Queer News

Why Are We Afraid To Talk About Gay Porn? by Conner Habib

COnner

 

After I was invited by a student group at Corning Community College to give a talk on sex and culture, my presentation was canceled when the school’s president found out that I do porn. This is exactly why we need to have more candid conversations about sex, porn and American culture.”

 

by Conner Habib

Corning, New York. Find it on the map: it hovers just above the Pennsylvania border, a long ways away from the two closest places you’ve heard of, Syracuse and Rochester. Like the small town I grew up in, it’s all alone.

Two months ago, I was approached by a curious and thoughtful group of students from Corning Community College. The students, including members of the school’s LGBT organization, invited me to speak at the school as part of their upcoming sex-positive community event, Sex Week. Other events during Sex Week include a Q&A about sex toys, and a discussion about pleasure and communication by members of Planned Parenthood and the Rape Crisis center.

In small towns like Corning, the loneliness that LGBT people can feel — for lack of community, peers, and resources — can sometimes be transformed into determination. When people from small towns feel like the discussions they want to have are absent, they work to create them. Their town and school, the students told me, needed more open discussions about sex, about LGBT issues, so they were going to make it happen.

I agreed to be a part of it, and administrators signed my speaker’s contract shortly thereafter.

Last week, I was informed by Corning Community College Vice President and Dean of Student Development, Don Heins, that the school’s president, Katherine Douglas, had singled out my talk and decided to cancel it, against student wishes. They agreed to honor the contract (which they’d signed off on and which contained a cancellation fee), but they were worried that the talk would be “controversial.” I wasn’t scheduled to speak about porn, but to talk more broadly on sex and culture. The reason I was banned was because she’d changed her mind after discovering that I was not, as she’d thought, an educator who used to be in porn, but rather a university instructor before I started appearing in adult films.

I was told she stated, emphatically and more than once, that pornography cannot and should not be linked to LGBT rights.

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Story via Buzzfeed