Coming Out Like a Porn Star

I read Jiz Lee’s Coming out Like a Porn Star over spring break and was so happy I finally had some time for pleasure reading. This book totally delivered on being thought-provoking, insightful, and providing diverse and unique perspectives from a wide range of people, and reignited my thoughts about my own coming out questions related to dancing. If you’re looking to expand your understanding of what it means to work in the porn industry and how workers negotiate and navigate the coming out process (to family, friends, lovers, kids, straight jobs/employers, the world) I highly recommend this anthology.

For me, I think about:

Who is safe to come out to as a stripper? Do I have a sense already of their sex work politics? How risky is this? What is the likelihood that this relationship is at risk if I come out?

When does someone deserve to know, or when have they earned the intimacy in their relationship with me to know?

What are the potential consequences, negative and positive, of coming out? And in what domains- professionally, socially, romantically, mentally, emotionally, etc?

What are my values? How does coming out fit in, or not, with my values?

Largely my coming out experiences have been positive (socially). Academically and professionally, my experiences have been mixed, with a heavy dose of awful (if you’ve been reading my blog for years you know the story). Some family knows (some because I told them and some because they found out through my blog), and some family doesn’t (as far as I know). It’s a constant negotiation I process of who gets to know when and how and why and for whose benefit and at what cost, and certainly reminds me of my coming out process as queer and poly (and I can imagine may be similar to a trans person’s coming out process).

đź’–

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