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Zeke Smith Proposes to Nico Santos at GLAAD Media Awards

Zeke Smith and Nico Santos
From left: Zeke Smith and Nico Santos photographed by Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

Santos said yes.

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The GLAAD Media Awards ceremony held Saturday night in Los Angeles had a surprise bonus: a marriage proposal from Zeke Smith to Nico Santos.

"Nico, your love has taught me how to love," former Survivor contestant Smith said to Santos whiledropping to a knee. "You are my other half, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you." Santos, a star of Superstore and Crazy Rich Asians, said yes, and Smith put a ring on his finger.

The two met at the GLAAD Media Awards after-party in 2018. Smith preceded his proposal by recalling that moment, when Santos got him a Ketel One cocktail and swept him off his feet. The two now have a home together.

In a 2019 Advocate interview, Santos noted his immediate attraction to Smith. "I remember just seeing him and going gaga over him," Santos said. "He's such a great guy. He's amazing!"

Smith was outed as transgender by a fellow contestant on Survivor: Game Changers in 2017. "Why haven't you told anyone you are transgender?" gay contestant Jeff Varner asked. The outing led to outrage, and Varner apologized publicly. Smith received many messages of support from fans.

"I think Zeke completely helped change the narrative too," Santos said in the 2019 interview. "He brought so much attention to the community."

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.