Finally, I'm excited to say that it looks like I will be performing on April 6th at Philly's inaugural edition of PUSSY FAGGOT, the fabulous and (in)famous Lower East Side queer art and performance party that is curated by Earl Dax, and that has gotten raves from the New York Times as "The Party That Dare Not Speak Its Name."
Buck Angel is trans man and an award winning, pioneering producer and performer in the adult entertainment industry. I recently saw on his Twitter feed that he was heading to the UK, and was tweeting BBC (@bbcentertain) saying that he'd love to be the host on Graham Norton's show. While I do work for Buck's talent agency and know so pretty fabulous people, I'm not *quite* at that level where I can just drop names and manage a transatlantic TV booking. Yet. ;D However, I thought it'd be a great chance to chat with Buck about his media experiences, and why he might like to go on the air across the pond. He graciously granted me this interview.
Pistol: You've made the rounds of national TV and radio shows. One of your most noted appearances was on The Tyra Show. Was this your first national appearance? How was the experience?
From Buck's FB Fan Page.
Buck Angel: Oh yes the Tyra Show! No, it was not my first. I have been on The Maury Show, as well as Howard Stern. The US media is not so into having me on their shows because of my work in the adult industry. I have been on more mainstream shows in the UK and Europe. The Tyra Show was actually something that I kind of got roped into. They had been wanting me on for many years but I did not want to do a show that did not discuss my adult work. They refused to do that so I said no. Then they called me up and said they wanted to do a whole show on my career and life. Well, to make a long story short, after flying there on the red eye they prepare me for the show. And as I am walking on my wife Elayne says "Look at the title of the show" and it was something like "Sex freaks" or something like that. I was so mad but I was getting pushed out on stage and right into the waiting arms of Tyra. Needless to say I was very upset during that whole interview. People tell me they could not tell and that I was great, but if you notice she never says my last name nor does she ever say anything about my adult work. But it worked out and I became Tyra's most memorable guest of season 5!!
P: The main focus of that interview seemed to just be reconciling the idea of an FTM man who is masculine and loves his vagina. Is that what a lot of your interviews are like? If you get on the Graham Norton show, do you think him being queer will mean you'll spend less time explaining your trans identity and talk about other things as well?
BA: Well Tyra is a show about sensationalism not about education. The more they can shock the better! I seem to be able to always turn that around and make it more educational. Of course people want to talk about me being a man with a vagina as they can't believe that I am so comfortable with it. Wow, many women aren't even comfortable with their vagina! Did you see how Tyra was all freaked out when I asked her "Don't you love your vagina?"
I think Graham will discuss my sex change but I also think he will want to talk more about my education and advocacy. Though or course his show is very funny so he might want to do some kind of funny thing with me and of course I am all for that!
P: It's not always easy in our society being "out" as sex positive, a sex worker rights advocate, or what have you. You're an adult film star and get daytime media appearances. Did you ever expect this? Are people generally respectful of your line of work?
BA: You are very right on about that. People look so down on you when you say you work in adult films. It's so ridiculous how I am treated sometimes. It has not been easy for me to make a transition to anything mainstream. It still is not easy. I will always have this stigma of being a "porn star" as if that is a bad thing. I am really trying to change the way society looks at sex and people who choose to work in that industry. Not many people in the sex industry have really ever been able to make that transition but I am determined.
P: If you had been ten years old and seen someone like you on TV, do you think it would've made your path to transition quicker or more sure? What role models did you have, or what books did you read/shows did you watch that you saw yourself in?
From Buck's FB Fan Page
BA: Of course. I think it would have changed my whole life. When I was kid I would fantasize about being John Wayne. I always wanted to be a cowboy. It was tough when I finally realized that I was really a girl; my whole life fell apart. Martina Navatrola was a big influence for me early on as I was a athlete in my younger days and I excelledin that. She is such a strong woman and I really saw lots of masculinity in her that I wanted. I think she is a great role model for many people, not just girls.
P: I'm a Philly boy and a lot of the queer and sex positive communities are buzzing over you coming here soon with your wife Elayne Angel, who is a world-renowned body piercer. Are you often able to travel together? And can you tell us a little about what you'll be doing on your visit here?
That's super nice to hear. It will be my first time in Philly. I usually just head to NYC. My wife Elayne gets to travel to many cities to guest pierce and so we are lucky in that I can try to find something to do in that city if I am not already booked. So as of late we have been doing lots of traveling together which is great.
I will be doing two workshops with Passional at Sexploratorium and you can see them on my touring calendar. The first one on Friday, February 18th, is "Sexing The Trans Man - Buck shares his experiences in creating a whole new genre of mainstream erotica and how to be comfortable sexually." Then on the 19th I'm doing "The Buck Angel Effect: Buck shares his life journey"
P: You did a great "It Gets Better" video. Is working with youth something your have particular interest in?
BA: Thank you. It was not an easy video for me to make. I have never really thought that I wanted to work with youth and that is not really what my work is about. I am not trying to just advocate for one community. My message is bigger than that. I feel the need to advocate for people who do not fit in the box, people who have never felt comfortable in their own skin. That is more than being transsexual or gay. My goal is to change the way the world views people like us. To understand that we are all here and that we can all be happy.
Thanks so much for the interview and see you in Philly!