Tonight's episode of CBS' Survivor was a gut-wrenching look at the consequences of outing a transgender person against his will. At Tribal Council, contestant Jeff Varner told his tribemates that fellow contestant Zeke Smith is a transgender man. Zeke Smith played in the previous season "Millennials vs. Gen X" before being brought back immediately for the current season "Game Changers." During both seasons, Zeke has played as an out gay man, but chose not to disclose his gender history to his tribemates or to the viewing audience.
Nick Adams, Director of GLAAD's Transgender Media Program, said:
"Zeke Smith, and transgender people like him, are not deceiving anyone by being their authentic selves, and it is dangerous and unacceptable to out a transgender person. It is heartening, however, to see the strong support for Zeke from the other people in his tribe. 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."
GLAAD's Transgender Media Program worked with Zeke Smith and CBS for several months to ensure that when the episode aired Zeke would have the opportunity to speak for himself about his experience.
Read about Zeke's story in his own words in People and in The Hollywood Reporter. And tune in tomorrow to see Zeke on CBS' The Talk at 2:00 pm ET / 1:00 pm PT. You can also follow Zeke's continuing adventures on social media:
Click here to learn more about GLAAD's Transgender Media Program and how to be an ally to transgender people.