Varner made accusations of “a deception” before revealing that Smith is transgender on the episode. Varner was immediately criticized by other players. He repeatedly apologized, but was voted out of the competition.
Smith explained that he didn’t mention that he was transgendered because he didn’t want to be known as “the trans ‘Survivor’ player.”
He writes in The Hollywood Reporter that by calling him deceptive, Varner invoked “one of the most odious stereotypes of transgender people.”