Published May 26, 2013While the fight for gay and lesbian rights continues to progress, with once peripheral members of society asserting their position as equals in a heteronormative world, another sexual revolution is unfolding for transgender individuals. One of the individuals steering the helm of this plight is a rather unlikely hero: a porn star known as "the man with a pussy;" his name is Buck Angel.
This self-described "man with a pussy" is muscular and has a shaved head and sculpted red beard, taking pride in his hyper-masculine appearance, frequently seen wearing biker clothes or smoking a cigar. Buck also happens to have the vagina he was born with and isn't shy about it either.
Director Dan Hunt followed Buck Angel over the span of 7 years, chronicling his life through a series of interviews with friends and family. Looking back at Buck when he was still female, we follow him from his tomboyish childhood through his young adult years as a female fashion model dabbling with cocaine and prostitution, all the way to his current life with wife Elayne and his work in the porn industry.
Buck's journey has been one of discovery, acceptance and advocacy. As his life eventually found direction—coincidentally, when he came to terms with who and what he was—he finally found peace and lives his life proudly.
Much more than an unconventional porn industry sex oddity, the ever-transformative Buck has begun to shift his focus to public speaking and advocacy. And therein lies the challenge: how do you get people to take you seriously when you've starred in such adult films as V for Vagina and Buck's Beaver, even if your message is one that should be heard?
The very idea of a porno flick featuring Buck being vaginally penetrated by a pre-op transgender woman is such a post-modern lampoon it's less pornographic than it is art. Buck's ideology is essentially that of a "fuck you" to traditionalist single-sex gender construct, constantly pushing the boundaries of society's views of what it truly means to be a man.
With the LGBT (previously GLBT until some lesbians made a power point presentation) acronym seemingly adding a new letter every few years, it can sometimes feel as though the path to acceptance is paved by a dense naming convention and petty arguments. What comes through in Dan Hunt's Mr. Angel is that acceptance isn't about pigeonholing or categorizing someone; it's more about empathy and demystification.
Buck Angel's plight to change the world's attitude towards transgender people will continue to be an uphill battle, but if anyone's up for the challenge, it's definitely him. (Pearl Wolf Productions)