RISK MAGAZINE: How can we embrace our bodies and our own sexuality without the stigmas associated
Aaron Porter: I think alleviating ourselves from stigmas will be a lifelong challenge, but the exploration of
our sexuality is essential. Stigmas are not going anywhere, people will always judge, but this is our life, our
bodies and we decide how we use them. Only by embracing ourselves in our truest forms will we reach a
higher frequency and understanding of what it really means to live.
RISK MAGAZINE: Do you see your body as art? Have you always seen it that way? What work did it take
to see that?
Aaron Porter: Absolutely – it has definitely not always been that way though. I can remember a time in
which I would try to hide my body/my curves. My shape was not the same as all the white kids or even the
boys/men I had ever seen. I started dance training later in life when it became viable for me & through
learning to move and doing choreography etc. the body does become art, but even in dance training I
would be attacked for the dominance of my ass – my teachers treated my body as if I was caucasian,
which obviously didn’t work.
"We as black people have gained the opportunity to call outracism when we see it without being able to receive a completely negative reply. The Black Lives Matter movement really has opened a lot of eyes (not all), and has meant the conversation is easier to bring up without the regular “you're just being sensitive” reply."
RISK MAGAZINE: What does self love and self celebration look like for you?
Aaron Porter: It looks like music, friendships or a sweaty rave! Often in a thong Ha!
RISK MAGAZINE: Have you noticed any recent shift in the way Black people have reclaimed their bodies
and their sexuality from a dominant white gaze? aka - have you noticed any recent shift in the way Black
people have taken ownership of their bodies separate from ... * the control of white people * ?
Aaron Porter: I really have noticed the change – we as black people have gained the opportunity to call out
racism when we see it without being able to receive a completely negative reply. The Black Lives Matter
movement really has opened a lot of eyes (not all), and has meant the conversation is easier to bring up
without the regular “you're just being sensitive” reply. I have seen a lot less racial preferences on the apps
which has been great and the confidence within our community has risen!
RISK MAGAZINE: How does the desirability of masculinity affect the way you present yourself?
Aaron Porter: I wear a lot of female clothing and I am crazy confident in it, however I am aware most of the
community would not necessarily be into it. I try not to let that change how I dress though. I wouldn’t, for
example, go home and change before meeting someone. So they might catch me in a crop top, but If I’m
coming from my house I’d probably be in a tracksuit already so I wouldn’t have to worry. After meeting me I
think it’s clear I wouldn’t necessarily be put into a stereotypically “femme” box, not that I give a fuck either
way – I hate that we have these binaries that gays live by. Though I think it's getting better and people are
becoming a lot more open minded.
RISK MAGAZINE: How much does outside validation contribute to your overall self-esteem?
Aaron Porter: I have to admit I am a low-key dopamine addict – I do gain a sense of power when it comes
to online validation. I’m trying to remove myself from this though as I know it’s not healthy. I don’t feel too
bad admitting this as I think most of our generation feels the same way. Likes and comments are an easy
way to measure the popularity of a post and every time you get more attention than the last it drives the
want to better each post higher. I do not put things online just for audience gratification though, I do it
because I’m proud of what I’m posting and I want to share it. Until I get better at not giving a fuck about
online validation please feel free to help out by following me on @justaaronporter haha.
Model Aaron Porter
Photographer Joel Palmer
Lighting & Post Jacob Sztor
Interview LaQuann Dawson
Producer Jack Goldsmith