BRIDGING THE DIVIDE
Female-to-male erotica legend Buck Angel descends on Big D to spread his emancipating gospel
BY DANIEL KUSNER
Near the Ervay and Main Street crosswalk in downtown Dallas, a disheveled man approaches Buck Angel and asks for spare change.
Reaching into his back pocket, Buck fishes a dollar bill from his handsome leather wallet.
“Get yourself a cup of coffee. You. Need. A. Cup. Of. Coffee,” Buck crisply articulates each syllable.
The man accepts Buck’s kindness and bows his head in great respect.
“I used to be homeless,” Buck says while crossing the street. “One dollar won’t buy him any coffee. But at least I’ve planted the idea. That way he might not spend it on alcohol.”
Buck had a different name during his homeless period: Susan.
In the mid-’80s, Susan was an androgynous high-fashion model represented by Elite Management — the agency that exploded with success after discovering Cindy Crawford. While photographers loved Susan’s androgyny, the profits went right up her nose.
She self-medicated a painfully unresolved gender dilemma.
After cocaine destroyed Susan’s promising fashion career, she bound her chest with Ace bandages and wore baseball hats to perform $20 blowjobs in order to score crack. Her addiction quickly led to homelessness.
Almost 30 years later, Buck Angel can speak lightheartedly of Susan’s tragic past.
While drinking coffee at Porta di Roma’s outdoor patio near the Neiman Marcus flagship, Buck scrolls through photos of Susan on his iPhone. While discussing the image that accompanies this article, I mention that the freckles and smile make Susan look happy.
“You think?” Buck asks. “I see sadness in the eyes.”
Susan eventually found sobriety and corrected her gender conflict.
Almost 25 years later, Susan has morphed into a muscle-daddy known as Buck Angel, the female-to-male porn legend.
As an award-winning performer, Buck straddles a number of erotic genres: leather, kink, gay, lesbian, transsexual and even “feminist porn.”
At 51, Buck now lives in Mexico’s Yucatán region with his legally recognized wife, Elayne.
Buck recently visited Dallas to deliver the keynote at the 22nd annual Beyond Vanilla conference. His speech was a sold-out success — a first in Beyond Vanilla history.
“It was incredible. After my talk, people cried while thanking me because my message affected them so much,” Buck recalls.
What’s his message?
“Deprogram yourselves!” Buck says. “The source of so many problems is when people try to force themselves into some type of box: Gay. Straight. Bi. Transgender. Man. Woman …. People box themselves in so they can relate to the world. Because that’s what society understands.
“I’m really happy with my body because I’m a man with a pussy,” Buck continues. “I’m proud of my pussy. But I identify as a man — not because it’s society’s definition. I’m my own man.”
Buck was raised in a hyper-masculine household. His dad was a runningback who earned a living playing for a professional Canadian football team.
His mom, however, served as a demure and dutiful wife.
“To me, my femaleness was a weakness. I strived for strength. My dad raised me to be a fighter,” he says.
When he was 10 years old, Buck was caught wearing his dad’s underwear. And if a family occasion called for the daughters to wear skirts, a tornado of rebellion would erupt. Buck says his family is supportive and loving, and that his two sisters weren’t at all surprised by Susan’s manly transformation.
Buck’s transformation, however, continues.
His focus is shifting away from performer and toward being a messenger. However, his message is one that’s unrestricted by political correctness or having to represent a particular group.
“Listen, I do not identify as a ‘transman.’ And in no way whatsoever do I represent the transgender community. I think the transgender community needs to deprogram itself,” he says.
“The transgender community has made some great accomplishments. But I feel they’re boxing themselves in with their rigid use of labels. GLAAD and militant transgender people have criticized me for using the word ‘tranny,’ which I totally disagree with. But I don’t speak for anyone other than myself,” Buck says.
Perhaps Chaz Bono enjoys being a GLAAD-sanctioned celebrity. But Bono has announced that he’s pursuing penis-construction surgery.
“If you want that, more power to you. But I don’t think the procedure is up to par with my expectations of perfectionism,” Buck says.
Buck recalls a trans friend who underwent phalloplasty — where a penis was constructed from an arm tendon and tissue from his backside.
“He ended up with, like, a sock of flesh that had stitching marks down the middle. This mass was somehow attached to his body. Then he spent six painful months recovering from skin grafts, which left him covered with scars," Buck recalls.
“Before my friend killed himself, he told me with tears in his eyes, ‘If I’d met you beforehand, I would have never had the surgery.’”
Buck keeps tabs on advances in bottom surgery.
“But if you look at the results of procedures performed today, the pictures look exactly the same as they did 20 years ago. On top of that, 50 percent lose their ability to have an orgasm,” Buck says.
Buck says those remarks have caused the transgender community to label him a “trans misogynist.”
“Listen, dude,” Buck says. “I don’t have a penis. And I’m the happiest man in the world.”
EVOKE magazine: Nov 2012