august ames suicide teaser

Gay Porn Insiders Speak Out About August Ames and Who’s (Not) to Blame for Her Suicide

It was Wednesday, Dec. 6 when the world discovered that female porn star August Ames had passed away in her Ventura, California, home. But giving that tragic news even more intrigue was the fact that earlier this week, days before her death, Ames had come under fire for a series of controversial tweets. Even more tragic still: as a Ventura County Medical Examiner spokesperson confirmed with Hornet yesterday, Ames died of asphyxia due to hanging, a suicide.

The tweets at the center of the August Ames news cycle were considered homophobic by many activists and gay porn industry veterans, though harmless and irreproachable by those taking Ames’s side in the controversy.

The backlash Ames faced for her tweets — in which she cautioned the female porn performer replacing her in a film that the man she’d be shooting with “has shot gay porn, just to let cha know” — was immediate. Her implication in that tweet and others that a man who has shot gay porn in the past would ‘threaten her health’ were met with criticism as homophobic, shortsighted and perpetuating of stigma against gay men and gay adult film performers.

Many who work in gay porn were quick to respond to August Ames, and since news of her suicide became public, many on social media have taken to blaming those gay porn stars and “social justice warriors” as the cause of her suicide. (Find many of those tweets decrying the gay community here.)

This despite Ames having revealed her personal struggles with bipolar depression and multiple personality disorder three months before her death on a podcast: “Some days I’ll be fine and if I’m not doing anything I’ll get these awful flashbacks of my childhood and I get very depressed and I can’t get out of bed and cancel my scenes for like a week or two,” she said.

Amidst this flurry of accusations against those who initially criticized Ames’s comments, we wanted to hear from some of the industry vets who took umbrage with her tweets, which until her death Ames continued to staunchly stand behind. “I don’t have anything to apologize for! Apologizing for taking extra steps to ensue that my body stays safe? Fuck you guys attacking me when none of my intentions were malicious,” she said on Twitter.

Ames’s very last tweet was “fuck y’all.”

Wesley Woods is one gay porn performer who confronted Ames following her homophobic Twitter remarks, and he received intense backlash, hate mail and abusive reactions in return. While he considers Ames’s death “tragic,” he “firmly stands behind” what he said and is frustrated that he’s been attacked and blamed for bullying her.

Another gay porn performer who found fault in Ames’s tweets is Austin Wilde. “Since my one comment was neither threatening or harassing, I do stand by my words,” he tells Hornet. “They were my response and opinion to her opinion that displayed her to be homophobic and uneducated on the subject. As a model and business owner on the gay side of the industry who thoroughly tests his models and self, uses the PASS network, and considers sexual health and safety to be one of my top priorities, I found her statements to be just what I said — homophobic and uneducated.”

“Whenever somebody says that in the porn industry, it hits me in a way that just goes against my sensibilities,” says famed porn director Chi Chi LaRue. “I’ve been working in the porn industry for 32 years, and I’ve done gay, straight, transsexual, bisexual porn — everything. The last time I was attacked was by the gay industry for having a gay guy in a bisexual movie. It’s like a lynch mob sometimes. So in this case I didn’t want to be a hateful part of the lynch mob. I wanted to educate, not attack.”

“This is not about ‘her choice’ in choosing who she worked with,” Woods says. “It was directly related to the idea we (gay porn actors) were ‘dirty’ or ‘promiscuous.'”

Wilde agrees. “No one should ever work with someone they don’t want to. Ever,” he says. “That seems to be the focus, but wasn’t why I chimed in with my one tweet. It was because no one should take to a large social platform to demean a group of people and imply their chances of catching an STI are significantly greater when they’ll go through the same testing process as they do. It’s harmful to an already divided industry.”

“It’s not fair to stigmatize anyone in our industry, which is already ridiculed from the outside,” says LaRue. “We’re all in the same business. We’re all judged and looked at as the underbelly — dirty and disgusting human beings — so I don’t really like it coming from inside the industry.”

Woods acknowledges that, indeed, some of the vitriolic responses leveled at Ames crossed lines of civility, and that behavior is never warranted. “I have seen tweets ranging from performers and some generic twitter accounts that said things I’d never want anyone to say to another, but we can not be without activism,” he says. “And the majority of what I saw was brave and spoke in support of performers and people (gay, bi, trans, straight).”

