Survivor: LGBT players celebrate WorldPride 2019 on social media

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

There have been quite a few Survivor players that are part of the LGBT community, and many of them celebrated WorldPride 2019 triumphantly.

When I was editing our recent piece looking back at the most memorable moments of Survivor Borneo, I couldn’t help but look back and remember the perceptions of America towards reality television contestants and representation on television at the time. Richard Hatch may have been the most infamous reality TV villain, but he was also a gay man on TV at a time where that was rare.

We’ve come a long way from the days where reality TV contestants could use homophobic language and others be okay with it, regardless of intent. That’s not to say there isn’t progress still left to be made, as just years ago we saw one of the most transphobic attacks made by one contestant to another, presented in collaboration with both the victim and GLAAD.

It’s both a celebration of the progress made and solidarity amongst the LGBT community that saw the international celebration of WorldPride 2019 this past weekend, with many Survivor players either remembering the Stonewall riots 50 years ago or sharing experiences sharing their pride.

Kaoh Rong and Game Changers finalist Tai Trang hung out with the CBS Interactive family celebrating WorldPride with others in San Francisco.

Josh Canfield isn’t dating his San Juan del Sur partner Reed Kelly anymore, but it still happily in a relationship with fellow Broadway actor Hunter Ryan Herdlicka as the end of their Falsettos tour ends.

Both Josh and Reed are in better places right now, as Reed celebrated his one-year anniversary with his husband, Balmeet Kelly, coinciding with Pride weekend.

We wish all the best for the Kellys, hoping neither will need the services Survivor: Edge of Extinction’s divorce lawyer, Aurora McCreary, who shared an appreciation of people being accepting of love in any form on Instagram.

Speaking of lawyers, Palau’s Jolanda Jones may have been the first person on one of the worst tribes in Survivor history to go home, but after years of working for the betterment of Houston as a city councilor, she re-shared being on the cover of Curve Magazine for the Pride Month 2016 cover.

(A previous version of this post miscategorized Jolanda’s effect on picking the players of the Ulong tribe. We regret this error.)

Scout Lee was very close to winning Survivor: Vanuatu before getting cut right at the end, making it the farthest out of all LGBT females by finishing in 3rd place on Day 38.

Wishing everybody everywhere the happiest healthiest Pride day we have come 50 years people 50 and God bless all those…

Posted by Anthony Caruso on Sunday, June 30, 2019

South Pacific’s Papa Bear isn’t on Twitter and Instagram as much as one would hope, but he’s still wishing everyone the happiest and healthiest Pride Day 50 years after the Stonewall riots.

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Both Palau’s Coby Archa and Millennials vs. Gen X and Game Changers’ Zeke Smith used their time on WorldPride 2019 to remind the Survivor community and others about the hardships those who came before them experienced being openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans, with Zeke being hopeful for a brighter future.

Lyrsa Torres has been living in Boston before the time of David vs. Goliath airing, illustrating what the Boston lesbian scene looks like while asking for as much respect for who she is as what she shows others.

Charlie Herschel has lived a full life since coming back from Survivor Gabon, and her daughter even said that the Pride parade was better than Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

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Finally, it’s not Pride-related, but I couldn’t help but share this picture from a couple of weeks ago from Sonja Christopher of Richard Hatch, comparing the differences between the Borneo days and 2019. Even though LGBT acceptance has improved for both Sonja and Hatch, some things haven’t changed one bit!