Zeke, who competed on Survivor: Game Changers in 2017 and was outed as transgender on the CBS reality series by another castaway, proposed marriage to Nico at the 33rd annual GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday and Nico said yes.
Zeke popped the question onstage at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA.
"GLAAD first came into my life when I was on Survivor... I learned how to navigate being a very-publicly trans person regardless of whether or not I wanted to do that," Zeke announced in a video that has been circulating on social media.
"My story, with the help of GLAAD, went on to inspire the community [and] win us new allies."
Nico joked about needing more drama and more love stories, and then Zeke continued, "So speaking of love stories, ours began four years ago here in our favorite restaurant, The Beverly Hills ballroom."
Zeke recalled Nico buying him a cocktail at an afterparty.
"He lured me into his limousine, and then he swept me off my feet. Nico, your love has taught me how to love," Zeke said. "You are my other half, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
The crowd erupted in cheers and applause, and then Zeke got down on one knee and asked for Nico's hand in marriage.
Nico appeared surprised and emotional before happily accepting the engagement ring, and then the couple shared a couple of sweet kisses onstage.
"Oh sh-t!" Nico yelled.
Zeke later posted pictures from his proposal on social media and wrote, "He said yes. I'm the luckiest guy in the world. Thank you to @glaad and @tiffanyandco for making it magical."
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And Nico also uploaded photos from the big moment and captioned them, "I said yes. You have my heart forever @zekerchief."
Zeke and Nico reportedly began dating in May 2018 and first went public with their romance in June of that year when the couple shared a photo together at the Los Angeles Pride event.
"We're here! We're queer! We're brunching! Getting some after parade nomnoms with my love. Happy Pride Los Angeles!!!" Nico captioned the image on Instagram.
Nico also referred to Zeke as his "boyfriend" and "my man" in other social-media posts around that time.
On Survivor: Game Changers in Spring 2017, castaway Jeff Varner announced at Tribal Council on Night 18 there was "deception on many levels" happening within the tribe, and then he mentioned Smith's undisclosed transgender identity as an alleged example.
Knowing he was the target, Jeff was attempting to deflect the vote onto the tribe's biggest physical threat, Ozzy Lusth, whom Zeke, who was a 29-year-old asset manager from Brooklyn, NY at the time, had been protecting for his own benefit come the merge.
Not only was Zeke shocked and shaken by his former friend's disclosure, but he also told People in April 2017 that he continued to be "troubled by [Jeff's] willingness to deploy such a dangerous stereotype on a global platform," referring to Jeff's suggestion Zeke was deceitful for not being open about his gender change.
An extremely remorseful Jeff insisted to the magazine, however, that he was not insinuating that Zeke was being sneaky because he's transgender or that trans people as a whole are deceitful.
After outing Zeke, Jeff appeared to try to explain that he had assumed -- incorrectly -- that Zeke had played his prior Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X season as openly transgender and was just keeping it from his fellow Survivor: Game Changers castaways.
However, none of the Game Changers contestants were able to watch Zeke's first Survivorseason before Game Changers was filmed because the two editions had been taped back-to-back in the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji in Spring 2016 and Zeke's Millennials vs. Gen X season did not premiere on CBS until September 2016.
Jeff told People once he was voted out of the game that the idea he would be publicly revealing Zeke as transgender had not even crossed his mind.
"I didn't even realize I'd done anything wrong. I thought Zeke was out and loud and proud. Who comes on a reality show not once but twice with a secret like that and nobody knows?" Jeff said.
"That was my messed-up thinking at the time. I thought that the viewers knew and everybody knew. So when I was arguing at Tribal and I say, 'I thought everybody knew,' I was talking about everybody at home watching."
Zeke transitioned from female to male during his college years at Harvard University, a process he called "long and difficult" on the Survivor: Game Changers season.
"Trans people are a highly vulnerable population. We make easy targets. We're attacked a lot and I expected a lot more from Varner," Zeke told People.
"But I think it's so great that you see his hateful tactics rebuffed with such amazing love and from such a diverse group that responds to him."
Zeke and Jeff's other Nuku tribemates were irate and rushed to Zeke's defense after Jeff outed him. Without even asking the tribe to vote, Survivorhost Jeff Probst declared it was time for Jeff to leave the game.
"It just was an emotional moment that just happened, and it should not have happened. I regret it and will regret it for the rest of my life," Jeff told Reality TV World during an exclusive interview at the time.
"I want to make sure he's safe and he's comfortable, and I can only imagine what he and his family and friends are dealing with today. They don't know me. They don't know that I'm not a hateful person. I'm not a bigot, there -- there's not an ounce of hate in my body. It's just so unfortunate that that's what happened," he continued.
"And that's the way it is. I can talk much more about the future and where I'm headed and what I'm planning on doing. There's a lot I've been up to and there's a lot in the works, but today is not about me. Today is about Zeke. And if he wants to take some swings at me, I will hand him the bat, because I deserve it and he has every right."
Jeff, a former news anchor, got fired from his job as a real estate agent after the show, and he told Reality TV World that he began going to therapy after the incident occurred. About The Author:Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.