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Trans Survivor Contestant Was Asked to Leave Competition After Only 48 Hours

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Editor's note: this post contains major spoilers from the season premiere of CBS' Survivor 42.

One Survivor hopeful's time on the 42nd season of the popular CBS reality competition series has, unfortunately, come to an untimely close.

Houston native Jackson Fox, who made history as Survivor's first trans male contestant to enter the competition already out, during a season jam-packed with LGBTQ+ castaways, was sent home by producers after only 48 hours of gameplay because he failed to disclose something about his medication history that raised concern about his safety while in the harsh, remote conditions of the competition.

A member of the Taku tribe, Fox was paid a visit by host Jeff Probst during this week's season premiere (a rare occurrence, ET Online points out), and the two had an incredibly difficult conversation that culminated in Fox being asked to leave the competition out of an abundance of caution for his safety.

The reason?

Apparently, Fox failed to disclose to the production staff that he was taking lithium medication until the day before filming started, a medication he says he started taking nearly six years ago in 2016 when he started taking care of his terminally ill mother to help him with his anxiety and get sleep. 

"I remember talking to my wife, she's a nurse, and I said, 'Well, I'm on lithium,' and she's like, 'Well, you're weening yourself off of it. You'll probably be off of it [when Survivor begins],'" Fox said when Probst asked why he waited until the last day before filming of Survivor 42 began to disclose that he was taking lithium. "I don't need to bring it up because I'll be fine."

He continued: 

"It's a stigmatism. I'm a human to know the fear is everyone hears the word, lithium, and they go way back in time. And they're like, 'That was a huge drug back in the day.' That was a scary drug to be on. Their first thought is the transition. Was it because of the transition? I'm like, 'That had nothing to do with it.' If that was the case, I would've been on lithium 20 years ago because I was so unhappy. But that wasn't the case."

Though Fox was being extremely open about the situation, Probst still had to let him know about the production's concerns about his safety and the effects being on lithium medication can have while undergoing the extreme, physically demanding tasks that Survivor is known for, and was still asked to pack his bags despite being only in the game for a brief 48 hours.

"I get it and I appreciate you talking to me about it," Fox said in his talk with Probst. "It's weird that I'm getting emotional about it but even to test yourself for 48 hours, it is such an adventure. I take this with love. I know I will be friends with these people. I appreciate you giving me this opportunity. For someone who didn't like anything about them for 40 years, then have someone say people liked things about you that you didn't know that you were capable of, speaks volumes. And I appreciate it. It was the best 48 hours ever."

Survivor 42 airs Wednesdays at 8pm ET/PT on CBS.

RELATED | Meet the 5 LGBTQ+ Cast Members of Survivor Season 42

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