Just after Valentine’s Day this year, beauty influencer Lord Troy decided to sex up their online content by launching their OnlyFans account. Also a musician and body-positivity advocate, they were used to posting half-naked photos to their Instagram page, but they wanted a place to get a little dirtier and shoot ass pics with no restrictions. “I was tired of the risk that Instagram would remove me for posting a naked photo,” he tells me, his glossed lips framed by a dark, immaculately-coiffed beard. “It was important for me to share my body the way I want to share it.” (Troy uses both he and they pronouns.)
Two months later, his sexy new scheme began trickling into his music videos. In a clip from the video for his song “On My Pillow,” Troy writhes across his bed like a 1990s video vixen. Dressed in black briefs, a cowboy hat and not much else, it’s a sensual declaration that fat guys can be sexy as fuck, too, accompanied by the tender lyrics of an old-school love song.
Even in 2021, the internet is rife with fatphobia. Porn still has designated categories for fat bodies as though they’re nothing more than a fetish, and the effects of this marginalization increase when queerness is factored in. There’s a reason queer people disproportionately suffer from body image and mental-health issues, and plenty of them stem from the punishingly ripped, buff beauty standards long fed to us by gay media. These standards have basically become a meme — there’s a joke that guys who would otherwise be “chubby” are “gay fat.” As a result, plus-size guys — and especially plus-size queer guys — are still depressingly rare in porn.
Troy, however, is determined to move past this. He describes himself as a “born entertainer,” and even a video call with him is punctuated with gasps, dramatic pauses and plenty of laughter. “If you hear a little tapping noise, it’s probably because the dogs are about to jump on the bed,” they laugh. Minutes later, the two pooches happily oblige, hopping onto his kaleidoscopic bedspread to snooze on each other.
Dressed in a light, pastel shirt, left partially unbuttoned to show off an impressively hairy chest, Troy raises his carefully-combed eyebrows as he explains how he got here. “Wow, I’m really sharing some dark, dirty shit,” he jokes.
As a kid growing up in South Florida, Troy bounced between various homes and schools. His financial consultant dad was rarely present, whereas his mom spent his childhood battling substance abuse. Tired of the trauma, he made the decision to move to Pennsylvania with his dad and stepmom in his early teens, but his stepmom also became “an aggressively violent alcoholic.” As a result, Troy leaned heavily on his grandparents, “the true loves” of his life. Still, he felt the emotional burden of being raised in such a chaotic environment.
Then there was the fact that, from a young age, Troy says he was often “the only fat kid” in the room — and he was shamed accordingly, especially by his stepmom, who became fixated on any fad diet she saw on Oprah. “If Oprah said you shouldn’t eat past 6 p.m., we weren’t allowed to either,” they tell me. “When it came to food, my stepmom would buy regular food and snacks for her kids, but then she’d hide it from me — instead, she’d buy me these nutritional weight-loss bars.” Consequently, Troy would try to sneak food to his room and binge late at night; but when his stepmom found the wrappers, she would leave them on his bed to shame him.
Ultimately, it was Instagram’s body-positive community that led Troy to fully embrace their sex appeal. “I definitely started out posting filtered pictures of my coffee cups,” he laughs, “but I also posted photos of myself in my underwear.” It was here that he met the “bear and chaser communities,” who posted boned-up comments under his photos. “It opened up a lot of my understanding of the queer community,” he explains.
At first, the intention behind these underwear pics wasn’t political. Troy just wanted to show it’s possible to be hot, fat and semi-naked in a fat-phobic world. But over time, he started growing “angry at the way Instagram hides posts from other fat people, especially fat people who are openly celebrating their bodies. I see these muscled, very masculine-looking queer guys all the time, but whenever I post a photo in my underwear, I lose 300 followers,” he says, alluding to both the prevalence of shadow-banning and the apparent fickleness of some followers.
Although he’s never been majorly flagged or deleted, Troy noticed the shadow-banning was bringing his engagement way down. This became a huge issue when it came to promoting his music, or launching his nail polish brand, Pärdē, whose marketing aims to call bullshit on the idea that “nail polish itself has any specific identity.”
All the while, they had a backlog of pretty racy, ass-centric content ready to share, and so, they launched an OnlyFans. Despite the occasional subscriber dismayed that their content isn’t more NSFW — although there’s plenty of flesh to keep most of his fans happy — the platform has given him a place to get as sexy as he likes without censorship, and to show off every inch of his physique with no fears of being shadow-banned.
Notably, Troy self-identities as a bear — a subcategory of chubby, hairy gay guys. It’s a subculture steeped heavily in masculinity, yet Troy is ambivalent about gender. “I really just want to get to a place where gender doesn’t fucking matter, and it doesn’t need to exist,” they tell me. “I use the words feminine-presenting because that’s the words other people use, but I personally don’t identify as either masculine or feminine.”
“When I go to a bear bar, that’s where I feel most comfortable,” they continue. “I go because I want to be objectified, to be fucked. When I go to a queer space, I can just vibe; I feel like these are my people. I don’t really get any shit for the way I look, but I’ve definitely had weird experiences when I’m more femme-presenting. That gets sexualized in a way where guys are like, ‘I would love to fuck you and smear your makeup all over the pillow.’”
Ultimately, OnlyFans remains the place for these conversations to go down in the DMs, but by continuously posting ass on main, Troy is making space for other plus-size, queer people to show off their bodies, too. “What I’ve learned through body-positivity and my own experiences is that society wants fat people to lose weight because everyone else is constantly being told to do it,” they reflect. “People are killing themselves every day trying to be skinny, but then they see fat people living their best lives, having sex and being fabulous. Their automatic response to that is: ‘What the fuck? That’s not fair!’”
But Troy’s not so much concerned with “fair,” or with appeasing those who think it’s their job to police his body. He’s here to have fun and dance naked in his undies. Anyone who thinks otherwise can politely buzz off. “Honestly,” Troy writes in the caption of one of his recent ass-out Instagram photos, “fuck it.”