Wilde seconds that sentiment: “Her initial statements (and the responses to follow) may not have been a direct form of bullying, but more ignorance. Some of the comments I’ve seen directed at her were certainly harmful and threatening, and should never be said to anyone, and people have every right to be outraged. It’s unfortunate that so many people think that the few people who simply voiced their opinion in return are the cause of this.”

Is it not a disservice to the memory of August Ames, a woman respected in her industry who lost her life to mental illness, to focus now on the gay community rightly upset by her stigmatizing comments as opposed to the true culprit? Where is the outrage over the tragic results of mental illness, which takes lives in this country mercilessly?

That’s a question Wesley Woods has asked as well.

“We should be shifting our views to how we can help those who suffer in silence before ending their life,” he says. “This has sent a shockwave through the porn industry, and there are many of us who have different opinions on what she said. [But] we all share the same thoughts surrounding her death: it was a shock, it’s sad and it makes you question everything.”

“A loss of life, even when you don’t know the person, is sad,” says Wilde. “My sincerest condolences to her family, friends and fans.”

  • CSA

    This is ridiculous. Racism in gay community, esp. gay porn community, is rampant. Notice how no POC porn star attacked August because they have to deal with “it’s just a preference” on a daily basis? And in developed countries, HIV rate is higher among gay men than straight men. Although all studios should do testing, there is a thing called a window period and you cannot tell me that studios like TMI regularly tests their performers.

  • Beeftasticus

    Their condolences are so fucking paper thin. She didn’t weant to fuck you because you are many time more likely to have aids. Deal with it.

  • Bluecube

    Her body. If she said no, that should have been enough. Even if it came from a place of ignorance. (not knowing test had to be approved before the scene)

    What I saw were no attempts to educate, but a dog pile. You drove a woman to suicide with your virtue signaling. Come down from your GD victimized high horse from time to time and understand that not everything is coming from a place of homophobia, or intended to be. And if it is, maybe not bully, and try having a rational discussion with someone.

  • LOL

    Very convenient you left out the tweets by the gay mob telling her to take cyanide and kill herself before she did. Despicable framing this article and whitewashing what happened

  • FireFox Bancroft

    You all wouldn’t know what accountability was even if it flew up your asses.

  • Luc Hoffmann

    You sir are diseased. Literally standing on top of her corpse before the body is even cold so you can grandstand about how the “LGBT” community is the “Real Victim”
    I suggest you smug retards take a look in the mirror to see that you have turned into what you were fighting. You see, YOU are the bullies, YOU are the ones dancing on ones grave, YOU are dismissive and believe you are the righteous one, YOU are what you say you aren’t, YOU are what you hate, YOU have become the Westboro Baptist Church. I’d tell you to fuck off and drink bleach just like I would WBS members, but after reading this article you’ve obviously been there done that.

    Remember you aren’t a douche because you write for this LGBT blog, you are a douche because of what you’ve done.

  • Elilla Shadowheart

    I’m not sure what I’m disgusted by more. The amount of defense you’re paddling for these low-lifes, or the fact that these were porn stars who showed that they really were low-lifes who believed that because she made a rational choice, she was the problem. They bullied her. Full stop. You’re defending those bullies because they’re “on the right team.”

    To boil it down short: You’re defending the people that she should have sex against her will(rape), in order to show she’s not homophobic. And when she said *no* they doubled down and you rushed to *their* defense.

  • ArsVampyre

    They’re guilty, and you’re guilty for trying to help them cover it up.

  • Bluecube

    How is Jaxton Wheeler not banned from Twitter? Twitter said they were going to get much more aggressive on harassment and trolling and I don’t think it gets much worse than telling someone to kill themselves and then they follow through.

  • Butters

    You’re a piece of shit for trying to defend the undefendable.
    You are an accomplice to people who have her blood on their hands. It’s as simple as that.
    And, just to let you understand things clearly: the way you’re acting is what is hurting the LGBTQ community. Much, much more than whatever that girl said.

  • Kelly Jackson

    All I got out of this event is that the gay community thinks you should be able to bully a woman into having sex with someone. Frankly the whole gay community sounds like a bunch of rapists.

  • J.B.

