NY Mirror

The inevitable first question for BUCK ANGEL, the female-to-male transsexual porn star who's billed as "a real man with a real cunt"—is, "Is it true, dear?" "Yes," Buck told me matter-of-factly last week. "That's my claim to fame. Look it up." I already had, naturally—I was merely seeking cunty confirmation. But I didn't quite understand how much of a real man Buck could be, considering that his crotch taco has not only survived, it's thrived beyond all expectation. Buck explained all that, saying he's gone the male-hormones-and- chest-reduction route, but he's held on to his vagina "because I didn't think that particular procedure was going to work for me. It's not as advanced as male-to-female surgery. And I don't need a piece of meat between my legs that doesn't work." "Like mine?" I smirked. "Let's just keep that silent," Buck said, laughing.

The tattoo-sporting, cigar-chomping stud-with-a-gash makes no secret of the fact that, growing up the ultimate tomboy, he was the proverbial straight guy trapped in a butch woman's body. He ended up dating the ladies, "but it was more as a man, though in female form. I never related to the lesbian community." I guess he was closer to a JODIE FOSTER/JANET RENO type than a PORTIA DE ROSSI or ELTON JOHN.

Actually, he was most like a Brandon Teena, but minus the trickery and the tragedy. After transitioning, Buck became a one-of-a-cunt porn icon, not only making movies with gay men (among others), but making them largely for gay men. You heard me—no, really, kids. Throngs of normally "fish"-hating queers not only refrain from throwing battery acid at this vagina, they actually get aroused by it. Did someone slip them some Cooze-Aid? "Gay men are totally pussyphobic," Buck admitted, "but I'm opening doors to them. Finding me hot doesn't make them not gay because as you can see I'm totally a man—I just happen to have a vagina. A lot of guys want to fuck a pussy; they're just not attracted to a woman. And here comes Buck Angel! Two holes are better than one!" (So true, so true. Hand me the power drill.)

Buck Angel covers his crotch taco
Buck Angel covers his crotch taco

Hetero males, it turns out, are far less willing to give at the orifice, at least in this kooky case. "I'm generally very threatening to straight men," said Buck, not worried. "In my work I'm saying you don't need a penis to be a man. What does that say about them? Straight men are all about their cocks!" Which in far too many cases means they're all about two to four lifeless inches of failed menace.

A couple of open-minded straighties do get off on Buck's freak appeal, but the star has resisted attempts to market himself as an oddity, preferring to be sold as a hot, sexy guy with a serious following (and who never fakes orgasms, by the way). "I'm shaking people up," he told me, excitedly, "saying the world isn't black and white. People want everybody to be in a box and be this or that. I'm not this or that." But of course he has a box—and though I may not necessarily want to fuck it, I definitely want to watch it. But let's just keep that silent.

Buck showed up for support when a bunch of dead-cow-wearing queens, tired of the diminishing leather/kink scene in New York, staged a "leather invasion" at MOMA to make a public statement against hiding one's hides. (The informal new group targeted the museum because it's so public and leather gays are collectible art pieces, after all.) I can certainly understand their pain over the current lack of more ritualized pain, but I have a theory as to why new generations may not be picking up on leather/fetish any more than they're doing so with James Dean. It's not only because of the Internet and the sanitization of the New York nocturnal landscape, it's because now that homosex isn't nearly as taboo as before, the gays don't need to use as many visual signifiers to find each other, don't feel as driven to dive into macho types, and don't tend to develop as many kinks around the sex act. Yes, there will always be fetishes, thank God—and Buck Angel is showing how wide the palette can get—but the more acceptable gay love becomes, I can bet you, the fewer whips, chains, tubs, and harnesses you'll find en route to City Hall. Now go ahead and whip me for that. (The event's organizers, by the way, feel the leather dudes are out there, they just need to be better mobilized. Fine—whip them.)

There was no hardcore s&m at the Writers Guild of America awards at the Waldorf, but it was a tad kinky when the sultan of bad taste JOHN WATERS stepped up to the podium to present the plaque for children's television. "It was between me and LARRY FLYNT," the director deadpanned. When the guffaws subsided, Waters lifted his eyebrow even higher to the ceiling and stated, "Choosing me to present this almost offends me. I mean, I like children and they like me, but I know I look like a child molester. It's awkward sometimes." Still, he presented the thing and even revealed why children's TV is important—"It gives kids something to do besides watch porn on their computers, because apparently that's not healthy." Well, I think kids should watch Waters's Pink Flamingos on their computers; it's an official American classic now that AMC's Movies That Shook the World series honored it with a very rich half-hour of the gayest TV since The Paul Lynde Halloween Special.

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