Trans Reporting: Katelyn Burns on Writing, Politics, and Moving Forward

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TransEthics: What inspired you to get into writing for various media establishments?

Katelyn Burns: I never really set out to be a writer or even an activist really. I’ve always been fairly political and my interest in trans politics and theory extend back even into my teenage years. I always did a good job covering my tracks, so all of my reading was done in secret when I was still in the closet. One day, after I had decided to transition but before I had started hormones or come out to many people, I was really struggling with my own body. I’d lost 110 pounds already but still had a lot of internal baggage to work through. My therapist suggested writing about it as a therapeutic method. Continue reading

The Disturbing Endgame of ‘Clovergender’ Trolls

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The year of 2017 did not get off to the best of starts for trans and gender nonconforming people. 2017 wasn’t even five days old when a dangerously savage smear campaign raised its head from the bowels of the internet. It’s not the typical kind of trolling trans people have experienced before. It’s dangerously different.

Trigger warnings for child sexual abuse, pedophilia normalization, gaslighting, transmisogyny, and gender misappropriation.

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My Dark Secret…

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With a title like that, you already know that what I’m about to reveal to you, Dear Reader, is not something I easily admit. It’s a confession of sorts. You see, I wouldn’t wish being transgender on anyone.

And I mean anyone.

Being transgender means showing the world who you are on the inside, in spite (and because) of the gender of the shell you have. Some trans folks know at a very young age; some discover later on; some are neither male, nor female; some are both; some ignore gender altogether. But there is one constant: We all spend an incredible amount of time considering gender.

Why is my body this way?
Why can’t I wear what I want?
But I’m not a (boy/girl)!

These are things we as trans people ponder. We dive into the gender spectrum and try to find our color in it. And it’s never what our doctors and parents declared on our birthdays. We struggle to find out why we’re so unlike the alleged members of our “own sex”. We struggle to discover the roots of kinks we discover later in life. We don’t wonder who we are.

We know who we are. We wonder why we are this way.

Something just doesn’t fit. Or it fits a different way. Or maybe it can be redesigned to fit.

There are those who would accuse any trans person as trying to redesign themselves, perhaps even for nefarious reasons. Some would claim trans people “try to remake God’s design” and are therefore abominations. Others may say “live and let live” yet turn a blind eye to the rampant persecution of trans people by those who feel our very existence is a threat.

We threaten it all.

We threaten the patriarchy. We threaten the binary concept of gender. We’re willing to give up privilege, and live with the consequences. Many of us turn to sex work just to survive. Most of us know the risks before we come out. We could literally lose everything simply to be who we are. So why the fuck would anyone transition?

There is only one answer: We cannot accept that society reduced who we are when it stapled an M or an F to us at birth. We know ourselves better than those who would force such roles upon us. We transcend our labels. We know that version of us isn’t true. For this, we’re perceived as a threat. But this piece wasn’t going to be about the binary, or the gender spectrum, or anything political. It was about a secret. My secret.

My secret is that I wish I didn’t ponder such things; that I didn’t question gender; that I could just be someone who accepted the M or F without further consideration.

I wish I could have been born cis.

But I’m happy that I was born trans.

By TransEthics Posted in Blogs

Trans Mission: Kate Adair on HB2, and Changing Media & Society

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TransEthics: Tell us what you do for the BBC.

Kate Adair: What I do is work on a platform called BBC The Social. It’s an online space giving a platform to new and emerging content creators. It’s about letting people make what we are passionate about. In my case I started with a couple of a Trans 101 videos and have recently moved on to doing a weekly thing called queer bites where I get to discuss a topic of the week… usually I take it from something that I have seen in the news or something big from the world of LGBTQI+ society, but I do admit I’m bias a little towards the trans content. I’m a trans person who leads on creating what I make, script, film and edit my own stuff and the BBC listens to my views and allow me to make what I feel is relevant and important. They tend not to change or alter what I say and —at least with the social— are happy to listen to my lead on whats needing to be said and put out there.  Continue reading

Trans Sadism: Stacy Sadistic on Domming, Narratives, and Transition

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TransEthics: How old were you when you started pursuing sex work?

