During Sunday night’s live-feed, two houseguests on CBS’ Big Brother attacked a former contestant who is transgender, referring to her as “a he” and “it.”
Jason Dent and Cody Nickson, currently appearing on Big Brother 19, were in a hot tub with fellow contestants Jessica Graf and Matt Clines when the topic of Season 17 came up. Graf mentioned, Audrey Middleton, the show’s first openly trans contestant, sparking a transphobic dialogue between Nickson and Dent.
“What the fuck does that mean—she was a she?” asked Dent, to which Nickson replied, “It was a dude dressed up as a woman.”
“Okay it was a dude,” Dent remarked, before Graf warned them they “are walking such a thin line.”
Later, when Graf correctly referred to Middleton as “she,” Dent interjected “Okay, but it was a he.” He then asked, “Was it a he first, or a she first?” Clines laughed at his comment, and said the problem is Dent kept referring to Middleton as “it.”
On Twitter, Middleton asked followers to educate the houseguests, not shower them with hate.
“You are not born with emotional intelligence, you are conditioned to have it,” she wrote. “The people who lack it are the one who are too afraid to try to understand what value it truly has. If you are someone who is radically opening yourself to things you will live the most purpose-filled life of all.”
— Audrey Middleton (@OddreyM) August 7, 2017
According to the Washington Blade, Nickson, a 32-year-old construction worker, has used the term “tranny” multiple times this season when talking with Graf.
Fellow houseguest Ramses Soto, 21, is openly gay but hasn’t been filmed addressing the issue, either on the live feed or the show itself.
On Twitter, the conversation sparked a variety of responses.
— Taylor Allen (@TaylorAllen133) August 7, 2017
Until a year ago I also thought transgender was gender fluid, I'm just glad I have friends that educted me & not condemn me for not knowing
— ❤Chris Allen❤ (@zzziiinnnggg) August 7, 2017