Check out this exclusive one-on-one chat with Jackson Fox of SURVIVOR, the first openly transgender man to compete on the long-running reality competition.
Now, some folks will point to Zeke Smith in 2017 as the first trans man to play SURVIVOR, but he didn’t do so as an openly trans man. In fact, he was outed as trans in the middle of the game by another competitor during a tribal council. #rude
In this exclusive one-on-one conversation with the 48-year-old healthcare worker from Texas, Fox opens up about the adventure that is SURVIVOR.
On the very first night on the island, Fox came out to his tribe while they were all huddled around the fire.
In our chat, Fox says “it went better than I thought it was going to go.” He admits he was a little nervous because the group was diverse. He was especially concerned about Jonathan (the 6’4” “Goliath” of the tribe) because they were both from a very conservative Christian background.
“But Jonathan was nothing but very accepting,” says Fox. “It went great. The one thing they didn’t show afterwards was we had a group hug. It was wonderful.”
From the realities of sleeping on bamboo, competing in challenges, and more, Jackson candidly shares his thoughts on the game he calls “a once in a lifetime experience” that “absolutely changed my life.” Hit the play button to hear it all from Jackson Fox himself.
As fans of the show know at this point – SPOILER ALERT…
Jackson was removed from the show early on in the game due to a health issue (that had nothing to do with being trans). Instinct previously reported on his surprise exit from the show here.
In our chat, Jackson goes into detail about how all of that played out, how it felt to see it unfold with the television audience, and more. He admits watching his exit from the game on this side of the TV screen brought tears to his eyes.
Although his hopes were dashed, Fox expressed his appreciation for the situation being handled with care. He also said he had no regrets about being a part of the show. “It was the best 48 hours ever.”
“One of the things watching the show doesn’t prepare you for is the camaraderie with the people you just met – over the same bond for the love of the game. I have family for life.”
Since the beginning of the season, Fox says he’s gotten “nothing but positive reinforcement” from parents and families asking him to speak to their children or relatives or schools about being transgender.
He also says the experience of being on SURVIVOR actually helped bring he and his father even closer. Another win!
In the past, there have been competitors who were medically evacuated and invited back in subsequent seasons. Fans – and Fox – say a return to play would be a welcome invitation.
The current season of SURVIVOR continues on Wednesday nights on CBS at 8PM ET/7PM Central.