The speaker was an angel

Porn star, educator, writer, activist and lGBTIQ icon Buck Angel is the world’s most famous trans man. Angel is en route to the city of churches to share his story at Feast Festival.

Porn star, educator, writer, activist and lGBTIQ icon Buck Angel is the world’s most famous trans man. Angel is en route to the city of churches to share his story at Feast Festival. Buck Angel was always drawn to the “irregular”. Born a girl in the wrong body, Buck grew up a self-confessed loner in California’s San Fernando Valley in the 1980s. Lagging in school and labeled a “dummy”, at 16 he revealed that he felt like a man. When his parents almost institutionalised him, Angel’s early artistic bent became a therapeutic outlet for his gender dysphoria. It also laid the foundations for his rich career to come in adult entertainment and LGBTIQ education. Now a certified icon, Angel is en route to the city of churches for Feast Festival, where he’ll reveal how he carved out his status as the world’s most famous trans man. Immortalised in bronze, a strident likeness of Buck Angel stands proud at the Art Gallery of South Australia. It’s here that Angel will join AGSA Director Nick Mitzevich to speak of playing muse to Marc Quinn, the British visual artist who captured Angel’s unique naked physique. Education is the aim of the evening, as Angel will discuss how he came to feel completely comfortable in his own skin. “Not necessarily how I feel about my gender or becoming a man,” Angel clarifies, “but more about becoming a person who respects myself and loves myself and has accomplished so much more in the world by just becoming that.” Angel’s early accomplishments were in the adult entertainment industry, where his career was full of firsts. A lack of trans representation pushed Angel to become a prominent figure in the industry, disappointed that he “didn’t see anything that was positive… or even out there about a man like me”. Angel became the first trans man to appear in an all-male adult film. He co-starred in the first sex scene shared by a trans man and trans woman; and was the first man to take home the title of Transsexual Performer of the Year at the AVN Awards (the adult industry Oscars). Though his pioneering work in porn is vitally important, Angel’s achievements are not bound to adult entertainment alone. Now an inspirational speaker and activist, Angel notes, “I’ve been doing my work for 12 years and it’s just in the last three that more people are… letting me have a voice. Prior to that I was just associated with pornography and throughout the world ‘pornography’ is a dirty word, right? So people don’t necessarily want to hear you speak.” After ‘rebranding’ himself as a motivational speaker, “people started to come to me and listen to me, so then I started seeing that my voice is powerful,” he says. Angel’s new life has him headed to “any venue in any place in the world that wants to listen”, and Adelaide’s Feast Festival makes the top of the list. During his packed jaunt he’ll present an informal lecture, a trans health workshop and two groundbreaking documentaries. He’ll also attend the International Transgender Day of Remembrance as an honoured special guest. Each of his appearances in Adelaide will promote self-acceptance and celebration. Having never sought genital surgery, Angel’s story busts the myth that the penis maketh the man. His transformation from desperately depressed and chronically uncomfortable to sexually secure and radiant with pride sends a message of triumph throughout the international LGBTIQ community and beyond. Praise to he who bucks the system. Feast Festival
 Saturday, November 15 to Sunday, November 30 feast.org.au Second image: Buck with Cigar, Marc Quinn. Photo: Sam Noonan

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