Survivor’s first openly gay Black contestant says the show ‘didn’t know what to do’ with him
The first openly gay Black contestant on Survivor has said the show’s producers “didn’t know what to do” with him.
Brice Izyah became the hit reality TV show’s first ever gay Black contestant when he appeared on the show’s 28th season in 2014.
He was voted off after just eight days on the show – and now, six years on, he has opened up about the challenges he faced while competing on Survivor.
Izyah reflected on his time on the show during an interview on Rob has a Podcast.
Producers on Survivor ‘didn’t know what to do’ with Black gay contestant Brice Izyah.
“I’m a Black gay man, and I don’t feel like we’re ever properly portrayed,” Izyah told the podcast.
“A lot of people remain ignorant to our story. I’m a minority in the Black community and I’m a minority in the LGBT+ community.
“I feel like I often have to explain my being to someone, which is just crazy.”
I just want to use my voice now to maybe change the outcome for the next LGBT+, Black, or female person to play.
The reality TV star continued: “They didn’t know what to do with me. I know that there’s some LGBT+ representation, but there’s not a person of colour.
“And I think it’s important we recognise that their experiences as a white LGBT+ person are different than what I live through.
“I would also really love more representation in front of the screen, more diverse stories, not just tropes of what a gay man is.”
He wants the show to improve for future Black and LGBT+ contestants.
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The Survivor star said he is not bitter over his time on the show and said he feels “blessed” to have had a chance to participate on the show.
“I just want to use my voice now to maybe change the outcome for the next LGBT+, Black, or female person to play, because I loved the show and I wanted to see the show evolve,” he said.
“I want these players to have a chance.”
Survivor previously came under fire from LGBT+ audiences when trans contestant Zeke Smith was outed by gay contestant Jeff Varner on the show.
The show’s host Jeff Probst kicked Varner off the show after he outed Smith.
“He wanted to be seen as a Survivor player. Not the first transgender Survivor player. I really respected that distinction and I understood it,” Probst said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly at the time.