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Trans Male Porn Has Led To Better Sexual Health

BUCK ANGEL

The first time I heard of Buck Angel was by accident. I was lying on the couch and stumbled across Mr. Angel the movie on Netflix. I had just started transitioning and had always loved porn, but didn’t even know trans guy porn existed. Mr. Angel captures the life of Angel, the world's first transgender male adult entertainer, and I was captivated. Over the years, I've learned more about him and his journey; simultaneously gaining more knowledge about myself through his movies and message.

There’s a vocal part of the trans male community who feel that porn has a negative impact — I  beg to differ. I think porn, in particular videos featuring Angel and newcomer Luke Hudson, helps us achieve the kind of healthy self image and self acceptance taken for granted by our cis gendered peers.

Angel really pioneered this world, being the first trans man to break into porn. Since 2002, he has been paving the way for trans male adult entertainers, advocating for the trans community and body positivity all around — but it wasn't an easy task. In the beginning he was, “not welcomed at all. By anyone. The industry was completely freaked out by my whole idea of, 'The Man with a Pussy.'” He found himself completely confused at the reaction he was getting, saying, “trans women porn was big, and I was just playing off of it and its 'Chick with a Dick' marketing tactic."

While the push back from the industry was intense, a lot of the hate actually came out of his own community. Angel recalls that trans men were angry at him for, “misrepresenting and making a mockery of them. They were totally disgusted at my desire to show the world my vagina and claim that you didn’t need a penis to be a man.” It eventually got to a point where he had to completely, “disconnect myself from any community involvement.” Dealing with hate from all direction, receiving letters and comments from people who wanted to physically harm him, would be enough to scare anyone away but this was new territory, a new way for people to appreciate the differences and uniqueness of the human body. While Buck says he was, “never scared, ever,” he often asked himself, “What have I started here that makes people act out with such anger?”

Strangely, the widely known and respected activist initially, “never thought of myself as an activist, at all During that time he was more focused on the sex aspect but later, “started to use my porn work as activism.” The porn industry and its entertainers, to this day, get a lot of negative attention and there aren't many people out there speaking out for porn and sex workers. “I think the more we continue to not step aside and be proud about making pornography, the more we can make the change of how people view sex.” It's a complex task though isn't it? There are so many aspects of porn that rub people the wrong way and at the same time, it is a platform that encourages people to let go of their restraint. One of the hottest issues about transgender porn, in general, is fetishizing and what that means for the trans community. The reason for the stark differences of opinion on the matter, is because many trans people believe that liking trans for the sake of being trans invalidates them as men and women. But is it invalidation or the beginning of real acceptance? Of course there isn't a right or wrong answer to this but Buck expresses his opinion saying, “It’s always so easy to find the negative, instead of actually examining the reasons why anyone would even think being fetishized is a bad thing. I love it. But that’s just me.” Angel goes on to say, “I love that I have opened up a whole new world in which people look at trans men as sexy men. Why is that a bad thing?" He raises a good point.

The world is still very porn-negative, which is exactly why we wanted to talk to Buck and the men following in his footsteps  to better understand how sex work and transgender come together in a positive and inspiring way. Throughout the years, Buck has faced a lot and dealt with immense hatred from every direction, but that didn't stop him. Once the activist inside grew with his craft, he realized just how important his image was to younger trans guys, “I love being Tranpa! (A term coined for me because I am an old trans man who cares about the kids and that’s exactly what a grandpa does)."  On social media sites like Instagram, you can see a lot of that love and support for the younger generation come through, always talking about, “creating a community where we can be individuals and choose our own ways to transition, without the pressure of others telling us there is a right or wrong way." It's clear that he wants younger FTMs to have  what he didn't have when he first transitioned over 20 years ago. This isn't only about porn and transgender, it's about people and how we connect with ourselves and each other, “I feel that my work has become more of a human rights effort”.

Angel is a passionate person and continues to fight for sexual freedom for trans men, recently coming out with an amazing new sex toy designed specifically for FTMs:  The Buck Off™.

After having met with Steve Callow, CEO of Perfect Fit Brand, to talk about the product, they immediately signed on, “It was like magic. It has been so amazing and better than I could have ever imagined. The trans male community has been nothing but supportive and great. They also understand how important this product is for our community, that it has raised awareness about us on many levels.” To create an inclusive trans male toy that aims to liberate and celebrate sex and individuality is an amazing feat but an added layer to it is, “To stop shaming, centered on our genitals and on sex." Everyone deserves to feel comfortable in their body and if it's right for them, to feel sexy and confident in their sex life.

Over the years, so much has changed in the porn industry and while it still isn't perfect, Angel's efforts have truly opened the minds of many. From hate mail, push back and isolation, to a new insight on sex and body positivity, the adult entertainment industry might not be where it is today if it weren't for Angel's dedication to himself and the love he has for his community. With breakthroughs like his latest film, titled “Girl/Boy” winning “Best Transsexual Scene” Adult Video News (AVN) Awards 2017 — which was directed by a straight woman for a straight company — it's apparent that rapid progress is being made. At the end of it all, everyone will have their own opinion on the positive influences of porn but one cannot deny the success and hard work of our own Buck Angel, “I see a lot of progress, and really that’s all I want. Just give us a chance to be a part of the world and that means the sex world too."

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