'Big Brother 17' Reactions To Audrey Coming Out As Transgender Are Extremely Positive, So The Season Is Off To A Good Start
The summer's longest running reality series, Big Brother 17 , premiered with a first: The first ever transgender contestant on Big Brother, Audrey Middleton, came out to her housemates on the first night of the competition. And while I was holding my breath — BB contestants aren't always known for being the most understanding or accepting folks — no one said anything that made me want to leap into the television and shake some sense into them. In fact, everyone in the house (well, for now, at least) was very vocally supportive of Audrey, which is a really wonderful thing to see from a group that can be wild card city.
At first, Audrey didn't make her introduction video about the fact that she is a transgender woman. She simply spoke about her hobbies, her personality, and her style. It was pretty great that the show allowed her to be herself up front, without asking her to base her character on the show on one aspect of her identity. Then, once she'd introduced herself to America, Audrey did decide to come out to her housemates on night one.
Meg, the waitress from New York, jumped up and down and cheered. South Carolinian James didn't quite know what to say, so he settled on "Audrey's pretty cool." The other women in the house told her she looked great and were generally extremely accepting. It was a pretty heartwarming moment, even if everyone's responses weren't entirely perfect. Everyone was clearly well intentioned and supportive.
Later, Audrey told her housemates a little more about what her life was like growing up including a time when her psychologist sent her to a wilderness program instead of trying to understand her. And while Da'Vonne was praising her for using her past to gain sympathy from the other houseguests (which seems pretty uncool considering the weight of what Audrey was describing), the other houseguests tried to understand her experience. Instant fan favorite Clay Honeycutt offered his support saying, "I've never met a transgender person, and I’ve had some adversity, but listening to her has given so much perspective for me."
Here's hoping that when the other people join the house, everyone can be as kind to and supportive of Audrey as the first crop of houseguests has been.
Image: Sonja Flemming/CBS