Stacy Sadistic: I was 23 when I first started doing things for money, but I had been in the fetish scene for many years before that. I had a girlfriend who introduced me to the fetish world. She took me to lots of fetish events, and introduced me to new things and new people. I grew up in a small town, so I was kind of repressed. I reluctantly got into cross-dressing at her request, but soon found that I really enjoyed it. We had sort of a switch dynamic, but after many years together, I realized she was abusive, so I left.

Its funny, because lots of people told me that I was “naturally submissive,” and would never be a good dominant. I don’t think BDSM is something I would have sought out naturally on my own volition, but after getting into it, I found that I enjoyed being able to give my partner a certain experience, the play was fun, and I liked the community. Continue reading

Trans Specialty: Stefani Special on Trans BDSM, Progress in Porn, and Vernacular

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TransEthics: What did you do before you got into the Industry?

Stefani Special: Many, many 9 to 5 jobs. Food service mostly but also customer service rep, sales person, construction. I actually started web-camming & escorting before porn too.

TE: What was your motivation for getting started in sex work?

SS: It kind of chose me. I chose to proceed with it because I love sex. I’ve said it before in other interviews but I was working at a sandwich shop & I would have customers ask me at the counter if I had an ad up. I was like what the fuck is that…? Then I did research & was like “oh, okay”. I was already web-camming at the time but mostly just Skype & Yahoo Messenger to get a feel for what it was.

So after pushing it around in my head & originally thinking I could go into cis porn & having that dream crash, I contacted Grooby. They didn’t have shooters in Dallas at the time, but I was contacted shortly after by Omar Wax to shoot. Also I had a brief, like 1-3 scenes in solo gay porn but of course you wouldn’t recognize me even if you knew me. That was way prior to Grooby of course, and actually even prior to escorting. Continue reading

Trans Dreams: Kailee Keller on Jobs, Restrooms, and Success

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TransEthics: What is it that attracted you to the Adult Industry?

Kailee Keller: Well as like anyone and everyone, I love porn (laughs). I actually didn’t really seek it out though, the industry kinda found me. I always had it in the back of my head that I know I could do porn, and I would probably be good at it. I started camming a long time ago to make a little side money in college when things were rough, and I really enjoyed it, so I knew I would enjoy doing professional shoots with websites! Continue reading

Trans Analysis: Zinnia Jones on Dysphoria, Conversion Therapy, and Forgiveness

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TransEthics: At what age did you begin transition?

Zinnia Jones: I started medically transitioning when I was 23. I was living as a woman full-time for at least several months prior, and I was frequently being read as a woman in public for a couple years before that.

TE: Is your family supportive?

ZJ: My partner Heather has always been extremely supportive and encouraging. She gave me an environment where living as a woman was something comfortable, welcomed, and desirable. She was probably the biggest contributing factor to me finally finding the confidence to start HRT – particularly because we both knew that, if anything, this would make me even more attractive to her, not less. Our kids have been very understanding and it’s been a total non-issue. They’ve always known me as a woman and they were relatively young at the time I started transitioning, and Heather was able to explain it to them in a straightforward and age-appropriate way: that some girls have “boy bodies” and vice versa, and I was taking medicine to give me a “girl body”. Continue reading

Help Support TransEthics

I’ve had some issues lately that have prevented me from interviewing as often as I’d like to, including being without a computer for several months. A more common issue has been having my not having a consistent internet connection. To guarantee a consistent connection, I’ve set up a Patreon account located here. I have set the monthly goal for the cost of my connection, but you can donate any amount monthly to help keep TransEthics operating. Please visit the page for reward information.

 

Thank you!

Victoria Darling

Trans Gaming: Brianna Wu on Gamer Culture, Harassment, and Caitlyn Jenner

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TransEthics: How long have you been in Game-related journalism?

Briana Wu: A lot of people don’t know this about me, but my background is in journalism, specifically investigative journalism. But most of my work was in in crime and local reporting. I do write game related op-eds as part of my job these days, but I see myself as more of a developer than a journalist.

I think if you look at who has the power to change the industry in historic terms, game journalists don’t have as much as developers. Yes, they get to communicate about their tastes to a wide audience, but ultimately they are commenting on other people’s work. To me, the act of creating is much more interesting than commenting.
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