Retired gay porn actor Blue Bailey has found a new calling. Now known as Stephan Ferris, he has opened his own law practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives.
After leaving the adult industry some years ago, Ferris attended law school at the University of California Hastings in San Francisco. He studied media, intellectual property, and drug policy matters, graduating in 2017. Ferris passed the California bar exam and was sworn into the California bar on December 4, 2018, at first working as an associate for an automotive-based law firm. But then the pandemic hit, and Ferris was laid off.
"It ended up being a blessing in disguise," he said.
It was not an easy time for Ferris. He had lost his job and was about to lose his relationship and his apartment. He ended up moving home to Las Vegas for a time to be around family and to regroup.
"I am an expert in distracting myself from myself, whether that manifests itself in sex, drugs, or the like," Ferris said. "I appreciate that in a sense the pandemic slowed down life and afforded me time to work on myself. Twenty-twenty could have completely broken me, but ultimately it resulted in my refocus and rebirth. "
Ferris says that he used the time for self-care and self-improvement, and for focusing on his relationship, his home, his work, and his recovery.
"I was able to start my own business, secure my own apartment to build a home for myself, and develop a partnership with a man I'm in love with," he said.
The business he started is the Law Office of Stephan F. Ferris. His practice is in the Castro District, San Francisco's LGBT neighborhood, and is part of the Bay Area Legal Incubator Program, a community of solo attorneys dedicated to providing affordable legal services and promoting social justice. According to Ferris, the program provides coaching and resources to accelerate the launch of solo practices serving low- and middle-income communities.
"I practice cannabis, business and entertainment law," Ferris said. "I counsel clients on establishing new businesses, creating and protecting branded content, and maintaining compliance for medical and adult-use cannabis. Some of the clients I have been working with include queer tech platforms, adult entertainment studios, and cannabis retailers."
In the past, Ferris has kept his adult film life in the background out of concern that it might hamper his chances of professional success.
"However, when I attended kink and leather events, I met people who married their passions and hobbies with their work, and they were incredibly happy," he said. "I wanted to be like that. Sure, doing porn, being openly gay, kinky or HIV positive may be a turn off for some, but at the same time, it's appealing for others. It provides visibility and representation that are lacking.”
Ferris continued: “I think people from these communities are more open to hiring someone from their own identity who understands and experiences what they experience. They don't have to explain or rationalize what they're going through. I recently had a chat with a performer who was worried about the legal implications of cash domination, who didn't feel comfortable talking about this with a muggle attorney."
Ferris added that he is quite happy to be providing legal counsel to the adult entertainment industry. With his decade-plus experience in the business, he feels that he has a unique perspective when paired with his legal skills.
"There are many things I wish I had known as a young performer, and I'm happy that I can use my experience and skills to help lift my community," he said.
He notes that there are always people who might judge him for his past, but he's not too concerned about such things.
"I'm sure I'm judged for doing porn, for struggling with addiction, or even the people I've dated," he said. "But like RuPaul says, what people think of me is none of my business."
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