Lou Sullivan was the first openly gay trans male in the US, or at least the first one in historical memory.
He contributed to the San Fransisco publication Golden Gate Guys in the late 1970s through the 1980s where he was open and honest about his transition and identity. His legacy is in his mentorship to other FTMs. In fact, you can view Lou’s archived letters, which have been preserved by the GLBT Historical Society, a society he helped create.
Today in 2017, Buck Angel also serves as a mentor to the FTM community through his project online site called Sexing The Trans Man, which is an online database of documented trans male sexuality. The site includes men who are open about their identity and sexual practices. These films are not just heterosexual encounters, they show sex with cis men, with disabled bodies, with trans women, with cis women, etc.
Like Lou, Buck embraces the possibility that being a male does not mean taking a female object choice. (Remember kids, sex and gender are separate from sexual orientation! Check out Trouble with Terms? for more!)
And, perhaps what’s more exciting is that today, because of Lou and Buck, activists like FTM Fucker’s James Darling can further stretch the boundaries. Darling’s queer porn is important because it shows a FTM body that is not hyper-masculine like Buck Angel’s, he said in an interview:
[People] hadn’t really seen a trans guy porn performer quite like me before. I’m never going to be a huge muscle daddy, and I think people found it really refreshing that I had a more gentle masculinity, but also had a very solidified lens to the kind of erotic representations I was doing. It was very different and people really liked it. That, coupled with social media, gave me a way to reach people that probably wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
Darling is trying to reach a wide audience while performing with all types of bodies in various different ways.
The contributions of these men do help to make the world a little easier for a FTM who might feel like their body, or their sexual orientation, is not acceptable.
Angel, Buck. “Sexing the Transman: Documenting Trans Male Sexuality.” Sexing the Transman. Buck Angel Entertainment, n.d. Web. <http://sexingthetransman.com/>.
“Lou Sullivan.” We’ve Been Around. 10 June 2016. YouTube. Web.
“Man-i-fest: FTM Mentorship in San Francisco from 1976 – 2009.” Cur. Megan Rohrer. N.d. Online exhibit.
Weisman, Carrie. “Meet the Transgender Porn Star Shining the Spotlight on Trans Sexuality.”Alternet. N.p., 01 Sept. 2015. Web. <http://www.alternet.org/sex-amp-relationships/meet-transgender-porn-star-shining-spotlight-trans-sexuality>.