Transgressive filmmaker Bruce LaBruce talks Faggotry with Slava Mogutin for Interview

Bruce LaBruce is gay but holds the political Left at arm’s length. He’s bored to tears of the PC police and more than willing to vex with his eye-poking, transgressive work. LaBruce trades in campy pornographic art films (Hustler White [1996] is a personal favorite), photography, musical theater and even statement jewelry. The 54-year-old has sifted through his provocative photo archive for a show called “Faggotry,” on view online only at the Tom of Finland store.

Despite his radical work—beginning first with a queer punk zine called J.D.s—LaBruce doesn’t aim to fit any progressive mold. He sees himself more as a radical Centrist, making films that Americans would probably dub “locker room” content or denounce as smut. A bigger budget film he has in the works, Saint-Narcisse, is about twincest, and a hardcore porn comprised of four short films he has made for gay porn site CockyBoys, It Is Not The Pornographer That Is Perverse…, is about to hit the queer festival circuit before streaming on the site in March. He’s still too risqué for woke liberals, feeling he can’t identify with them because it would require giving up the privilege of offending people.

It’s perhaps only in Russian photographer Slava Mogutin that he’s met his creative equal. Mogutin, 43, has similarly led the charge for queer culture, attempting to register the first same-sex marriage in Russia before being chased out of the country entirely. Gaining political asylum in New York, Mogutin met LaBruce in 1997 at New York’s Club Mother at a book signing. He then appeared in the filmmaker’s agitprop porno Skin Flick [1999] and has been photographing LGBTQ life in New York since. In the two intervening decades, they have remained friends and recently dialed each other up to dissect the word “faggot,” Fassbinder actors and the social aspects of using Grindr.

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