As a culture, we can be quick to judge someone without really knowing the complete story. Last week a friend forwarded an article to me to read; at first I wasn't sure why I was reading this article. However, it was apparent that this man’s journey in the gay adult industry seemed short lived. Most of the article’s I could get a hold of focused on three tattoos, a comment made, and his arrest on drug charges.
I have learned over time there is more to a story than what's written in some publications. I am curious how this young man with a promising career went "downhill" so fast. What is his story and most importantly what happened?
Cameron Diggs didn't just fall into porn, nor was he looking for the chance to become involved in the industry. Instead, he started dancing at local clubs in the Dallas area. Cameron admitted it was the need for money and this was a good way earn some. Now Cameron is by all accounts and confirms that he is bisexual. That sex with either sex is enjoyable; he just prefers women over men. There have been reports that he is a gay-for-pay porn actor, and he states that "this was because until I did gay porn, I had never been with a man, a transsexual once, but that was it." He doesn't understand why his "sexual preference would become or be an issue since he's not the only guy doing gay porn that might be "straight."
I have to question the reason why some people might be so concerned about his sexuality. I mean how many gay porn actors are straight, and let's be honest their sexual preference isn't why we watch a gay porn scene.
Of course, I had to ask the question about three tattoos that have for some reason become a major concern. Cameron has an Iron Cross symbol on the upper right and left of his chest and SS lightning bolts on his right hip. Now before I go any further, let me just say this I had to look and then have someone point them out to me. With that said, did anyone just sit down and ask him the reasons? Or, did certain people just assume they knew the answer? First, let me say that there have been several gay porn films made using the Nazi/ Skinhead themes, do we judge them? Is there a difference? Don't say it's because their actors, and were just acting, I'm calling bullshit on that, what makes these films less offensive?
"I do respect everyone, regardless of color. I really look past a persons race, religion, or creed. It was never my intention to disrespect anyone, especially my fans. I know my behavior and actions would cause people to form a opinion about me, but like everyone I have made mistakes, and I continue to grow and learn from them."
Now I'm not making any excuses for racism, or racist behavior but just trying to see the difference. I asked Cameron directly the meaning of the tattoos, and he stated: "those tattoos I got while serving four years." He explained that when you go to prison, you have to choose sides and that prison is very racist and segregated whites with whites, blacks with blacks. To survive, you have to do things that normally you wouldn't do; he states "I had to prove myself. Therefore, I got into a fight and proved I was strong and not weak". The tattoos were placed there showing he had prison bravery and won a battle. He admits that he regrets the tattoos and they don't describe him as a person. He's very firm that he is not a racist, nor does he judge anyone based on religion, sexual preference, or skin color. It's not who he is, and those that know him understand who he is and what he believes in. I then asked about a comment that was reported in Str8UpPorn last summer in which he stated: "when it comes to having kids, I prefer to stay in my race." He explained that as a child and teenager his grandparents had adamant feelings about interracial children, it was their point of view, and it remains instilled in him even now. Does one comment make a person a racist? For me, it's' their actions, and from what I can tell there doesn't seem to be any indication that he supports any neo-Nazi/ white supremacy group(s), or aside from this one comment has not made any racist remarks. How many times have you gone onto Grindr, adam4adam, manhunt and found profiles with white/black only? You could argue that it's racist, or in most cases, you say "it's my preference." Either way, in my opinion, you have to look at all aspects of a person's behavior before labeling someone a racist.
Cameron does have a "bad boy" image (ok the tattoos are hot to me), one that he says comes naturally to him, and he has allowed that image to become too entwined with him as a person. Which he freely admits has created problems and misconceptions about who he is. Over the past seven years, he has dealt with a meth addiction; and this past February Cameron was arrested in Oak Lawn a suburb of Dallas. He stated, "this was a low point, I kept thinking that I was going to lose everything." I am not going to go further into this aspect of his life, and only because it is an open investigation.
Then Sketch Sex, a bareback site comes out with some promo video implying that Cameron was going to be seen doing a bareback scene. I asked Cameron to explain this, and he stated: "I was going to do the film because they offered me a substantial amount of money. However, my test results didn't come back in time, and therefore I was a stand in". Are you going to judge him now because he thought of doing a bb scene? As if he was the first to do this, guess what he's not (the list could be quite long).
We have all made mistakes some are more serious than other, but who are we sit and judge someone's life and actions. Do they directly affect you? Have his tattoos directly impacted your life? Did a stupid comment somehow derailed your life? I suppose if he were still fucking in gay porn you wouldn't care.
I have to admit I found my conversation with Cameron very open and direct. I've been doing this for a while, and it appeared to be sincere and genuine. I do wish him the very best of luck on his journey we call life When asked if he would ever like to return to gay porn Cameron stated "yes, I would like to. I miss my fans, performing, and dancing".
Images are the property of Cameron Diggs and cannot be copied and/or reproduced without written permission.
Have you ever wondered how the hell you became friends with someone? I wondered about my friendship with Troy, it’s not like we just “hit it” off. In fact I always thought that Troy was snobbish, stuck-up, and a bitch. You have to understand that while we knew many of the same people we never conversed. From what I can remember he just sat next to me and said hi, and to be honest I thought this bitch is going to put a knife in my back. However, like most of my friendships they just happened, I don’t go out and seek people to be my friends, they just happen.
Since then I do consider Troy to be a close and dear friend, and I enjoy his company. He comes across as shy and reserved, but once you get to know him, he’s really a true friend.
Troy is currently the President of the Lords of Leather in New Orleans. A position he takes very seriously and with determined dedication. He has been involved in the leather community for 30 years (he joined the Lords in 2010). For him it’s about the freedom of expression, the ability to be himself. The friendships he has built over the years, and it’s more than wearing leather it’s about a community. When he won the title of Mr. Louisiana Leather, it allowed him to engage with the LGBT community. His platform was giving a broader exposure to local LGBT organizations. When he went to IML (International Mr. Leather) in Chicago, It wasn’t about winning but about making his community proud (placed 25th out of 53).
"I am a really nice person, just don't assume I'm a pushover. People who see me in my street clothes would never guess I'm into the leather scene". Troy Powel
Troy is currently the 2017 Mr. Gay Pride New Orleans. An honor that he says surprised him and stated “the fact the board of Gay Pride thought enough of me is truly an honor”. He admits that he has a short window of opportunity to fight for a cause, but regardless of what he does he is still honored to be a representation of the LGBT community here in New Orleans.
Asked what advice he would give someone who is interested in the leather community, he states “learn where the traditions sprang from and the meanings behind them, earn your leather, and be true to yourself”. When asked about the Mr. Louisiana Leather sash he commented that he is “very protective of the sash; it means something, and it’s an honor to wear it”.
Troy will admit that having a high profile in the local LGBT community places high expatiations, and thus can wear on him at times. But he also understands that this is price you pay if you want to affect change.
Regardless of what anyone thinks of the leather community, I’ve learned that it’s a tight knit community. Friendships and respect are earned, and basically about self-expression. Troy is a member of this unique community, something he never takes for granted. I am honored that I took the time to get to know him, and understand his point of view.
Images are the property of Troy Powell and cannot be copied and/or reproduced without written permission.