Kiss and Tell? Not in Conner Habib’s Case
Last week an upstate New York community college cancelled an appearance by adult male actor Conner Habib, claiming that his appearance would create a situation in which porn rights would be confused with LGBT rights on campus.
On March 13, according to BuzzFeed Katherine Douglas, the president of Corning Community College, "met with members of the LGBT student group that invited Habib to campus and told them she would be canceling the talk. According to Brandon Griewank - president of the group, Equal - Douglas said that Equal followed all of the proper channels to bring Habib to campus, but that it was her own fault for not vetting his credentials. 'She said she in no way was about to let porn rights and LGBT rights become intertwined on her campus,' Griewank says.
The college paid for Habib's transportation and speaking fee; but when plans were made to hold the event off-campus, Griewank was spoken to by school administrators on Friday, March 15.
"Griewank told BuzzFeed," the website reported, "that Dean of Student Development Donald Heins told to him not involve himself with any further plans for Habib's visit. It was an 'absolutely intimidating conversation,' Griewank says. 'He told me I wasn't allowed to speak to the press, told me I wasn't allowed to help Conner. He told me this in a closed room, there was no advisor to Equal there, and it wasn't scheduled, so I had no time to prepare.' Griewank says he intends to file a complaint with the school over Heins' alleged actions."
The event went on as scheduled, but off-campus on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Southeast Steuben County Library instead of at CCC.
The school denies any attempt to keep students from attending the event. School administrator William Little, wrote in a statement to BuzzFeed, "Corning Community College has no intention of interfering in any way with our students’ protected rights. Our students are free to express themselves and attend any events they choose."
As for canceling Habib’s appearance, Little said, "Mr. Habib’s celebrity status as an adult film star is inconsistent with the educational theme of this program. Mr. Habib’s contract was paid-in-full, yet we respectfully declined his participation. Our students are free to express themselves and attend any events they choose."
Habib described his talk: "It was mostly just going to be a really sort of broad lecture on how we’re as a society kind of screwy when it comes to sex, a little messed up about it, and it’s hard for us to think clearly about it whether culturally or just as individuals in our own sex lives."
BuzzFeed asked Habib to write a column about the incident, which was published on the site on March 20 with the title "Why Are We Afraid To Talk About Gay Porn?."
He wrote in part: "To deny the importance of images of gay sex while pretending to affirm gay rights, as Katherine Douglas does, is a luxury, and it’s dangerous one. It’s the equivalent of cheering on a powerless gay neighbor in a 1990s sitcom, or to say, "I don’t care what anyone does in the privacy of his own home, but don’t bring it out into public." In other words, it’s not an effort to understand gay men as whole human beings but to merely establish sexless caricatures of them to feel comfortable about."
Click here to read Habib’s column.
Habib joins porn stars James Deen and Sean Lockhart (Brent Corrigan) in being dis-invited by colleges. Deen’s came in Feburary at Pasadena City College; Lockhart’s came in 2010 at Yale.