Transgender porn star shares story

Despite receiving an anonymous threat before his visit, Buck Angel, a female-to-male transgender porn star, spoke at a Master’s Tea as part of Sex Week at Yale on Saturday.

Angel shared his life story with an audience of about 50 students at the Pierson College master’s house. He emphasized the importance of self-acceptance and urged people not to submit to the labels society assigns them. Some students said they disagree with his participation in pornography, while others said they enjoyed his message.

Buck Angel, a transgender porn star, said at a Pierson Master’s Tea that he “wasn’t hiding anymore” after his sex change.
Charlie Croom
Buck Angel, a transgender porn star, said at a Pierson Master’s Tea that he “wasn’t hiding anymore” after his sex change.

Angel grew up in Southern California as a girl who enjoyed sports and often hung out with the boys, he said; both his family and his neighbors treated him like a boy.

When puberty came, everything changed.

“I started to not feel right in my body,” he said. Angel felt like a boy, but people started to treat him like a girl. “People were not interacting with me like they were before.”

In order to suppress his inner turmoil, he said he turned to drugs and alcohol and attempted suicide several times.

He became a female fashion model, he said, although he felt out of place walking down the runway. The fashion industry furthered his drug addiction, he said, which precipitated the end of his modeling career. After becoming a prostitute in Hollywood for a while, an old friend convinced him to become sober.

“Sobriety is what woke me up,” he said.

He realized that he needed to change something in his life, so became excited when he learned of the possibility of a female-to-male transformation, he said. He researched and finally found a doctor that had performed male-to-female transformations, he said, but never female-to-male. Angel received hormone shots and later breast removal surgery, and said he felt that his external appearance finally matched his inner feelings.

“I wasn’t hiding anymore,” he said.

In a clip from his YouTube program “Bucking the System,” which he showed at the Tea, Angel explained that his sexuality is very fluid. He considers himself not bisexual, but “sexual,” he said.

“Labels are not necessary,” he said.

After his transition, Angel pioneered a new genre of female-to-male transgender pornography with a goal of “fulfilling fantasies for people.”

In late January, Angel posted on his Facebook that he received a threat with regard to his visit at Yale, and he needed security while on campus. Angel did not address the threat while speaking Saturday.

Students at Yale had mixed opinions on the star and his visit.

Dan Geoffrion ’10, a member of Yale Students for Christ who did not attend the event, said he did not disagree with the decision to invite Angel to speak at Yale, but he disagreed with the overall tone of Sex Week.

“The SWAY events are very sexual-normative and don’t include speakers that promote values such as saving sex until marriage,” he said, adding that he disagreed with Angel’s promotion of pornography. “I believe that God made sex to be this awesome, wonderful act of physical and spiritual intimacy. Pornography has far too low a view of sex. Pornography promotes the view of sex as an act of physical gratification rather than the holistic intention of what sex can and should be.”

Six students interviewed who attended the tea all said they appreciated Angel’s message.

Stephen Silva ’10 said he enjoyed listening to Angel speak and approved of his work.

“[Pornography] helped me become comfortable with my own body, and it opened up forms of sexual expression that I simply wouldn’t have learned otherwise,” he said.

Sunday marked the last day of Sex Week at Yale.

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