He was married to Karen Winslow, a well known dominatrix in Hollywood. She left him for Larry Wachowski (of "The Matrix" fame) who left his wife for her and then had a sex change from a man to a woman (Buck's was the other way around, woman to man.) Confused yet? They now live in San Francisco.
It's an unusual story and the reason I share it is because it's a matter of public record having been written about in several publications including The Rolling Stone. I thought I'd seen everything but Karen and Buck were truly an unusual couple. I liked and respected them both very much. Hey, they sent me lots of great clients! I adored them!!! haha! Life's weird ain't it? You never know who you're going to meet that will challenge your preconceptions. People are all so unique. I just love that.
That said, as a male MT I am sure I have been discriminated against by people who prefer having a female MT and I am totally cool with that. I would never want to be "forced" upon anyone. I am all for people being worked on by whomever they choose. If that means they are gender specific that's totally fine with me. I don't feel it's discrimination. There are so many variables unique to our profession. Massage is consensual boundary crossing in that people are seeking us to help them through touch in our touch repressive societies. We make contact in a way that is unique to our profession alone. Whatever makes someone comfortable enough to allow that to happen and have them to get the most out of their experience I support. "Client Centered Therapy." I support that.
Guys will just make it harder for themselves and for other guys if they make this too much of an issue. Unless there is blatant proof that discrimination is going on I say just let it go. Create a reality where you are wanted and supported in your work and don't use this as an excuse unless you truly feel you are being discriminated against. Just do really good work and they will come. Trust me on this. Male or female they will come and get worked on by you.
If you're good and people know it (especially the people you work with) you will have people to work on. It just makes sense. If someone calls and says "I want the best!" and your owner says that it's you, a true massage connoisseur or maybe even someone that has never considered being worked on by a male before but wants "the best" will take the host's recommendation. This is a much better way to win people over. Be the best you know how to be. Being male you may have to work a little harder to win people over but if you're good you will and it's so worth it. If you are really good at this people won't care about your gender and it won't even be an issue.
I do think owners should support their male MT's and should be sensitive to all sides of this issue though. That said, a policy that caters to the client's wants and needs is essential. That's just the business we are in.
oh and Joshua, regarding this:
It's interesting that you brought up Buck as I know him quite well and have worked on him. I can say first hand that Buck's energy is very different than that of a bioman. In fact I think it would confuse most people who would encounter it for the first time as it's extremely unique. I have never encountered anything quite like it. I have found that to be the case with most of the transgendered people I have known or worked on (hey, I work in Hollywood, we have everything you could think of here.) It's neither distinctly male nor distinctly female, it's something unique which I have always attributed to hormones being pumped into a body designed for something else. Buck obviously does not have male genitalia but he does take male hormones. Does this make him a "man?" More like a hard core dyke with lots of testosterone if you want to be scientific about it. Buck choses to live as a man which I totally support. It does not necessarily make him one. If Buck was working at a massage therapy center the owners would have an interesting time explaining him (just like they would my neighbor's "handy-man" who looks like Dick Butkus with a Doris Day wig on. Makes him happy, but it doesn't necessarily make him a "woman." At least he has the option of genital reconstructive surgery though. Buck? Not so much....) But they wouldn't have to explain him as Buck is very open about it with everyone. There's probably even a niche market for it somewhere so he'd probably clean up as there shouldn't be too much competition for him. But don't go looking for him at Massage Envy. Unless maybe it's in the Castro or the French Quarter."What's different about him, besides the configuration of his genitals?"