But all these types of porn share things in common. "I think we are all outcasts," Trouble told me when I ask if there's a big difference between queer and mainstream actors. "You have to be pretty courageous and strong to be in the porn industry. I think even Jenna Jameson would admit to being a total weirdo."
"I'D LIKE TO THANK MY ASSHOLE"
The weekend's climax for queer porn did not take place at a podium. Best Alternative Website didn't win its category, which turns out is among the B-list honors that are announced in a quick scrolling of names on a Jumbotron at the AVN ceremony's terminus anyways.
The high point instead, was the red carpet. "That's where I shine the most," Trouble told me. Arms draped around each other's tuxes and sequined mini-dresses, queer porn stalked the lane in front of the flashbulbs and broadcast press with aplomb. It looked like they'd been doing it for years, which speaks to their professional talent — actors James Darling and Charlie Spats were walking as the second and third trans men ever on the AVNs' carpet (Buck Angel, winner of 2007's AVN for Best Transsexual Performer, was the first).
Queer dominatrix Princess Donna of San Francisco's Kink.com walked the gauntlet arm-in-arm with Bobbi Starr, who would later accept the AVN for Best Female Performer. Hartley was there with her husband, and chatted with me about her role in queer porn education. "It helps that I can pass for a normie," she laughed. "The presence of my physical self allows the message to sink in. I believe in this [queer porn] to my core."
In the moment, it seemed that queer porn was truly a force in the industry. The week after the awards, I forwarded Trouble a photo of herself with an arm around a beaming Ron Jeremy on the red carpet. She cropped and lightened it before reposting on her Facebook page with the note "Ron Jeremy, you have made some seriously hot porn. I am a fan!"
But when it came time to watch the awards themselves — a drawn-out, logistically disastrous affair whose 2012 highlight was Best Anal Scene champ (and winner of seven awards in total) Asa Akira's acceptance speech: "I'd like to thank my asshole for putting up with all my shenanigans!" — the core queer porn team was nowhere to be found. Beat from hours on their high heels in front of the cameras, Horn, Trouble, and co-stars went out for a "steak and a Manhattan," rather than settling in with overpriced drinks to watch teleprompter flubs and malfunctioning clip reels.
Once again, the queer porn stars were taking what they wanted from the adult industry and leaving the rest. Explains Horn: "everyone was on their magic phones and on Twitter people were saying how terrible everything was. I was putting marrow on toast and I was like, eh, I don't think I'm going to make it."
But they met up with those who did attend the awards for the after-party. And yes, there was a hot tub involved.
Special thanks to Broke Ass Stuart for supplying the headline of this article. Porn + words = Stuart.