The examination and exploration of the topic of “race” extends beyond the limited concepts of Black people and White people. It includes all of us, no matter our skin tone. Race, unfortunately, is also aligned with culture, religion and value systems. For this reason, among others, ReNude Pride does not restrict the issue exclusively to the period within Black History Month.
“Race Cooper” is the stage name (professional name) of Joseph Ross Anderson, who was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on December 5, 1973. Amazing, he didn’t initiate his “mid-life” crisis into gay pornography until 2009 when he was 36 years old – an age when most same gender loving men retire from acting and posing. In the same year that he began his film career, he also began publishing his own blog on blogspot.com and soon acquired notoriety in both worlds as a “man-who-tells-it-all!”
“Racism takes many forms and our thoughts on racism and sex need to change.” ~ Race Cooper ~ June 10, 2020
Race started his blog in late 2009, and when I discovered the site in 2010, he had already become famous not only as a gay actor but also as the man who often opened the public’s eyes to what happens to men behind the camera! He frequently published copies of letters he received from studio executives complaining of his public disclosure of actions “behind the scenes!”
Like my spouse, Aaron, Race grew up in Canada and is baffled at the differences in racism between Canada and the USA. Many people are unaware that slavery existed in both places during the colonial times. Slavery never achieved the institutional status that it enjoyed in the USA south. Canada, being further north, could not grow the cotton, sugar and other products that accompanied slavery. Also, the violent revolutionary war brought an end to British rule in the USA but Canada evolved to the confederation of a dominion under the British crown. Parliament banned slavery within the British Empire in 1833. The civil war ended slavery in the USA in 1865.
In his perspective, Race Cooper based on his own experience in the gay porn industry, views racism as “a daily constant in the USA.” He began working as a casting director for the same gender loving studio = Raging Stallion – before he moved to performing in front of the camera in 2009. He acknowledges that he was paid considerably less than his White peers and regularly and repeatedly had his work ethic and intelligence questioned. He honestly believes that he was only hired initially in order for the studio to appear “less racist.”
Race was interviewed by The Pink News, a same gender loving – GLBTQ+ – news service in London, England, United Kingdom. He was a presenter at a Commonwealth Conference on GLBTQ+ Persons happening there. The Pink News Service wanted his views on racial inequality in the bisexual and gay pornography profession in light of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. He also wants the porn studios to openly admit that many White men (straight) have been cast into roles catering to same gender loving audiences instead of actual Black gay men.
As a path forward, he’d like to see studios, pornography or otherwise, hire “diversity mentors” to help with casting and hopefully these mentors could help advance the careers of actors of colour. He also advocates the ending of “gay-for-pay” performers and an end to the shunning of HIV+ actors.
Racism in the USA is the reasoning for discrimination and prejudice. It is a direct part of the legacy of the legal institution of slavery. In Canada, race is quite simply a difference. For example, you shave your pubic hair, I let mine grow naturally. We’re both gay men, we’re just different in some ways.
Canada had slavery in the early years; it just wasn’t a permanent status like in the USA. You were bought, you worked a couple of years and earned your freedom and then you were neighbors and moved on. No one was ever subservient for their entire lives.
“As a Black gay man, I know and have witnessed bias, hatred and prejudice because of race and sexual orientation. It is unfair and unjust. It is wrong. As a performer in the porn industry, I’ve never been criticized for being publicly nude. But I do know of fellow nudists who are judged because of their being naked. Our nakedness is part of who we are. Like race and sexuality, we don’t have a choice.” ~ Race Cooper ~ June 10, 2020
In the conclusion of his interview, Race Cooper offered – in my own humble opinion – his most daring and profound argument against bigotry, discrimination and judgment based not only on race, sexual orientation but on nakedness as well. This statement was made own his own initiative and observation when asked if he had any additional thoughts to add.
Addendum: The interviewer added this notation to their article with The Pink News. Race Cooper had given this in addition to the regular questioning. When appearing at a bisexual and gay men’s event at the Raging Stallion’s studio, he excused himself and removed all of his clothing. He then returned to the gathering. Silence took over before the few other Black performers started stripping off their clothing, too. The White men present, both bisexual, gay or straight, simply sat there, staring, their mouths hanging open.
Race, upon being asked why he was naked, replied: We’re all paid to perform nude. Why not socialize nude, too?
Proof positive that Joseph Ross Anderson (Race Cooper) is – heart and soul – a brother bare practitioner and all of us welcome him and embrace his inclusiveness in our community and in our culture. True equality is a basic human right for everyone of us!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Friday, March 10, 2023, and the proposed topic is: “DST Is Back!”