Trans Orgasmic: Evie Eliot on Imagining a New Kind of Porn, Liberation, and Magic

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Trans Ethics: How did you get into the sex industry?

Evie Eliot: The very short version is that I just sort of woke up one morning and said “I’m going to make porn”. The longer version is that about seven years ago, I saw a film called the Third and the Seventh, by Alex Roman. It was the first time I’d ever seen something that fit the description “fine art cinema” for me, and at the end of it, the first thing I thought was, “I want to make porn that looks like this.” Back then though it was just “something I’d like to do”, in the same way as I wanted to say, travel South America. If someone had offered me an all expenses trip then I’d take it, but I wasn’t actually very serious about turning the idea into reality.

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Trans Activism: Honey Foxxx on Unifying the LGBTQI Community and the Importance of Supportive Families

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Trans Ethics: How did you get started in the sex industry?

Honey FoXXX: I was 18 Years old and I was living in South Central (Los Angeles). This is a time pre-transition. I was on the 103rd street train station and this talent producer Robbie said “You look like you have a big dick.” He gave me his card and a week later I was shooting for gay porn.

TE: So you started pre-transition… how long were you doing that before you decided to get on hormones and start being your true self?

HF: I did gay porn for almost two years. I started my transition and taking hormones at 19, but I didn’t start living full time until I was 20, which is when I was discovered by Danielle FoX, which is how I got into TS porn.

TE: When you were growing up, did you ever think that the sex industry would become your career?

HF: Honestly… NO! No way! I was shy and quiet. I was kinda nerdy. Plus my parents were pretty conservative for a gay couple so I was very sheltered for a long time. Continue reading

Trans Oblivion: Felicity Summer on Feminism and the Perils of Being a Homeless Sex Worker

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Trans Ethics: How long have you been camming?

: I have only cammed a few times, my income from sex work has been primarily escorting. I have also done porn. I began escorting two and a half years, webcamming for about one and a half, and started doing porn in August 2014.

TE: What did you do before getting into sex work?

FS: Oh, everything. I had retail jobs, was a server, and got a pretty thorough minimum wage experience. But I’ve also made a living playing in jazz combos, running market research call centers… Wage work just isn’t for me. I was also an undergrad college student, went to two different universities. The year I started sex work I was going to Portland State and was an teacher’s assistant for Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality studies.

TE: Did you consider going into teaching? Continue reading

Trans Acceptance: Ryder Monroe on Community, the Transgender Erotica Awards, and Music!

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Trans Ethics: The Transgender Erotica Awards were this last weekend, and you were nominated. I was trying to keep up, but I was really busy. Did you win?

Ryder Monroe: Nope. I’ve been nominated the last four years multiple times, but I have yet to win anything. I like to think I’m the Susan Lucci of transsexual porn. (laughter)

TE: I spoke with a few of the models over the weekend and I got the sense that the Transgender Erotica Awards (TEAs) is both a positive and negative event. What effect do you feel they have on the Industry?

RM: I think its mostly a positive effect, especially since they changed the name (from “The Tranny Awards”). There’s so much bias against TS performers (and TS women in general). We deserve an award show of our own that understands and appreciates the porn we make… and just the beauty, and all around bad-assery that is trans women. Continue reading

Trans Inspiration: Becca Benz on Family, Discrimination, and How the Sex Industry Changed Her Life

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Trans Ethics: What kind of job did you have before you started modeling/camming?

Becca Benz: I worked 11 years for a university as the Operations Manager for a research center, and later handling the administrative and fiscal duties for the employee wellness program. Prior to that I worked 11 years managing environmental remediation projects for the Department of Energy. But then I transitioned and can’t seem to get a job.

TE: Were you let go from the university for being trans?

BB: The official reason I was let go was because my job was suddenly reclassified and I was told I was no longer qualified for it. This was several months after I went to living full time as a woman. Continue reading

Trans Dynamics: Sabine Isca on Feminism, Economics, and Bigotry

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Trans Ethics: What were you doing before you got into camming?

Sabine Isca: I was unemployed, after losing a job due to anxiety & depression.

TE: Was your anxiety and depression due to you being transgender?

SI: Yes it was, I hit a really bad low when I realised I had to transition or it would just keep getting worse.

TE: Did you come out at your previous job?

SI: Yeah, I believed I’d be fine because of the equality act and anti-discrimination policy. Unfortunately, the company complied 100% with their legal requirements, but that didn’t extend to any kind of flexibility with regard to attendance, and I was fired for being off sick too often. Continue reading

Trans Workings: Leah Lockhart on Working & Being Trans

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Trans Ethics: How long have you been camming?

