'Survivor' Castaway Zeke Smith Outed as Transgender by Fellow Contestant Jeff Varner During Tribal Council
Varner apologized profusely after outing his tribemate, but it wasn't enough to save him from elimination.
so i dont really give a fuck about survivor but i wanna put this out here
This is why we don’t trust cis “allies” and why allies shouldn’t cry about not being trusted.
Jeff Varner talked so much about he “fought for the rights of transgender people” and said all these great ally talking points about how outing people is violence. Great. He still knowingly outed a transgender person on national television in order to save himself.
What bothers me is that all of the talking points he uses makes it pretty obvious he does have plenty of awareness of trans issues and why outing someone should never be done. He knew better. And yet under pressure, in a god damned GAME SHOW, he thought if he played the “transgender people are deceptive and dangerous” cards he would be able to win. He didn’t hesitate to throw a transgender person under the bus if he could profit from it.
Fantastic that he got what he deserved for it - from both other contestants and from fans - but this is why so many trans people just cannot bring themselves to trust cis folks no matter how hard they try to be allies.
Survivor is a game show. I get that there’s enormous pressure to do well on it and win and being on television is extremely difficult on its own, let alone doing all the challenges and drama and whatnot. But it’s still a game show, and if this obviously well-educated “ally” couldn’t even refrain from trying to throw a trans person under the bus to save himself in a game show, there’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t do it in any situation that matters - say, employment for example.
The fact that he not just outed him but did so and insinuated that because Zeke wasn’t publicly out, he was being “deceptive,” is so ugly I can’t describe it. How in god’s name can anyone accept his apology when he knew what he was doing was horrible and yet still did it? What if it had worked? What if he just DESTROYED Zeke’s chances of going on by playing prejudice cards against him and not only ending his career on the show but - possibly - in the real world too?
What good would an apology do then?
An apology doesn’t cut it here. I don’t think anything Varner could say or do would make up for this or warrant anyone trusting him, ever. The fact that he knew better, he was supposedly educated on trans issues and still did not hesitate to betray one for profit, shows he can’t be trusted.
Any “ally” is capable of that.
Because they don’t fucking get it.
That’s why - while it’s great to have allies on our side - they should never be at the forefront of any movement, and they should never be fully trusted.