    How does Ames’ issues with depression make the cyber-bullies’ actions less reprehensible, rather than more reprehensible? Obviously, her discussion regarding depression was easy to find online, since the defenders of Wheeler (“take a cyanide pill”), Wilde, Woods, Saige, Sage, and Drake have been quick to point to it. Yet, doesn’t that beg the question whether the outrage mob had seen those interviews and still recklessly and deliberately put a woman they knew to be emotionally fragile in the twitter stocks for a public shaming? If so, that could establish criminal intent.

  • Heldevin Gerand

    Because pornstars are wise enough to not go on twitter and say ‘I never have sex with any Black men because I want to make healthy choice for my body’, and doubling down when asked to clarify.

    No wonder some bi performers felt insulted and some insults were thrown back.
    Even Wheeler had made very rational and tempered twitter videos before the now-infamous tweet about the cyanide pill, which was obviously not to be taken seriously and meant to express his frustration with her.
    People say to ennemies to go kill themselves all the times.

    It’s okay for everyone to have their little prejudice and making broad rules for themselves. It’s not okay to peddle false scientific claims and shame an entire subset of her colleagues in front of her 500k followers.

  • Jose Cunha

    So full of shit. These people railing at being accused of driving this young lady over the edge are the same who will READILY denigrate lifestyles, beliefs and politics of those they don’t agree with with vitriolic hate and now they want too dodge the blame for the result of their hypocritical rants? Bullshit. You show your true contemptible colors when you eat your own. Hope there is a special place in hell for everyone who takes a person already struggling with mental anguish and puts their petty hangups before simple human decency. Try as you might, the fact is you pushed someone to suicide for simply speaking her mind about her right to decide for herself, and now you want to use YOUR right to decide your lifestyle as justification? Nice try but no sale. You and your butt buddies are all to blame despite your self righteousness, and no amount of bullshit is going to clean your conscience. Dirt bags.

  • stephan

    Way to completely mischaracterize *everything* about this “scandal.” EYEROLL.

    There are a bunch of morons claiming that “the gays” MURDERED someone, so damn right I decided to give those people a voice. She wasn’t bullied. She was trolled, and maybe didn’t know how to use the “block” button on Twitter. What she said was abso-fucking-lutely homophobic, and she got called out for it. Funny how none of you think her years of severe depression or sex abuse at the hands of her father had anything at all to do with her hanging herself. You sound ridiculous.

  • stephan

    Oh, you expect gay men to scour the web for interviews with straight female porn stars! Got it.

  • stephan

    And all you wannabe attorneys make me LOL. “Criminal intent” for being trolled on Twitter. Lemme know how that goes!

  • stephan

    And the fact that’s “all you got out of this event” proves you’re not very bright. Who she fucked wasn’t the issue at all. Displaying stigmatizing, problematic, homophobic bullshit on Twitter was.

  • stephan

    “Your lifestyle.” Fuck off, bigot.

  • Elilla Shadowheart

    Explain: How is not wanting to have sex with a bi-male, who have lower standards for STD testing, and have hugely increased rates of STD rates compared to the general population “homophobic.” Right, it’s not. Except in your mind.

    Her father never abused her, she was abused by someone else. She had ‘actors’ in the gay-porn arena attacking her for her stance. You literally know nothing on this, but are defending the shittiest people several who told her to kill herself.

  • stephan

    Nope, YOU are the one who clearly doesn’t know shit about the facts at hand. Color me not shocked.

    1. She was on a podcast three months ago in which she spoke about being abused by her father. You’re wrong. She also spoke about her struggles with severe depression and mental illness. But god forbid that ever comes up in the discussion of why she killed herself.

    2. You keep trying to prolong the argument that there’s *anything* besides “being tested” and “not.” This “lower standards” bullshit is just that — bullshit. Meanwhile, why don’t you pull up statistics about men (who are *so riddled with STDs* according to you) in the porn industry? You don’t want to do that, because you’d see you’re full of shit. STDs are NOT rampant in the porn industry. You’re just prolonging the bullshit stigma that men who sleep with men are dirty and diseased. Because you’re a bigoted punk yourself. Have fun arguing you’re not, but you are.

    3. The man she refused to work with (and was then fired for not working with) wasn’t a bi male. He was straight. You’re wrong about that fact, too.

    4. Meanwhile, I just love when people like you try to tell the gay community what’s homophobic. You just show your true colors.

