Big Brother contestant Hallie came out as trans to her fellow housemates in the latest episode of the show, saying opening up to them was “freeing”.
The 18-year-old youth worker shared her gender identity in an episode aired on Monday, October 9, the day after the 16 contestants entered the famous house. While they were all discussing rules at the breakfast table, Hallie shared that she felt she hadn’t been completely “authentic” when first entering.
“Guys, I just have something to say. Yesterday, I feel like I wasn’t being 100% authentic in myself,” she said. “I thought I’d let everyone know I’m trans, if you didn’t know already. I just thought I’d make that loud and clear. I’m a trans woman if you didn’t know.”
Her housemates welcomed her coming out with support, quickly giving her reassurance and also doing a round of pronouns. “This is a moment. I like it,” commented Dylan.
When another contestant, Chanelle, commended Hallie’s “bravery” in coming out, the teenager shared: “I don’t know why I was so nervous.”
“You don’t need to be nervous,” Farida told her, with Trish adding: “We’ve got you.”
— Big Brother UK (@bbuk) October 9, 2023
Later, when Hallie was in the Big Brother diary room, she shared that she had been scared of coming out as trans, fearing that some of her housemates might have a “prejudice opinion”.
“Yesterday, I just felt like I wasn’t being 100% authentic with everyone and I was hiding a big part of who I am, so this morning, I thought let me be 100% honest and just tell the housemates that I am transgender,” she said. “I’m not going to lie, my heart was beating out of my chest, it was quite nerve-racking.”
However, she added that all the contestants had been “very respectful and open-minded” and that “the love and support has been amazing”.
“I’ve made it clear. I’m happy to talk about my journey, if they have any questions I’m an open book,” she explained. “And I just hope that they will try to get to know me a bit more but it felt freeing.”
— Big Brother UK (@bbuk) October 8, 2023
Speaking to fellow housemates Jenkin and Kerry later in the episode, Hallie shared that she had started hormone therapy when she was 16 and explained the difficulties she encountered in accessing such treatment due to long waiting lists. Moreover, she revealed that she intends to pay her mother back for the years of treatment should she win the show’s £100,000 prize.
Viewers took to X (formerly Twitter) to praise the episode for starting crucial conversations. Some pointed out how important it was to see Hallie come out on such a mainstream show as Big Brother at a time when trans people are being vilified by the UK Government. Just last week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak himself took aim at the community in his closing speech at the Tory Conference.
I know politically we’re going backwards but Hallie coming out as a trans woman and then all the housemates doing a pronoun-around felt like we’ve come on leaps and bounds. I don’t think that would have happened 10 years ago. The perfect reaction to coming out. #BigBrother pic.twitter.com/NvIzXGiQSi
— Harry Nicholas (@HarryNicholas_) October 9, 2023
“Made my heart burst seeing Hallie be her authentic self and be supportive, especially at a time when the existence of trans people has been so politicised,” one user wrote.
Another commented, “What Hallie has done already should not be underestimated. In the current climate in the UK, this is so empowering. You go girl”
A different viewer stated, “Those couple of minutes when Hallie came out as trans, everyone fully accepting it and then going round the group asking for pronouns was the most inclusive, and underplayed, bit of TV I’ve seen in ages. Well done housemates!”
Trans people on reality TV — women/ femmes especially — continue to be so pivotal for our community’s visibility worldwide. Hallie joins a long line of torch bearers, from Miriam Rivera & Calpernia Addams to Leiomy Maldonado & Isis King. To carry said torch at *this* time is wow. https://t.co/d8eStjKQqN
— Tre’vell Anderson (@TrevellAnderson) October 10, 2023
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