Leah Lockhart: I actually don’t cam all that much anymore, but I started in April or May of 2014. I am very new to all of this. (hehe)

TE: You just do photo shoots then?

LL: I take plenty of pictures, yes. Right now, I’m focusing hard on doing more porn and making a career out of that. Camming was a great way for me to get my feet (and other body parts) wet, though. It was kind of a crash course in learning what fans like, as well as how to just be on camera in front of people.

TE: What attracted you to the porn industry?

LL: That’s something I can’t quite put my finger on, but I think it has to do with a combination of things.  First: My growing sense of self-awareness, confidence, and what makes me happy. [That’s] the most important part. Continue reading

Trending Trans: Bridging the gap between morality and sex work.

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Considering the interviews I have done so far, it’s clear that most humans are highly sexual creatures. The problem is over the centuries we have been told to repress these feelings, and that they are “wrong” — largely due to what many would claim are archaic monotheistic beliefs. In many ways, the repression of our sexual nature as humans is similar to repressing ones’ feelings when it comes to being transgender.

Society looks at trans people through very strict gender stereotypes: a binary male/female. Anyone having feelings that don’t coincide with one’s assigned birth gender is categorized as a “misfit”, a “freak”, or even in some extreme cases, an “abomination”. So a lot of trans women repress these feelings, often for self-preservation. But just like repressing the sexual nature of humans, it only works for so long.

In the 21st Century, there has been a revolution surrounding transgender people. And like the Trans Women of Color who started the Stonewall Riots, trans people are giving society the finger and being who they truly are. This has not occurred without pushback, however. Trans people are still excluded from equal rights laws and protections that are given to other minorities simply because our gender does not coincide with what society would push onto us.

Trans women are often rejected by their families when they come out. There are people who paint us in an extremely negative light, and even lie about us to perpetuate fear and the idea that “something is wrong” with us. The media then frequently sensationalizes us for a profit. The reality is that hormones are not cheap. Neither are the surgeries some (if not many) of us desire. The stigma of being trans is so much larger than the stigma surrounding sex, and by extension sex work.

It is important to mention that not all trans women have done sex work. However as Janet Mock pointed out in her book Redefining Realness it is an option many trans women turn to in order to afford the costs of transition, if for no other reason than the discrimination and stigma that surrounds being a trans woman makes it difficult to find employment.

Coupled with the stigma behind being transgender, and the perpetuation of negative imagery coming from both the Christian right and radical feminists, many trans women are unable to find employment outside the sex work industry. As Ada Black pointed out in her recent interview, there are trans women who turn to sex work just to be able to afford the basic necessities of life, stating that that it is “heartbreaking”.

So how can we destigmatize sex work? There has been and will always be a demand for it, with humans being sexual creatures. Since sex sells, what’s wrong with buying it? Isn’t supply and demand a fundamental economic factor? If you’re fulfilling a need that can’t be met elsewhere, isn’t that ethical? And as long as capitalism is forcing trans women to pay through the nose for hormones and surgeries, why shouldn’t we use the sex industry as a source for the money we will need? That’s ethical. Isn’t it?

Keeping it Real: Interview with Chelsea Poe

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Trans Ethics: You recently started a petition to get websites to stop using terms like ‘”tranny” and “shemale”. How is that coming along?

Chelsea Poe: A few sites changed their policy after the petition was launched in November. Right now only 3 major companies still use the term “shemale” and I think sites like Trans 500 are the future of trans porn. That is high quality, mainstream porn that just happens to be of trans women without the offensive terms. I’ve been working with Nica Noelle and Courtney Trouble a lot lately and I think they are also bringing an entire new view of trans sexuality from a really artistic place. Their porn is also going to bring a lot of changes to what the state of trans porn is in the future.

TE: There are some models out there who actively promote themselves using those terms, not finding them offensive at all. How do you respond to the models that don’t have an issue with those terms? Do you think they perpetuate a negative stereotype? Continue reading

Talking about what’s “offensive” in the porn industry: Interview with Ada Black

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Trans Ethics: How did you get into adult modeling?

Ada Black: I’ve wanted to do porn since I was about 15. When I started transition I looked into getting into porn. It was quite easy. I directly emailed Mr Grooby and from there we went.

TE: At what age did you realize you were actually a girl, and wanted to transition?

AB: 4 or 5. I’ve always known [I was a girl]. Before bed as a child I remember saying little prayers that I would wake up a girl in the morning. Kind of embarrassing but children do dumb stuff right? Well I used to think I could make myself a girl with magic and I really believed there was some magical way that I could have this female body. Well estrogen shots are certainly a form of magic. Continue reading