That was horrible. I've never felt so much horror and anger and revulsion and sadness at any moment of Survivor before. Varner's thinking and actions are just incomprehensibly stupid and awful, like much of the still existing animosity and prejudice towards transgender people out there today. In so many ways, so many tropes and narratives, we are still portrayed as somehow being essentially deceitful, inauthentic, untrustworthy and that's what Varner tried to use. Lots of credit to Zeke there, he held himself together and while that should have never happened, he should have never been made into one, he will be a positive role model for people to see.
It's good to hear that CBS worked with GLAAD and Zeke on this episode and I will give them credit that they did a good job with this.
But oh my god, I find myself wondering what I'll hear coworkers saying today at work. We've got a group of people in our department who usually discuss the events of the previous night's episode and I'm among them. What they, except for one, don't know is that I'm in the process of making my own transition. Tomorrow I'll be going to doctor's appointment so I can start HRT and I still have lots of fear and anxiety about what the coming months will be like. In so many ways, I wish it were something I could do by going away to another country for a few years and then come back and take up a life where I'm just regarded as me, not as "the transgender." But I don't have the money to do that and I will be transitioning where I work.
So what will I hear today? You better believe I'll be listening for anything from coworkers that might reveal they think transgender people are freaks. And somehow I'll have to hold myself together and not start crying about something if it pushes on me in a sensitive spot.
I never thought I would feel more revulsion towards any survivor than Russell Hantz. Jeff Varner pulled that off last night. Ugh.