‘Big Brother’ housemates shouldn’t get a pass for openly mocking trans woman

Nobody expects the cast of Big Brother to raise the bar of TV intellect, but a recent transphobic incident on Season 19 shows a particular disregard for empathy.

During Sunday night’s live feed, contestants Jason Dent and Cody Nickson spend a soak session debating the gender of a contestant from a previous season.

They were joined in the hot tub by fellow contestants Jessica Graf and Matt Clines, when Graf mentions Audrey Middleton, the show’s first trans contestant.

“She was the first transgendered cast member,” Graf says.

Then Dent goes in.

“What the fu*k does that mean? She was a she?” Dent asks.

Nickson adds: “It was a dude dressed up as a woman.”

“Okay it was a dude,” Dent instantly concedes.

Graf finally chimes in: “You guys are walking such a thin line.”

“What? That’s what it was,” Nickson replies.

Later in the conversation when Graf uses a “she” pronoun, Dent interjects: “Okay, but it was a he. Was it a he first, or a she first?”

It’s one thing to misgender out of ignorance, but it doesn’t take an emotional genius to know people shouldn’t be referred to as “it.”

After the episode aired, Middleton posted a worthwhile message on Twitter addressing the incident:

“You are not born with emotional intelligence, you are conditioned to have it. The people who lack it are the one who are too afraid to try to understand what value it truly has. If you are someone who is radically opening yourself to things you will live the most purpose filled life of all,” Middleton writes.

Here’s her full post:

Earlier this season, Nickson also used the word “tranny” several times.

If this is indeed just ignorance, here’s hoping these two have truly taken the opportunity — along with Middleton’s even-keeled response — to really educate themselves on a human level.

The ball is in their court if they want to make it right, but we aren’t exactly holding our breath.

As far as tuning them out entirely, however, how can change come about without a little friction?

The scene is below:

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  • Ummmm Yeah

    They are being attacked for telling the truth. No you don’t have to lie to make this group happy.

    • Curtispsf

      And you apparently don’t have to have ANY intelligence to use a keyboard and type a stupid reply.

    • Ummmm Yeah

      I do know how biology works. And I know people that claim to be jesus can’t walk on water and we don’t encourage them to.

    • DCguy

      A desperate tweet to try to sow division. Nice try.

    • Ummmm Yeah

      This isn’t twitter. No one is tweeting. I’m sure there is an instruction book for the internet out there somewhere. Look it up and use it.

    • BriBri

      DCGuy was born in a bathhouse sling. He knows about gay life. His mother was a trannie.

  • STS

    Attitudes don’t change overnight, you can’t expect people in the big brother house to be politically correct, and honestly you really wouldn’t want that. This is the way this conversation would go in most places that aren’t trans aware. Referring to a trans persons at “it” is awkward but it’s part of the confusion that happens when average people discuss this topic. This isn’t news, people can’t be bullied into always caring about every single issue under the sun. If they said they wanted harm to come to the trans person, that would be bad, but this is just their way of talking about the world they live in.

    This is a large mental hurdle for the average regular guy to get over because he’s thinking “why wouldn’t I want to be a guy?” and after a few moments he forgets about the whole thing, trans issues aren’t really important to the average guy.

    • jasentylar

      It’s not being bullied when you’re made aware of how to address someone and why. If you blatantly refuse to respect someone, then don’t be surprised how others react to you. Cody is very rude.

  • alllowercase

    I don’t expect everyone to be emotionally adept when it comes to all topics, but I will say that Cody tends to be a total asshat! I was shocked as I have a close friend who is also a Marine and about the same age who is much more accepting and kind.

    On a side note…. am I the only one seeing ADVERTISEMENTS for VICTORIA HEARTS? Seems to be a straight hookup site. Strange….

  • He BGB

    People will take awhile to get used to the idea just like it took centuries to get used to and accepting (mostly) gay people (again). A new concept. I have read about transgender women for decades and it wasn’t until Jennifer Boylan that I realized they all don’t like men as sex partners but other women. That sexual orientation and gender are very separate. And then Caitlyn came along…well, I’m still trying to figure her out, not changing over to a more liberal political party.

    • miserylovedme24

      Caitlyn is trash and is doing nothing but setting back any sort of acceptance of transgender individuals. The quicker people distance themselves from her, the better. But I do agree with you, it takes a long time to get a large number of people to be okay with things that are different than the norm. And I don’t think being transgender is necessarily as easy to accept as being gay is.

  • Keebler ILF

    Big Brother fan here. This is just another reason why Jessica should reconsider continuing her relationship with Cody after the show is over. She’s already questioning whether he will be an embarrassment and a liability for her later in her career and her social and family life.
    That’s why she kept covering his mouth in the video; she doesn’t want her future boyfriend to be despised by half of America.

    I haven’t been watching the live feeds, but the TV show episodes make Cody look like a psychopath.

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