If you’re a fan of the popular reality show Naked and Afraid, you know that after 14 seasons the show still manages to be full of surprises. This week a 37-year-old Air Force veteran from Florida made history this week as the first transgender woman to appear on the show.
The contestant, an avid bowhunter named Terra, was paired up with a South African farmer named Shaun. Together they were stranded in the “deadly bush of Zambia where territorial elephants, baboons and crocodiles threatened their every move”.
"What defines me is not how I look… it's what I do with my life."🙌
— Naked and Afraid (@NakedAndAfraid) March 6, 2022
Terra’s partner Shaun described himself as “a little bit conservative” and didn’t know that his partner would be a trans woman. Upon meeting Shaun’s could hardly contain his surprise which could have gone array very quickly. But soon after he said he welcomed her with open and naked arms, ensuring that “we’re all unique and special.” He said to Terra, “I’m open-minded, and we’re going to do this together. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.”
The way he reacts to his partner coming out as trans 🥲
— Naked and Afraid (@NakedAndAfraid) March 4, 2022
During the episode the partners have a heart to heart on the first night. Terra opens up to Shaun that she lost a great number of people in her life when she came out as trans.
In Naked and Afraid, complete strangers meet in a very unique way: stranded in a dangerous, desolate location, without food or water, and completely naked. Each episode follows the adventurers as they attempt to survive on their own for 21-days with nothing but a personal item and the knowledge that the only prize is their pride and sense of accomplishment.
Each contestant is given a Primitive Survival Rating (PSR) which measures their experience, skill, and mental approach. With only one another, competitors quickly get to know each other — and their surroundings — and hope that their instincts, survival skills and intestinal fortitude serve them well.
Terra is only the second transgender person to participate in the show since its premiere in April 2013. In 2019 a trans man named Mountain made history as the show’s first openly transgender contestant.
The experience between Terra and Shaun was short lived as Shaun was injured after falling on the third day and tapped out of the competition. This did not stop Terra, however, as she made it to day 21 in spite of not being able to find much food and lacerating her nipple.
“I’m not a gender, I’m not a label, I’m just a human,” Terra said after conquering Zambia, “It’s empowering. I’m going through my own transitional journey. And I know now that if I just stick with it there’s nothing I cannot do in this world.”