Transgender man Quince Mountain in the Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid”
Naked and Afraid is a Discovery Channel reality TV show, now in its 10th season, in which a male and female couple must survive a naked 21-day stay in the wilderness by securing food, water and shelter. It’s kind of thirst masquerading as edu-tainment, but yesterday’s episode featured the series’ first-ever trans male contestant, Quince Mountain… and he encountered a wild animal stalking him in the dark.
Mountain is a dog sledder from Alaska who is an arctic survivalist and has military experience. The show gave him a “primitive survival rating” of 6.4, a prediction of how well his skill, experience and mental strength will aid him in the wild.
Upon meeting his female partner — Teresa Owens, a cop from Florida — Mountain says, “I know I look a little different. I have scars and stuff from surgery. I am transgender.”
Owens doesn’t seem to know how to respond. She smiles awkwardly and says that she has some surgical scars too and that “it’s okay” (though it’s unclear whether she’s saying it’s okay to have surgical scars or be transgender or both). Mountain says, “Well thank you!”
Mountain tells the viewers that he never identified as a girl but decided to transition about eight or nine years ago.
Owens tells the camera “My partner being transgender, it definitely makes no difference. I think that we’re still going to be able to work together as well as we would if he was a big burly man.”
But Mountain is a big, burly man… so…
Anyway, another clip of the episode showed Mr. Mountain resting in the dark (naked of course) next to a fire, only to hear the growling of a jaguar. The jaguar probably doesn’t care that Mountain is transgender either — he only cares that he’s made of meat or a possible threat to his feline safety.
Here’s a clip from the show: