Survivor contestant fired from job after outing trans competitor
A former contestant on the reality series Survivor has been fired from his job after he outed a fellow competitor who is trans on the show.
Zeke Smith, a 28-year-old transgender man from Brooklyn, was outed by Jeff Varner when Varner saw fit to call out Zeke for what he saw as Zeke’s “deception”.
During a meeting of the ‘tribal council’ on this week’s episode, where participants meet to discuss issues and vote one another off the island, Verner said: “There is deception here. Deceptions on levels,” Jeff said, before asking Zeke “why haven’t you told anyone that you’re transgender?”
Jeff was subsequently voted off the show unanimously by his fellow contestants.
According to a report in Variety, Varner has now been let go from his job at a North Carolina real estate agency as a result of his actions on Survivor.
Varner, who is gay, was reportedly told that he had put his employers “in the middle of a news story that we don’t want anything to do with.”
Nick Adams, director of GLAAD’s Transgender Media Program, commented on the situation by affirming that transgender people are not being deceitful by choosing to not talk openly about their identity: “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.”
Watch the original confrontation below: