Falcon | NakedSword Mourns the Loss of Michael Youens

SAN FRANCISCO—With great sadness and heavy hearts, Falcon | NakedSword on Friday announced the passing of art department and talent relations veteran Michael Youens (aka Shante). A beloved and deeply valued member of the adult industry, Youens left his creative stamp on innumerable movies and special projects, contributing to the overall aesthetics of the company’s brands.

Initially hired by Falcon Studios Founder Chuck Holmes to help with customer service in the mid-90s, Youens worked his way up to Director of Production. In 2003, he stepped into the role of director on the Jocks Studios’ production Getting It Straight, which won the 2005 GayVN Award for Best Sex Comedy—a highlight of his storied career. After a brief hiatus, he returned to Falcon | NakedSword to work in the art department. Over the years, he developed lifelong friendships with adult industry professionals and models, including Chi Chi LaRue, Sister Roma, Stephen Scarborough, John Rutherford, Adam Robinson, Trenton Ducati, Steve Cruz, Colby Taylor, Josh Weston, Eric Hanson, Aiden Shaw, Chad Donovan, Samuel Colt, Jordan and Aden Jaric, Dean Monroe, Jason Adonis, among many others. A revered member of the LGBTQIA+ community, he will be lovingly remembered by colleagues, family, and friends.

“Shante and I met more than thirty years ago and have been best friends ever since,” says Falcon | NakedSword Creative Director Sister Roma. “Twenty years ago, he introduced me to Stephen Scarborough, who hired me to do graphic design for Hot House—and the rest is history. I owe my entire career to him. He was one of the best humans I’ve ever known. This is a tragic loss for us all.”

“When I first met Michael Youens many years ago, he seemed like an enigma to me," says Falcon | NakedSword President and CEO Tim Valenti. "Over the years—and by watching one of the greatest friendships of all time that he had with my friend Roma—I discovered a kind soul with a sly sense of humor; someone who knew the score, who had faced life and dealt with his demons. He became a friend and colleague whom I could not only admire but have tremendous respect for. Michael has left many, many of us brokenhearted by his passing, but, boy, were we lucky to know him.”