Thursday, April 20, 2017

Catfish: Kailani and Sam (Season 6, Episode 8)

Last night, MTV showed an episode of Catfish starring a person named Melvin, his friend Kailani and their catfish, Sam.

First, Sam, hiding behind the profile of a masculine guy, talked to Melvin, who called him out as a catfish. Then he moved onto Melvin's friend Kailani, who was badly hurt by a recent failed marriage.

Image from EmptyLighthouse.com
Most episodes of Catfish end with the catfish showing signs of remorse, but this episode had a bit more. Sam, who is transgender and transitioning from male to female, used it as a way to come out to the world. He wasn't catfishing Kailani and others to be cruel; he was doing it so he could make sure he was making the right decision with his transition.

While catfishing is never okay (and is obviously very hurtful to its targets), I feel for Sam. Sam clearly did love Kailani and never meant to hurt her. And he needed to do what he did to find himself and make sure he was making the right decision. I give Kailani so much credit for accepting Sam after what he did (they didn't end up staying in touch, but Kailani was very forgiving) and understanding why he did what he did.

I would guess that it's Sam who actually contacted Catfish to come clean. I read a while back that it's often the catfishes who contact MTV to reveal themselves, and the producers back into the story from that. I mean, come on, you don't really think every unwilling catfish is down to reveal themselves without being ready, do you? Anyway, my guess is Sam was ready to let the world know about his transition and did it using this. And I truly hope his family was accepting and kind following his news.

Here's a quick recap of the episode, if you missed it:

Melvin contacted the show (theoretically) on behalf of Kailani. Keilani, off the bat, told Sam the show had been contacted.

Melvin was chatting with a guy named Sam. He called Sam's bluff on his pictures and things, so Sam moved onto Melvin's friend Kailani. Kailani, at 23, had just gotten divorced from a 6 month marriage because her husband was cheating on her - he was actually engaged to someone else! Kailani leaned on Sam, and came to love him, as she recovered from her trauma. Sam claimed to love her too.

Nev and Max discovered that Sam's pictures belonged to a guy named Dom. They also found out that Sam had been catfishing someone else.

Sam agrees to meet Kailani and is genuinely apologetic, but it isn't until he meets with Nev and Max alone that he reveals that he's transgender in and in the process of transitioning. He talked about what he went through as a kid, knowing he was a boy stuck in a girl's body, and how his family wasn't exactly kind about it.

When this was revealed to Kailani, she was genuinely nice and understanding. She's a great person who's dealt with a lot in her life.

During the after the show segment at the end, we learned that Kailani has a boyfriend and Sam came out to some people, and appears to be doing much better.

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