It took Zeke Smith months to open up about his feud with Survivor co-star Jeff Varner who ended up outing him as transgender on the latest episode.
“It’s tough with Varner,” Smith stated. “I don’t think he hates trans people. I just think he has a lot of misconceptions about trans people. I think if he wants to be an ally to trans people, he has a long way to go.”
During a tribal council, the 50 years old Varner outed 29 years old Smith as transgender and called him “deceitful” in an attempt to kick him off the show. However, after the stunt he pulled, Varner was the one who ended up off the show.
Smith linked his situation to the general political consensus nowadays and talked about the bathroom bills generally passed in North Carolina from where Varner also is.
However, Smith thinks Varner is not just “some ignorant bigot.” Considering the fact that he is also gay, his words are given more weight than they should in the matter.
Zeke is not sure he believed what he said but definitely hoped others did.
Transgender people are a very vulnerable community and easy targets and so he is very grateful for the support he’s received from his other cast-mates.
“I think it’s so great that you see his hateful tactics rebuffed with such amazing love and from such a diverse group that responds to him.”
Smith also revealed that he has been struggling with forgiving Varner’s actions despite his apology on the show but is trying his best to get over it.
“I do wish him the best, I just think I wish him the best from afar.”