: