The biggest twist of Big Brother 17 won’t come from the producers, but one of the houseguests. According to TMZ, Big Brother 17 cast member Audrey Middleton is the show’s first transgender contestant.

Audrey, a 25-year-old digital media consultant from Georgia, will be one of 14 new HGs competing on the show this summer. TMZ reports that she was born Adam and transitioned to a woman several years ago. TMZ adds that while her family was initially conflicted about the decision, they now accept her for who she is.

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The decision to cast a transgender contestant on Big Brother 17 is hardly a surprise as it has become one of the most talked about issues in the country. Caitlyn Jenner’s recent announcement and upcoming E! reality show made headlines everywhere. In addition, TV has embraced the transgender community in the past year, with ABC Family’s docudrama Becoming Us and major storylines about transgender characters on scripted shows like Transparent, Orange Is the New Black, Sense8 and Grey’s Anatomy.

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In her initial interview with Jeff Schroeder, Audrey didn’t mentioned being transgender, but she did compare her strategy for playing the game to that of Dexter Morgan, the Showtime serial killer, proving that she’s willing to be ruthless to win.

How will the other HGs react to Audrey being transgender? This is a sensitive subject and hopefully CBS will do its best to present it as such.

Big Brother 17 premieres Wednesday, June 24 at 8pm on CBS.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.