Inspired after reading Mike Stabile’s article on how gay pornographers in the 1950’s helped pave the way for the LGBT rights movement, gay porn star Josiah Jennings wrote a thoughtful blog post about why he made the choice to be in gay porn.

“Being a gay porn star isn’t just a job,” he wrote. “To be a gay porn star is to be a symbol of sexual freedom. I take great pride in my work, both as an artist and as a symbol.”

Stabile’s forthcoming documentary, Seed Money, celebrates the life of Chuck Holmes, the gay pornographer who founded Falcon Studios. Decades have passed since Holmes first battled societal and legal oppression, but today Stabile and Jennings are still facing the stigma associated with gay porn.

Stabile’s documentary aims to legitimize gay porn by unearthing the historical and cultural context of its early beginnings. While Jennings sees gay porn today as the continued beacon of sexual liberation for gay men.

Jennings writes:

The gay rights movement is fundamentally about sexuality. We, the LGBT community, are sexual deviants. There isn’t a more perfect depiction of our sexuality than the very act of gay sex, no greater display of pride than gay pornography. Gay pornographic actors are symbols—gay sex symbols—representing our sexuality in its crudest form. As Stabile said in his Huffington Post piece, “We might scoff at porn theaters now, but looking up at that screen, a closeted man could see promise of gay life that was open and positive, with larger-than-life men who were bold and unashamed in ways he might only aspire to be.”

Going deeper than its hedonistic surface, doing porn actually means something to me. I take pride in doing pornography because it’s gay pornography. I am a gay male in a patriarchal, misogynistic, homophobic, heteronormative society. I grew up in the Bible Belt of the United States. It’s likely few things defy that more than an atheist, biracial male of black and white ethnicity plowing and getting plowed by other males and deep-throating their cock for all the world to see. To use a quote often misattributed to Ayn Rand (whom I detest), “The question isn’t who’s going to let me, it’s who’s going to stop me?”

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