    5. NO ONE — literally NO ONE — is defending the people who trolled her on Twitter. We’re defending those who had every right to and did clock August Ames’s bullshit on Twitter. You don’t get to spout homophobic bullshit on social media and not get critiqued. I don’t care whether you’re mentally ill or not. Meanwhile the “gay community” and “gay SJWs” are getting blamed for this girl’s death. That’s the argument of a moron.

  • stephan

    LOL. You just called people “bullies” while also calling them “retards” and telling them to “drink bleach.” Sounds about right.

    Not very bright, are ya?! Ha

  • stephan

    Meanwhile, what were you saying about being the thing you say you aren’t? LO-fucking-L.

  • stephan

    Plenty of people did that, but what you’re seeing from rabid August Ames fans is literally *one* uncalled for tweet.

  • Elilla Shadowheart

    Nice try at a rant, but that was the same podcast where she said that she wasn’t by her father. The lower standards do exist in testing, FYI porn production in Canada for “gay actors” is higher then it is in California(where most of it is produced). He wasn’t straight, how straight works out when you’re sucking dick works out in your mind I don’t know.

    Meanwhile, I find it hilarious at just how far you’re going out of your way to prove the point that if someone “dares” to question something, they’re automatically homophobic. By all means, keep digging that hole.

    You right now are defending the people who hurled abuse, while screeching that she was homophobic for not wanting to do said scene. Keep digging, because until you get up to the same standards as most people, people are just going to look at you and go “filthy degenerate” and they might just be right.

  • stephan

    First of all, I see from your other comments that are you ARE, indeed, a bigoted piece of work, so cheers to that!

    And nice try at a response. I see you spend TONS of time commenting on random stories, I presume because you have nothing better to do with your time. Also, nice try bringing up Canada (?!) because, yeah, that really fucking matters.

    What a shame you have no clue about “gay for pay” male porn stars. Not surprised, though, since most bigoted idiots aren’t too familiar with sexuality in the first place.

    Meanwhile, what I find hilarious is that you’re literally talking out of both sides of your face. Bitching and moaning that people should be allowed to “question something,” which is exactly what the gay community did when your favorite little porn star decided to spout homophobic bullshit in public. You’re a dumb hypocrite.

    I’m not defending anyone who “hurled abuse” at her. I’m defending “the gay community,” which morons like you are rushing to accuse of murder, which is downright STUPID. August Ames spouted something really fucking stupid on Twitter after she got replaced for being a brat. And she got clocked for the dumb thing she said. Get used to it. Whenever you and your kin spout homophobic bullshit in public, we will ALWAYS clapback, whoever it is.

    But go ahead, keep defending this porn star and her bigoted crap. She was apparently *so concerned* with her health but couldn’t be bothered to take her crazy pills, which in the end is what killed her. Meanwhile, she was already dead before the tweet you chumps keep quoting about a cyanide pill was even composed.

  • stephan

    That we now know was composed after she’d already killed herself.

  • Jim

    Why is what she said homophobic? I know adult performers on both sides test the same way, but it is also my understanding there is a higher HIV rate among people who practice anal sex, performers or no, and it is also my understanding that the test has a window in which an HIV carrier can still pass. I could be wrong, but if these are true, it would seem to me August’s choice was more about a rational regard for statistics than it was about homophobia.

  • Jim

    “I’m not defending anyone who “hurled abuse” at her.”

    -then-

    “spouted something really fucking stupid…brat…couldn’t be bothered to take her crazy pills…her bigoted crap…got clocked for the dumb thing she said”

    Why are the things she said dumb and bigoted again? I understand that performers on both sides get tested, but August’s assessment that performers, “gay for pay” or otherwise, who shoot for gay porn represent an increased risk to herself isn’t wrong, is it? Do we have evidence to say otherwise? The CDC says you’re 44 times as likely to get HIV as a gay man, and that 71% of all new cases of HIV infection are gay men. Although the man in question isn’t gay, it’s the practices involved that account for the higher rate, not the preferences. And is August just supposed to trust the performer and director when they say he only shot with a condom? Is August supposed to just assume what goes on in the performer’s personal life only reflects what he does on set when it decreases risk? Is August allowed to assess that a man performing in gay porn is more likely to interact with those who are gay, or who practice anal sex and other risk-increasing behavior on or off set? Why is she wrong to think this? You say “STDs are NOT rampant in the “…who cares about “rampant”? If it’s a question of not wanting increased risk, August may be wrong, but she was being perfectly rational. Meanwhile, you call her bigoted, homophobic, stupid…

  • stephan

    God, the stupidity of quoting these CDC statistics when we’re talking about a very different subset of people in this case. You do realize that people in the porn industry get tested at much higher rates than the general public, right? Just because your “44 times likely” statistic might be true generally speaking, it’s NOT true in the porn industry.

