GLAAD Officially Responds To Events From Survivor Game Changers Episode 7

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS /

In the fallout one of the most emotional moments in Survivor history, GLAAD gave an official response to Survivor Game Changers episode 7.

Spoilers for Survivor Game Changers episode 7, “What Happened on Exile, Stays on Exile,” will be discussed.

In what will be remembered as one of the darkest moments ever to air on Survivor, Jeff Varner attempted to show the Nuku tribe how deceptive Zeke Smith was by revealing that he was a transgender man. This very public display of immoral, unfair and dangerous behavior was made aware to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) well ahead of the episode’s airing, giving them an official chance to respond.

The full post can be read here, as it goes into the dangerous consequences of outing a person before they are comfortable with sharing that information with others themselves, as well as the differences in levels of disclose. It’s not okay to proclaim someone to be transgender just because they are open in their status as a homosexual individual, and the GLAAD response helps to reiterate this at the crux of the moment.

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A quote from the director of GLAAD Transgender Media Program, Nick Adams:

"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 worked with CBS to give Zeke Smith the chance to speak for himself about the moment, doing so for People Magazine. You should read it in its entirety, as his perspective is the most valuable having had a hurtful event levied against him.

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Thankfully, the reaction from those who watched this unfold on Survivor Game Changers through social media has been mostly positive. The few that are negative are the reason why GLAAD was compelled to respond.