“Naked and Afraid” is an unscripted reality show were two strangers (typically 1 man, 1 woman) try to survive in the wild for 21 days, naked. The show has them meet naked and routinely (scripted?) plays to the contestant’s discomfort about being naked in front of a person of the opposite sex.
Quince Mountain, a transgender man, met his partner, a female police officer who commented afterword that she thought that they would be able to ‘work together’ despite Quince not being, in her opinion, a ‘big burly man’.
Perfect. Just freaking perfect (for ratings).
Some of the commenters including a ‘top fan’ wasted no time disparaging gender diversity on the show’s Facebook page, which of course opened the door for increasingly transphobic comments.
Of course, we all suspect his partner’s response was scripted. But Quince took his new partners ignorance in stride and has shared his views on Twitter:
“People wonder why I’d want to appear–especially appear naked–on an unscripted documentary series (aka “Reality TV”), when #trans people have had so many negative experiences in the media, our stories given shallow treatments and exploited for dramatic effect.”
But if I’m honest, I wasn’t drawn to appearing on @NakedAndAfraid despite the nudity requirement–it was an alluring feature. I felt, as a trans guy, that stripping down would be a relief, a way to get it over with & just finally say the unsayable, widely and publicly.
“But what about acting? Aren’t reality shows completely fake at worst, contrived and gimmicky at best?” he asks.
“Well, put aside the fact– & this is a FACT feel free to @/fight me if you think otherwise– that survivalists on Naked & Afraid are expected to go outdoors without primary human shelter (clothing) & remain for 21-days w/ precious few supplies beyond what the wilderness provides…
“I’m very happy to talk about acting and authenticity,” said Quince. “My authentic experience growing up as a trans person was one of fictional performance.”
Wham. Bam. Thank you, sir.