“When I got on a plane to Fiji last March, I expected to get voted out third. I’d return home, laugh at my misadventure, and go about my life, casually trans in the same way that Zac Efron is casually Jewish.
In calling me deceptive, Varner invoked one of the most odious stereotypes of transgender people, a stereotype that is often used as an excuse for violence and even murder. In proclaiming ‘Zeke is not the guy you think he is,’ and that ‘there is deception on levels y’all don’t understand,’ Varner is saying that I’m not really a man and that simply living as my authentic self is a nefarious trick. In reality, by being Zeke the dude, I am being my most honest self.”— Survivor‘s Zeke Smith talking to The New York Times, responding to the controversial episode in which contestant Jeff Varner dramatically outed him as transgender.
Network TV showing us again that LGBT people are merely props. Just there for ratings.
A year from now, GLAAD will count Zeke in its statistics of LGBT participants/characters on TV shows, and they’ll proclaim that LGBT representation has increased. Yay! There won’t be any discussion of whether that representation is thoughtful, accurate, or fair. Zeke will be just another number to pad the statistics.
So are you saying that this episode was not thoughtful, accurate or fair? I think Zeke is a remarkable counterpoint to the trans representation that we normally get, somebody who happens to be trans and is otherwise trying to live a completely normal life that doesn’t revolve around his gender. That, plus the fact that he actually had to be outed for people even know he was transgender, had to be a huge eye opener for a hell of a lot of people.
Don’t lie and go in nation TV and expect it not to come out. It really doesn’t take much sense to figure that one out.
So trans people can’t win no matter what they do. They get criticized for talking about being trans (“What do they want, a medal?”) and criticized for just living and not telling everyone they meet. Well, I do hope you stop everyone on the street and tell them what you are so that you don’t continue living your lie.
And I hope gays find a way to get rid of the trans burden that we have been cursed with.
How exactly was he lying? Be specific and use what little logical faculties you may (but likely don’t ) have. He is not a woman, and was not using “womanly” ways to compete. Legally, transgender men are men regardless of how difficult it is for the simpleminded and regressive to deal with that.
Did he claim to have been BORN a man? Did he claim to have a bigger dick or bigger balls than the other competitor? Where’s the lie? Once again be specific, and understand that not saying something that might be irrelevant is hardly lying.
IDoNotHaveToAgreeWithYou, I’m growing more okay with that “burden”. I guess because my closest female friend is trans. And there’s no denying that trans people are thoroughly treated like sh*t and used for fetish, like many gay men, but it’s most frequent with trans people, especially women. Trans men have it slightly, but only slightly, easier.
Our struggle is different, but I feel a greater connection to trans people than I do most of the people (particularly men) walking around saying that they’re bi and fluid and queer-sexual and queer-gendered. Unlike being homo or trans those “identities” are not often enough inherent and brain-determined but are frequently driven by behaviors, narcissism, fetish, perversion, internalized homophobia, body dis-morphia and sociology. So, the “trans burden” is one I don’t mind helping out with.
“And I hope gays find a way to get rid of the trans burden that we have been cursed with.”
And I sincerely hope you find a way to get rid of the burden of ignorance and a tiny mind you have been cursed with. And I also hope that We as Gay people can get rid of the burden we suffer with people like you who are no friend to anybody but yourself. Ever hear of such things as compassion and empathy, or perhaps shared struggle or are those all anathema to regressives?
He didn’t lie about anything.
Trans people (who can be gay and sexual minorities just like us cis) have been a part of our fight for as long as there were humans. Heck, without trans people leading some of our most important battles, we wouldn’t be where we are. When Stonewall happened, trans were on the front line. When AIDS hit, trans were there fighting with us…and we left them to suffer in silence so we could grab OUR rights. There is no LGB history without the T!
She lied by claiming to be a male. She is a female that takes drugs to appear more male. She will never be a man. She will never have a man’s body and she will never have a man’s life experiences. And if she was worried about being exposed, she should have stayed off TV. And not transgenders were not on the frontlines at Stonewall. They were at the front of the lie to lie about being there for self gain. A lesbian started Stonewall if anyone at all get’s credit for it.
WOW…you’re just pretty much bitter and angry….so no point in engaging this with you. Take a warm bath or a walk in the woods or a puff off a joint or something….ssshhhh relax.
Let’s be serious. Knowing the b!tchfest that is so-called-reality TV, to go there with such a sensitive cat in your bag and to not expect to be outed in the most humiliating way possible, on national television, sounds pretty disingenuous.
He played in a previous season and that did not happen. It would not have come out this season either had he not confided in that low-life, Jeff Varner.
All he had to do was tell the producers and contestants and keep it pushing. No need to talk about it beyond that unless asked. That’s how you be “casual”. Comparing being trans to being Jewish is just absurd. Our “community” still has plenty of issues with outright and thorough honesty and there’s still so much obsession with not being feeling “trapped” by inherent sexual orientation or gender and being seen as “just anther human being”. And I understand why that is. But it often just leads to deception and/or living a lie.
Furthermore, you sign up for a popular broadcast reality show, a show where you have to live with many others for a long stretch of time, a show where everyone is known to connive and spill secrets, a show where people are known for walking around naked. What made you think no one would find out? I’m thinking this was staged, taking a “hot button” issue and turning it into sensationalism for the sake of ratings and buzz. Maybe Zeke was part of the staging, maybe not. Perhaps the producers set him up by pretending they had no idea he was trans just so it could be revealed during the season, and Zeke was naive enough to think they didn’t know. The Real World producers pretty much did that with Dustin Zito. And if the latter is the case I do feel very bad for him.
There’s a significant difference between people “finding out” a secret about you on one hand and deliberately using it as a weapon on the other hand. As a gay man I’m stunned by Mr. Varner’s duplicity against Zeke Smith. It feeds directly into the perception that cis gay men are against transgender people. Of course, some of us are, including some in this very thread; but many of us aren’t, and Varner’s actions reflected badly on more than just himself.
The producers were well aware of his being trans, and Zeke was the one who told them. Nothing was staged. And certainly not everyone on Survivor walks around naked. It can’t be that hard to keep your genitals under wraps.
Jeff Varner, the contestant that blurted it out, is an unprincipled D-bag, and I had figured that out before this incident occurred.
Several of the replies here are from unprincipled d-bags, but they’re regulars and we already knew that.
IDoNotHaveToAgreeWithYou…I do agree with you. Having the mental trans illness attached to us is not a good thing.
That’s a bit unfair. Yes, the idea of having plastic surgery and taking a bunch of hormones to “become who you are” has always left me a bit uncomfortable. And sense of gender, just like sexual instincts, can be triggered by mental conditions and become convoluted over the years. But very much like most people who identify as homosexual are indeed inherently, scientifically homosexual most people who are trans are indeed trans-minded.
And there are many people who are “trans-minded” that never feel the need to have surgery and take hormones. It is what it is.
I mean, yes, there are some problems I have with the “trans movement”. I’m starting to hear more and more about people physically altering themselves because of how uncomfortable they are with being a feminine man or masculine woman or gay man or lesbian woman. So, it is sometimes used as a way to settle confused, convoluted and conflicted egos or as a way re-assert hetero-normalcy or hetero dynamics. I hear a lot of similar things from people, particularly men, who identify as bi/fluid/flexible/queer. And that’s why that “movement” often makes me comfortable. That mindset is not being genuinely trans-minded. That’s just narcissism.
This has nothing to do with whether I thought it was right or wrong but to be really honest, it isn’t that hard to tell he’s trans. I’m baffled that it was as big of a shock as it was.
No it’s pretty obvious he’s trans but the other guy should not have been rude and flat out told people this.
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