The outing of Zeke Smith as transgender on CBS' reality show Survivor has sparked outrage.

Jeff Varner, who is gay, outed his fellow contestant during a Tribal Council on Survivor: Game Changers. The episode aired Wednesday.

“Why haven't you told anyone you're transgender?” Vander asked Smith, who explained that he didn't want to be labeled the “trans Survivor player.” Vander was voted off the show.

In an op-ed published in The Hollywood Reporter, Smith said that he was “casually trans in the same way that Zac Efron is casually Jewish.”

“A person's gender history is private information and it is up to them, and only them, when, how, and to whom they choose to disclose that information,” Smith wrote. “Keeping your gender history private is not the same as a gay person being 'in the closet.' The only people who need to know are medical professionals and naked fun time friends.”

Host Jeff Probst criticized Smith's outing.

“I cannot imagine anyone thinking what was done to Zeke was okay on any level, under any circumstances, and certainly not simply because there was a million dollars on the line,” Probst told Entertainment Weekly.

Varner apologized in a tweet.

“I offer my deepest, most heart-felt apologies to Zeke Smith, his friends and life allies, his family and to all those who my mistake hurt and offended,” he messaged. “I recklessly revealed something I mistakenly believed everyone already knew. I was wrong and make no excuses for it. I own responsibility in what is the worst decision of my life.”

“Let me be clear, outing someone is assault. It robs a strong, courageous person of their power and protection and opens them up to discrimination and danger,” he added.

Smith told PEOPLE that he believes Varner has “a lot of misconceptions about trans people.” “I think if he wants to be an ally to trans people, he has a long way to go,” he said.