For Pride, Falcon and NakedSword have released a mini-documentary called PRIDE: Pornstar Coming Out Stories. The feature recounts the coming out experiences of Cade Maddox, Josh Moore, Skyy Knox, and Steven Lee along with August Alexander, Leo Forte, Beaux Banks, Dante Colle, Mickey Taylor, Adam Ramzi, Adrian Hart, Logan Stevens, Sharok, Boomer Banks, Colton Reece, Max Konnor, Riley Mitchel, Sean Zevran, Wade Wolfgar, Zario Travezz, Devin Franco, Drew Sebastian, Liam Riley, and Nic Sahara.
"I'm so impressed with these stories, some of these guys have had an easy time coming out and some not so easy, but all of them have one thing in common: they are all brave men for sharing their stories and baring it all on camera in a whole new way," Tim Valenti, Falcon and NakedSword president, said in a statement. "I'm proud that we are able to share their stories on NakedSword."
Some of us never had a "coming out" because there never was a closet to be in. Such was the case with Skyy Knox who said he was supported from a young age. "I was born out," he said. "I have been gay my entire life, since I was a child." This went from pointing out hot guys at the mall from a young age to playing with dolls and in heels that his mother bought him. The support ran through the rest of his family according to him.
Though some of us that live in big cities can feel like half of the world is gay, it's a stark difference from many living in small towns. Such was the case for Max Konnor who grew up in small-town Georgia, where he was ordained as a minister at 14 and became the pastor of a church at 16. But moving to New York to pursue musical theater, he was introduced to something entirely new. "I was suddenly surrounded by a lot of different things and a lot of different people I had never experienced in my liittle town," he said. "It forced me to realize some things about myself." One of those things was his sexuality.
As a result, Konnor wrote an email to his parents, who already had their own suspicions. "Sending that letter for me, there was not only the fear of letting my family down but of letting my whole church community down," he said. "It was received a lot better than I was expecting it to be received."
Remember the days of MySpace? Cade Maddox definitely does as the social platform was integral to his coming out. After messaging a guy on the site while in high school, his sisters got into his account and saw the messages, later outing him to his mom. "I was taking my mom somewhere one day and she just asked 'are you gay?'" he recalled. Taken aback, he decided to come clean. Kind of. "I think my answer was 'no, I'm bisexual.' It was just easier to say at the time." He received support from his whole family.
Ramzi's story was more complex than some. "I grew up in an Armenian-American community and I grew up in a divorced family so I feel like I had to come out twice," he said. It took until age 21, even after dating someone for the coming out to occur. "I was so scared of what it actually meant to call yourself gay so even the first man I dated, I still thought that afterwards I was going to eventually meet a girl and get married because that's what men did," he said. "Especially Armenian men."
When he came to the realization that wasn't his future, he told his mother who was very supportive. His father ended up forcing the coming out, having already suspected, in an extremely intense scene. When Ramzi told him what he wanted to hear, his father became quiet and said "why don't you just put a bullet in my head." Ramzi's sister, who is also queer and had come out before, was also present.
"It really, really hurt to hear those words," Ramzi said. "I realized that he wasn't saying this out of hate, he was saying this out of fear." Since, the family has strengthened its relationship.
Hart realized his sexuality early, at 13. After dating a girl for about a week he realized it wasn't for him and moved on. But he wouldn't have his coming out moment until he was 16.
After parents discovered messages between him and a guy, they deleted every guy's number from his phone as a preventative measure. "But I was steadfast in that like 'I'm gay and I probably shouldn't have been taling to someone that was 20 but I'm not going to therapy,'" he said. And while they asked whether he wanted to wear a dress and transition, he clarified things pretty succinctly: "No, I'm still the same person. I just like dick mom and dad."
Apparently Beaux Banks was the last to find out he was gay. Though he was engaged in gay sex, he didn't identify as gay. "No, I'm just me," he would reply.
At age 21, his mom had enouugh and demanded an explination for the gay porn she was finding on the computer and phone. So there, at church, Banks finally fessed up.
"Once I had the conversation with my mom, I had no problem saying I was gay," he said.
While Boomer Banks didn't have a "coming out" per se, it certainly wasn't easy. "I dont really have a coming out story because I was queer from the get go and unapologetic about it," he said. "I was the kid that if you called him a faggot, I was like 'oh yeah, what's up? What are we talking about?'" And though that sounds ultimately cool and self-assured, it certainly didn't make for an easy childhood, with Banks explaining that growing up in California involved a lot of "hair pulling," "face scratching," and "copious" amounts of fights. "It was very hard to be who I was."
"I was actually in rehab when I was 16 years old and I think a part of why I ended up going to rehab was the difficulty I had with accepting myself as a gay person," Sharok said. For him, being gay was a death sentence being that he grew up in the 1990s during the HIV/AIDS epidemic and a family member died of the disease. But, while in rehab, he came out to his girlfriend at the time and then went on to tell his parents later. While his mother was immediately accepting, it took his father a minute before he later came around.
Growing up Mormon in New Mexico, Franco decided to come out after prom. But, knowing how religious his family was, he did so prepared to be kicked out and lose his car. Once he got home his parents were already sleeping.
"I started crying while thinking about it," Franco said. His crying eventually woke up his mother. "At that point it was kind of like an emotional avalanche and I just let it all out and told her that I was gay." Franco said that while they have grown to accept him, his family still believes he shouldn't act on his homosexuality.
While he respects and realizes that some people have fraught or more complicated coming out experience, Zevran's was pretty smooth sailing. "I kind of just let people figure it out," he said. "The first person in my immediate family that figured it out was my mom." At the time, Zevran was a gogo dancer performing in gay clubs. As photos of him performing made their way to Facebook, the began to pop into his mom's feed which prompted her to ask the question.