Trans Education: Samantha Allen on Gender, Career, and Acceptance

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TransEthics: Being transgender and Trans Rights have been a huge media topic of late, along with the pushback of those who try to restrict gender to genitals and chromosomes. Having studied gender & sexuality, what response would you give to these people?

Samantha Allen: Great question! I still remember being completely surprised by the existence of intersex people when I took my first Women’s Studies class while an undergrad at Rutgers. At the time, I was still suppressing the idea that I might be transgender –in fact, I’m not even sure I know what that word meant– and my understanding of human sexual dimorphism hadn’t progressed beyond what I’d learned in an eighth grade biology class. Learning that biological sex is nowhere near as simple as XX and XY, that transgender people can take hormones to alter their secondary sex characteristics, and that the category of sex is itself culturally contingent in all sorts of ways – all that was brand new to me, and it opened my eyes. I understand now why The Matrix was made by two trans women: stepping outside the system of gender and seeing it for what it is feels a lot like waking up from a dream. Continue reading

Trans Vision: Cookie Cosmos on Changing Expectations, Advocacy Through Porn, and Coming Out

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TransEthics: Your Twitter bio says you’re an “ethical queer porn creator and performer” Exactly what does that mean to you?

Cookie Cosmos: To me, Ethical Porn has always meant treating performers well. In my case I work with other trans people, so I try to make content the performers want to make, make sure they are comfortable doing it and that they take home a fair cut. It also means taking down content that the performer is no longer happy being marketed. I’ve cut scenes short in the past because a performer is experiencing dysphoria, and if you are working with other trans people I think that’s the least you can do.

TE: Do you think it’s important that trans porn be made by trans people? 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