Bucking the System: Buck Angel presents at SIU


Nicole Tillberg | @NicoleTillberg

Adult film actor Buck Angel speaks about his struggles as a trans man during the 70’s and 80’s on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 inside the Student Center. Southern Illinois University invited Angel to be a keynote speaker for LGBTQ+ Month.

By Juniper Oxford, Staff Reporter

He’s the inventor of the first lube for trans men. He’s a sex toy creator. He’s an adult film star and producer. And, he’s an advocate for human rights.

Celebrity Buck Angel gave a presentation about his life and about sexual wellness. Angel also gave his advice and insight to SIU students. 

“People think I am a trans activist,” Angel said. “I am a human rights activist. For me, it’s creating a space for us all to have a space in this world.” 


The presentation chronicled Angel’s life and his experiences with his transition. He gave an honest, unfiltered view into his transition and childhood that preceded it. 

After the presentation, Angel talked to event attendees and gave them complementary posters. 

“Buck is an inspiration, he is an asset to the community,” Myles Miranda, a junior studying Paralegal Studies, said. “Thank you for paving the way, tranpa.” 

Angel’s journey brought him to where he is now, as a successful businessman. He acknowledged it is difficult for trans people to break into some professional fields but it can be done, as he did around twenty years ago with his business. 

“I created the first lube for trans men,” Angel said. “I think product creates conversation.” 

His efforts in business have been aimed towards aiding a community that has long been ignored: the trans community. 

“I created the first LGBT-focused cannabis company. I donate part of the proceeds toward the LGBT Center Senior Services,” Angel said. 


Angel also said he hires young individuals from the community so the younger generation can gain professional experience that will help them in the long run. 

In addition to creating lube and “genital affirmation toys” for trans men, Angel is also creating a line of products for the trans community, including pH balancing hygienic soap, beard oil and shaving cream. 

Angel said he admires Jazz Jennings as a younger member of the trans community. 

“She is a beautiful, amazing soul,” Angel said. 

Angel spoke about the divide among the older generation and the younger generation of the trans community. He said the number one cause of rift between older and younger generations of the trans community is language.

“You cannot challenge other people’s identity because you do not like it,” Angel said about the generational difference between those who prefer different identifying labels. 

Angel uses the term “transsexual,” and the younger generation typically uses the term “transgender.” 

“To create less of a divide, we need to have conversation,” Angel said. “We need to have a dialogue in order to bridge that divide.”

Agreeing with someone and respecting them are not the same thing, Angel said. Understanding personal differences and accepting that he said he believes is vital going forward. 

“Coming together and understanding that we as a group do not come together and understand our differences we will actually die,” Angel said. 

Angel said he remembers being 57-years-old and coming from the AIDs movement.

“I lost all of my friends,” Angel said.

He said he lost many of his friends to the AIDs crisis in just a six month period.

Angel said he believes division in the community will make it easier to divide the community from the rest of society. 

“Us coming together is a lot more powerful than us being separate,” Angel said.

Reporter Juniper Oxford can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter at @JuniperOxford.

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