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Richmond man appearing on Discovery Channel reality show: ‘I didn't really have any role models’

Posted at 7:20 AM, Aug 28, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. — A Richmond man appearing on a Discovery Channel reality competition show is aiming to be an inspiration for other transgender people.

Elliot Capella is a contestant on the inaugural season of “Survive the Raft,” airing Sundays at 9 p.m.

The show features nine diverse contestants who set sail for 21 days to test whether they can survive tough conditions and earn their share of the prize money.

Capella, who works in cloud computing, was recruited by producers who noticed his Instagram. There he shares his bodybuilding profile and is open about sharing his journey.

“I really did the show because I'm transgender. As a child, I didn't really have any role models and I know that if I had had someone like me on television to look up to or watch — it would have meant the world to me. So that was really a big motivator for me,” Capella explained.

Born in San Antonio, Capella was raised all over the United States in a military family.

The 2015 Virginia Tech graduate said 99% of the messages he’s received since appearing on the show are positive.

“It's been so overwhelmingly positive and supportive,” Capella recalled. “I'm just so happy that I have so many people reaching out and with this positive attitude and spreading the love that I was hoping to spread on the show.”

Capella is also organizing a season finale watch party at Sticky Rice on Sept. 24.

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