Courtney Trouble Graduates With MFA, Receives Scholarship for 2nd Degree

OAKLAND, Calif.—Former adult performer/director Courtney Trouble is in line for congratulations after completing one of two planned art-related master’s degrees when they graduated with the Class of 2017 California College of the Arts Masters of Fine Arts cohort on Saturday, May 13.

In a statement, the edge adult auteur updated fans and colleagues on these educational achievements and future goals, as well as the status of TROUBLEfilms and its future.

This spring, Trouble was offered a significant merit-based scholarship to return to CCA for a second master’s degree. The edgy adult auteur will be entering the Masters for Visual and Critical Studies (an academic track) program in the fall. The scholarship will not cover all costs and Trouble has accrued significant financial aid loans, so a donation page and Amazon wishlist have been set up for anyone interested in helping this queer porn icon take it to the next level. For more information, click here.

Trouble’s fine art skills blossomed under mentorship across disciplines at CCA but particularly in alternative photography practices, printmaking, painting and installation. Trouble’s thesis exhibition, “Queer Porn Archive,” displayed 64 one-of-a-kind magazines featuring chaotic and lyrical collections of Trouble’s pornographic and queer cultural photography work, and a digital hard drive containing the entire Courtney Trouble archive, surmounting to over 220,000 images and videos and meant to be preserved in hiding at an unknown location.

Trouble works at the college and has planned events centered around wellness, including a sex work panel featuring Carol Queen and Chelsea Poe and a sex toy workshop with adult boutique Feelmore 510.

“One of the biggest questions for me is how out I should be at school about being a sex worker. It never may be obvious whether I will be taken seriously in an art world space or not, so I really focused on making stuff that followed my intellectual questions and trusting my gut when I had to answer questions. CCA fully embraced my history and helped me turn my adult industry skills into teaching skills. I couldn’t be more amazed and inspired by the grace with which this institution embraced conversations around pornography and sex work. They also didn’t pigeonhole me. I ended up improving in so many techniques just by daring to rip things apart. Now I can talk about anything I need to, including my experiences in sexuality, in a lot of new languages. I particularly like abstract minimalism that looks at transforming digital pixels into physical elements like dust and threads.” has become a personal website and portfolio for Trouble’s art, research and writing.

The force behind QueerPorn.TV, NoFauxxx.Com and the TROUBLEfilms DVD catalog, Trouble retired from directing commercial pornography in the fall of 2015 in order to prepare for the experience of graduate school. “Two years ago, Chelsea Poe started directing for TROUBLEfilms and has found massive success with her concepts,” Trouble explained. “It’s an incredible relationship—it is awesome to have a company while I’m in school, and it is awesome that I’ve been able to collaborate with someone so excellent at what they do. Chelsea’s kept the company (and me) afloat for the past 18 months. TROUBLEfilms is in excellent shape, and what’s coming out next will be even better. She’s on a roll.”

Poe owns a portion of the company and handles all new productions exclusively. Trouble has moved behind the scenes, editing, consulting and maintaining the websites and technical support.