    But no one is talking about the statistics either, which are just *another* straw man argument used by rabid August Ames fans. What’s at issue is that she decided to go on Twitter and insinuate that MSMs are “dirty and diseased.” Had she gone on Twitter and said she refused to work with any black men on film because they make up the largest new group of HIV infected people in the world, everyone would say she deserves to be called out.

    Quit pretending that her original Twitter post was *anything more* than her being a fucking brat. She was pissed that she got dropped by her studio. It wasn’t about her “health.” It was about her lashing out after being replaced. She wasn’t making some god damn public service announcement to the world. She’s a brat who didn’t think through what she was saying and how it would be perceived.

    The fact that any porn star would try and stigmatize another is sick and twisted.

    And yes, I consider her bigoted, homophobic and stupid. More stupid than anything else.

  • Jim

    “God, the stupidity of quoting these CDC statistics when we’re talking about a very different subset of people in this case. You do realize that people in the porn industry get tested at much higher rates than the general public, right?”

    Yes, of course. I also understand that there isn’t anything incorrect about August surmising that an adult performer in gay porn has a higher chance of having HIV than an adult performer who exclusively does hetero porn. Your assertion of higher testing and lower rates for all performers than the general public has nothing to do with whether August has a greater or lesser chance of contracting HIV from a performer in either the two industries. She might be wrong, there could be factors she is unaware of. But you haven’t shown up to argue any of those factors. Common testing rates among performers, though they be higher than the general public, do not say anything about the odds of HIV in a performer in gay porn vs a performer in hetero porn.

    You go on to talk about how if this had been a black performer, everyone would have called her out. But do black men have higher rates of HIV, within or outside of adult performers? “Largest new group” would indicate that their rates are rising, not where their rates are in comparison to other groups. This is not a valid analogue.

    It is quite clear that August is not motivated by homophobia, bigotry, or any of the other vile things you say, but out of concern for her self. August doesn’t know the actuality, but she can make a valid assumption, where her safety is concerned, that the rates between the two types of performers vary directly with the general populace. NOT that they are the same, but there are valid reasons to say the rates are likely higher for one group than they are for another.

  • stephan

    Oh, I see. You’re claiming to know more about her motivations behind that stupid Twitter post than I do. Gotcha. LOL

    Meanwhile, you still don’t get it. She posted something tacky AF on social media and got called out for it. The woman obsessed with her health wasn’t taking care of her own mental health. #hypocrite

  • Jim

    “You’re claiming to know more about her motivations behind that stupid Twitter post than I do.”

    No, I’m just not assuming she’s a bigoted homophobe, which I see no evidence for. You, however, seem to assert that about people at an alarming rate.

  • ffffffff

    Liar. I saw this all happen live, and a BUNCH of pornstars and gay porn producers attempted to educate her (and the other women agreeing with her). No one was getting mad at her until she started doubling down on her homophobic misconceptions.

  • ffffffff

    Anyone with a penis, who puts it into an anus, is at higher risk of infection. This includes straight men having sex with ladies’ buttholes…

  • ffffffff

    That tweet happened after she was already dead, but nice try.

  • Elilla Shadowheart

    You know, it would be less obvious if you didn’t use a sockpuppet account to vote yourself up. You’re still going on defending people who bullied someone to suicide, that really shows where the bigotry is coming from. I’m not actually sure what’s worse though, that you’re defending them or that you believe that in defending them you’re making the gay community look better. Useful tip: You’re not, to absolutely nobody.

  • stephan

    Sockpuppet account? Nope, that was just me. I thought we were done here. You’re a POS Breitbart reader who has nothing new to contribute to the convo. Go away and save the ‘teachings’ for the LGBTQ community for someone else who has a leg to stand on.