It brings us great sorrow to relay the news that gay porn performer Wilfried Knight has taken his own life, after his partner of nine years committed suicide earlier this year. He was only 35 years-old.
Wilfried’s career spanned over nearly a decade, notably working as the first ever joint-exclusive model for Raging Stallion and Lucas Entertainment. At 6’2″ and nearly 200 pounds with a “huge presence, a gracious air and a caring disposition”, it was impossible to deny his status as a hirsute superstar. He delivered on camera too, winning both the 2010 GayVN Award for Performer of the Year and the 2011 Grabby for Best Versatile Performer.
But Knight was more than just a porn star. In his own words: “I am happier hiking or climbing than in any party… Yes, I was a porn star, but it always had been a hobby. In the meantime, I also graduated in law, in Chinese medicine, in personal training. I have always achieved academically, and always assumed my choices. I will not apologize. I do not see how having sex on screen is less socially acceptable than being a corporate banker regularly backstabbing anyone on his way in order to get richer.”
With the deaths of Arpad Miklos, Erik Rhodes, Roman Ragazzi and a handful of other industry folks in the recent past, there’s surely a temptation to point fingers and ask (as Conner Habib does in a lengthy essay) “Why do gay porn stars kill themselves?”
However, as Conner notes in his essay, the better question is—“What can we do to make involvement with porn easier, less stressful, and healthier?” While you might not think there’s much you can do, it can be as simple as offering a kind word on Twitter, leaving a friendly comment to outweigh the negativity or simply, well, holding back some of the negative things you might have to say about a given performer.
It might not be the solution. But it’s a start.