Buck Angel and Elayne Angel are getting a divorce.

This is not all that big a deal to me. Marriages often end in divorce.

Buck Angel is a trans man, award-winning porn star, and activist who has branded himself "The Man with a Pussy." He is extremely masculine, well-muscled - and he has a vagina (or as he has sometimes said, "mangina").


Elayne Angel is a world-famous body piercer, the author of The Piercing Bible - The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing, and the president the Association of Professional Piercers (APP), which is "an international health and safety organization. It is a nonprofit voluntary alliance dedicated to the dissemination of information about body piercing."

What is a big deal, to me, is that TMZ broke the news today of Elayne Angel's tactic to avoid paying spousal support: To claim their marriage was never legal. (warning, some of TMZ's language is pretty gross).


Why? Because Louisiana, where they married in 2003, does not recognize gender changes without "sex reassignment or corrective surgery." This has been seen as meaning (in LA) what's known as "bottom surgery," where the patient's genitals are surgically altered to provide physical traits more appropriate to the trans man's male identity and functioning.

There are some problems with Elayne's claim.

First, Buck Angel said in a 2005 interview that his passport says he is legally male, and "I could be legally married in the US because I'm legally a man." He also states that in California, where he was born, they require sex reassignment surgery and a doctor's note to get a legal sex change (as it was described at the time), but that what surgery counts as SRS is unclear and his "top surgery" (where his breasts were removed and his chest was contoured to a more "male" shape) was enough.


Second, Elayne Angel herself said in a 2013 Reddit AMA that "Buck is all man".

And third, there are many cisgender people who will only respect trans people's gender identities as long as they like them. But when they have an argument, suddenly they might say things like, "It's not like you're a real man/woman." This is particularly vicious in the case of people who were married for over a decade. This is a disgusting level of personal betrayal on the part of Elayne, who seemed extremely supportive of Buck's gender identity until he asked for $2,000 per month in spousal support, and alleged she secretly moved $500,000 out of their joint account.


Trans people are the gender they feel they are. Just because you're upset by them or don't like them (and to be frank, Buck Angel has said some shitty things, so I wouldn't blame anyone for not liking him) or you stand to personally gain by it, that's no excuse to claim their stated gender identity is not valid.