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Model Called ‘Queerphobic’ For Refusing To Do ‘Risqué’ Lingerie Shoot With Female Coworker

MAX LIBERTINE/Unsplash

We’re all trying to make a living and pay our bills, preferably doing something that we enjoy.

Unfortunately, there are people who may try to get us to do something that’s not in the job description, confided the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor yullinso was shocked when the photographer at her shoot demanded she do things she hadn’t been prepared for.

When he called her queerphobic, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong to decline.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not wanting to participate in a risqué photoshoot and being an unprofessional model?”

The OP realized an upcoming photoshoot was not what it seemed.

“I (18 [Female]) model with an agency. Another girl (20 [Female]) and I were assigned a job for a lingerie ad, which I was initially fine with.”

“On the set, I was informed that it was an LGBTQ-themed photoshoot meant to celebrate the queer community.”

“I was told by the stylists and photographer to do lots of risqué things with the other model.”

“They wanted me to crawl across the floor toward her and lick her from the navel to the breasts. They also said I had to make out with her, with tongue involved.”

The OP was called out when she voiced her discomfort.

“I was not comfortable with doing this to another girl since I’m straight. Especially the kissing grossed me out.”

“I didn’t want to do that, and the photographer was furious that I ruined the photoshoot.”

“He raged at me and said I’m queerphobic, I hate lesbians, I’m an embarrassment to my agency, and I don’t have the grit to succeed in the modeling agency.”

“He said I will work at McDonald’s (even though I’m literally in college).”

“AITA for being an unprofessional model?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some sensed red flags in regards to the photographer. 

“This doesn’t sound at all like a pro-LGBTQ shoot, it sounds like a straight-up softcore shoot, with a straight male target audience.”

“The photographer is an unprofessional, lying, and frankly abusive, asshole. Borderline criminal behavior, to be honest.” – brand_x

“I would say that the odds of actual queer people being the intended target for the photos is near 0%. They were just using language to try to get young people who are likely to be supportive of LGBTQ rights to do a porn shoot, and took advantage of them being young.” – SnipesCC

“It’s worse than a con. They tried to scare, intimidate, and coerce the OP into doing soft porn.” – SledgeH4mmer

“NTA. Was this even a legit job? This sounds like a setup to spring a soft-core porn photoshoot on you.”

“Anyway, you don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with. And that doesn’t make you queerphobic.”

“Plenty of people support the queer community without actually participating in queer sexual activities themselves.” – bee102019

Others said the OP didn’t have to consent to anything if she didn’t want to. 

“OP clearly has issues with the kissing, not touching. And even if OP has issues with that, no obviously they wouldn’t be an a**hole for setting boundaries. If they don’t like that, they can simply choose another model.” – taybay462

“They said that s**t about being an embarrassment to your agency because they wanted you not to call the agency and report them. They’re manipulating you.”

“You should always contact your agency immediately in situations like this and try and document any of the inappropriate requests by any means necessary.”

“After this, look into what you can legally or contractually be asked to do for different types of jobs from your agency so that you have it on hand to show to anyone who tries to take advantage of you.” – hbtfdrckbck

“Nope. That’s called a ‘soft porn’ shoot and you had every right to walk away if you were uncomfortable. The ‘unprofessional’ one was the photographer who wasn’t clear about what the shoot was going to be.”

“Call your agency, tell them what happened, let them know what he did. This is NOT okay.
NTA” – Legion1117

Some pointed out there was nothing LGBTQ-friendly about this.

“That’s not a queer pride shoot, period. Nothing the photographer did is supportive of queer women, or queers in general, or women in general, or consenting human beings in general.”

“If OP were less than 18, this would be a fairly serious crime.”

“OP, I’m glad you had the confidence not to let that so-called photographer gaslight you into providing him a sexual performance. If you want to provide sexuality for pay, it needs to be on your terms.” – redkibbitzing

“Didn’t hire queer models, and frankly, I’d be shocked if this male photographer hiring straight women to make out in lingerie is gay himself.”

“Male photographers that take sexually charged photos of women have a major tendency to weaponize ‘woke’ language in order to sexually exploit the young women and girls they photograph.” – terraformthesoul

“NTA.”

“If the photographer tries to say anything publicly, accuse him of queerbaiting and using the LGBTQ community for money.”

“He should hire QUEER models for this shoot, not straight ones. I’m a Lesbian and this irritated me that he didn’t even hire queer folks.”

“That aside, you are definitely allowed to say you aren’t comfortable with things. There’s a difference between modeling and sex work, and if you don’t want to do sex work, then there are your boundaries!”

“There are also plenty of things you can do that are risque and sexually charged that aren’t making out. I would dare to say it would be even more successful of a shoot if there was barely any touching at all. The illusion of what ~could~ happen is much more powerful IMO (in my opinion).” – ekbellatrix

While the OP thought she might have been in the wrong because of how she was reprimanded, the subReddit insisted this was an example of gaslighting and even sexual coercion.

How the photographer handled the situation was far from appropriate, and the OP had every right to decline on her behalf.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.