Interview with Buck Angel
Founder @ Pride Wellness, Entertainer, Activist

Buck Angel Entertainment has been on the cutting edge of producing trans male sex education films since 2002. Known for taking the subject matter of transgender men and sexuality and bringing it to the world. Award-winning films that have shown all over the world and now are used in many of the places to help educate about trans male sexuality. If you are a University looking to add our material to your library please contact us. If you are a sex education facility or therapist you may as well contact us to help. You can learn more about the man behind the business, Buck Angel on his website.
Hi Buck! When did you realize that there was a need for an initiative like Pride Wellness? What initially inspired you to found the initiative?
Hi. Well let me tell you about Pride Wellness, and why I really realized that seeing the growing cannabis world basically being taken over by gigantic corporations, and people who weren't necessarily in the cannabis world prior to it becoming legalized. I've been connected to the cannabis business for probably at least - not the business, but within the cannabis world. Because of HIV and AIDS, 30 years ago, my community - the gay community - legalized cannabis, with a drug, pharmaceutical drug, called Marinol. That was over 30 years ago. That said, moving forward, I saw the legalization of cannabis happening, and the LGBT community, not in any way, shape or form being a part of that. So I decided that I wanted to get involved in cannabis, because first off, I use it as a sober person I use it - I'm 30 years sober, but I use it as medication. Secondly, I see my community using pharmaceutical drugs that are not necessarily helping them fix the problems, but cannabis does that! Cannabis is a natural medication that can actually help to fix some of the problems, instead of masking some of the problems. And I also feel it's very important for my community be a part of the future of medicine, and so by starting my company, Pride Wellness, I realized I can give back to my community by creating jobs, giving them great medication, teaching them how to create their own businesses and actually making it an abundance type of thing. We hire queer people, we hire people of color, we try to really keep it within the community and the people who are in the forefront of cannabis, prior to it becoming legalized. That's a very important part of the story of Pride Wellness. My partner also in my business is Leon Mostovoy, and he is also a trans man - we are the only trans-owned company in the United States, so it's pretty awesome and exciting.
What are some of the unique ways in which cannabis can positively contribute to the health and wellness of those in the trans community?
So I'm a big believer in natural medication. Again, I'm 30 years sober - 23 years ago, I transitioned from a woman to a man. I really believe, because I'm healthy, I exercise, I eat right, I use cannabis - which really is one of the reasons why I got into the business of cannabis - in order to help the trans community understand wellness. And instead of using things that don't necessarily contribute to positively helping you to move forward. I don't want to talk nonsense about pharmaceutical drugs, some are very important, but I do believe some don't necessarily help the problem - they just mask the problem. So cannabis can help my transgender community by teaching them to use a natural medication in order to help things like depression, anxiety - these are very, very, very big within the transgender community. So you know, instead of having to use a pharmaceutical drug that might just mask the problem, using cannabis can help to teach people to actually deal with the problem and, at the same time, help to move forward, if that makes sense. And so that is, again, a very important part of the company, Pride Wellness, is that we're teaching, it's an educational company about how to use cannabis responsibly. It is not a drug - it is a medication. And so we want people in my community to see the really important effects of using a natural medication over a pharmaceutical medication. And again, bringing it into a community that's marginalized, teaching people about jobs, teaching people about creating medication instead of using it as a drug is very important to me. Because what that does is it creates a positive future for a community that sometimes doesn't see positivity in the future.
Also, where does cannabis and initiatives like Pride Wellness step in where public medical institutions are lacking? How are public institutions falling short on delivering proper medical care for the trans community?
So cannabis is a great alternative medication for people who don't necessarily have insurance, because you need insurance a lot of times to get your pharmaceutical drugs here in the United States - it's not so much like Europe, where things are taken care of by the government. So if you don't have insurance, you pretty much have to pay for everything out of pocket in the United States. Cannabis is also in a space that is not as expensive as a pharmaceutical drug, it's more accessible than a pharmaceutical drug. Here in California, we have opened it up to adult use, which means that you do not need any type of doctor's note, or you don't need to be registered in any way, shape or form - you just need to be 21 or older. That said, I think it gives access to my transgender community - bigger access - because again, like I said, you don't need insurance, you can get it much easier through dispensaries, we have delivery services, so it's much more accessible. And again, medical care that is accessible creates a better community. First accessible, financially accessible, accessible in a way that we don't need doctors or we don't need to have any type of insurance companies - it's regulated, but not in a way that you need to have a script for the doctor in order to get that. So that's really important and also part of the educational part of my company, Pride Wellness, is to actually let people understand that, hey, try this natural medication, before you have to go through getting insurance, and maybe going to the doctor and doing all these things, in order to get your medication. It's much more accessible, which is very important to marginalized communities.
Does Pride Wellness offer courses, products, or services to its clients to show them the wide breadth potential benefits of cannabis?
So my company, Pride Wellness, also does a lot of community outreach. So we do show up at different kinds of events to talk to our community about using cannabis as an alternative medication. We are also connected to the Los Angeles LGBT Center and we donate a portion of the proceeds of our products to help the senior services center. Which is a very important, again, part of our company - is giving back to the community through teaching and through education. And also, our products specifically deal with anxiety, depression, so we make vapes and we have flower pre-roll marijuana joints and things like that. We also have a bomb, called Buck's Bomb, which is help for pain and relief. And we also created the world's first sexual enhancement drink with CBD in it: that helps people connect to the body that they don't necessarily like. I mean, you know, I know I look like a man, but I used to be a woman and my genitals still are a vagina. And that said, a lot of people like me are not necessarily comfortable touching themselves, so what we do is we also use cannabis to encourage people to understand, and to let go of the anxiety and the depression, and to learn how to love their body without feeling anxious, and so cannabis is a really big part of sexual where awareness part for me, and I think that that is a big plus with cannabis. So giving education, teaching people about the use of cannabis - teaching them how it's not a drug, but a medication - this is a big part of Pride Wellness company, most definitely.
Where do you see Pride Wellness in five years? What is your ultimate vision for the company?
Well in five years, I think Pride Wellness will be a big player in the game. It's taken us a long time to get to this base - it took me four years for this company to finally become legal. There is a lot of loops and hoops and politics to really jump around in California cannabis, because it's just coming to something that's becoming a multibillion-dollar industry, and so there's a lot of people sort of jockeying for position. That said, people in my cannabis industry are really rooting for us. They see our message, they see us not just taking, so I think in five years, we are going to be a pretty big player in the field of cannabis wellness, which is really our goal - is to get ourselves out there, give our community jobs, give our community support, give our community a way so that they can be part of the financial freedom, as well as the freedom of understanding choices between pharmaceutical drugs and natural medication. So I think - really, I'm pretty sure - the universe loves me, and I'm pretty sure the universe is really helping us grow to be a prominent player within the cannabis industry. Thank you so much, I appreciate you guys reaching out to me and I appreciate your interest in Pride Wellness and you have any questions, reach out to me. You know where to find me, I'm all over the place - but that said again it means a lot to me that you care about my company, and my company cares about my community - so thank you. Have a beautiful day.