Every Wednesday The CSPH highlights a Sexuality Professional you should keep your eye on. Their backgrounds are very diverse in order to bring attention to the wide variety of amazing people working in the field. This week we bring you Courtney Trouble!
1. What do you do in the field of sexuality?
I am a pornographer. I am the owner of indiepornrevolution.com and queerporn.tv, and have made over 13 films. I am also an adult performer.
2. Where are you based out of?
Oakland, CA and the Bay Area – started this work in Olympia, WA 10 years ago.
3. What is your focus? What do you do?
I generally make what’s called “queer porn” – I coined the term when I started NoFauxxx.Com in 2002 – porn made by ladies, artists, and queers – and the queer aspect just kind of took over and became a “movement” that other performers and film-makers picked up. My passion is documenting people living out their authentic queer sexualities, kink identities, gender presentations, et cetera.
4. What are your particular goals and passions in the field?
I would call my work anti-oppression based pornography because I try to make porn that challenges the societal structures that oppress people of color, people of size, and trans* folks inherent in massmedia, and most especially the rigid stereotypes enforced in the adult industry.
5. Why did you choose to work in this field?
As a queer fat femme performer, I found there was a lack of pornography that represented my community back in 2002. As an artist, I used photography and computer-based media to express my ideas. Up to a few years ago it was simply a hobby, not a job. I first chose to work in the sex industry (as a phone sex operator) because of the freedom it provided me – queer pornography found it’s way into my life as a war cry against everything I thought was fucked up in the world. I created my own utopia – one where a fat genderqueer computer nerd turns into a porn star and everybody gets to be sexy without fear of humiliation or violence.
6. Where did you go for school/training?
I have two degrees, an AA and a BA, both in general liberal arts. I spent a great deal of time at both colleges (Tacoma Community College and Evergreen State College) studying photography and art history, along with a bit of journalism.
7. Do you have any literature out (websites, articles)?
I don’t have a whole lot of “literature” but my blog at http://courtneytrouble.com has a lot of interesting writing. All of my photography and film work lives at http://indiepornrevolution.com and http://queerporn.tv or in various films that I have made, the extent of which can be found at http://realqueerporn.com.
8. What would you recommend to future professionals attempting to get into the field?
Have a day job – neither queer porn performance or website-running will pay out the same as other jobs will – at least not for a few years, if your work becomes popular. This is a labor of love, and if you don’t have the time or energy to put in hours and hours of editing and web coding work – you’ll have to pay someone to do all that. Porn itself can be made with anything – I’ve used a lot of cheap cameras and lighting set ups in my day – the quality doesn’t live in the gear or you’re chops as a traditional film-maker. The quality in queer porn lies in the content – what are you showing? What’s your message? Who is your audience? What do you want to show and tell the world?
9. What is the most challenging aspect for you working in this career?
I have made a commitment to myself to be accountable for my actions, or for my lack of actions. I take authenticity and the diversity of desire, and diversity in general, very seriously in my work. I want “queer porn” to be as representative of various queer communities as possible – but while still being an artist with personal interests and emotions and inspirations. Sometimes it’s hard to balance what I want to do with what needs to be done. The solution to this has just been to shoot as much as I possibly can, with anybody who shows up – or if a subsection of queer living isn’t being represented – why aren’t they showing up and how can I manifest outreach in an ethical, community-building manner? How can I step back and act like an ally to others? How can I ask for allies of my own?
10. One must read-what would you recommend? Why?
I’m tempted to say Tumblr.Com because there are so many voices. And perhaps Original Plumbing Magazine, Whipping Girl, and Bitch Magazine.
courtney trouble: performer / director / artist