I've watched every single episode of Survivor ever. Which will have been 20 years before too long. I've watched Rupert go pirate and steal supplies from the other tribe less than ten minutes into the game. Watched Jonny Fairplay invent a dead grandma to try to get closer to a million bucks. Laughed my butt off at players making fake immunity idols that poor marks handed over to Jeff Probst thinking they were real. And yet that was the most surreal thing I've ever seen at a tribal council.
It was beautiful and unspeakable all at the same time. Unspeakable because how the hell could you do that to someone? And it even made no sense. HE OUTED ZEKE WHILE HE WAS TRYING TO GET OZZY VOTED OUT. Rather than make a hard sell on Ozzy, you know, being one of the greatest players of all time and a beloved threat who had to go he attacked someone he wasn't seeking votes against. But beautiful in the way that the other contestants handled the information and the attack. Beautiful for the Transgender cause because it puts a fresh new human face in the conversation. One look at Zeke, who no one knew was transgender and no one cared when they found out, and transphobia becomes a whole lot harder to sell. And it's a face that isn't last named Jenner who for better or worse became the face of all Transgender conversation.
Because there isn't a single person who watches that show who doesn't believe to the core of their soul that Zeke Smith is a man and damn if he isn't brave and happy. 8 million watched. Sadly only slightly over half of us are where we need to be on LGBTQ rights. Hopefully a million hearts and minds were changed Wednesday night.