This weekend I went to the Tranny Awards in LA with a few other queer porn performers. This weekend has really changed my view on the world of porn. I personally dislike the term tranny and that has not changed for me nor will anything truly change that. This weekend has blown my mind I have never…
you should read Chelsea’s original post and what tobitastic added to it.
and here’s my thoughts as a porn producer who is not a trans woman.
what people call themselves, and what you should call them, can be vastly different. those folks outside the trans* female spectrum should respect trans women who have chosen to use the word tr*nny. it is not anybody’s place to tell them not to. it is not our job to police those who identify with these words. it is not our place to judge them either.
it is, however, our place, to not use those words ourselves.
the reclamation of derogatory words belongs solely to the community who suffers from it’s power.
many women have not reclaimed these words, so it’s not appropriate to assume that the use is universally applicable.
the word tr*nny is far more “acceptable” when used to describe sex workers than it is to describe trans women who aren’t sex workers. question this. tr*nny is also used in drag culture, cis gay culture, the fashion industry, and television as derogatory terms. (ie, hot tr*nny mess, we all remember this one right?)
this is why on top of my neverending respect and support for the women who work in the trans adult industry regardless of what terms they use, i also strongly believe in phasing out these words in the marketing of trans porn made by folks outside the spectrum. we can support the women who choose this word without using it ourselves. it can’t be that hard. also, we don’t get to judge anyone for the words they’ve picked for themselves either. it’s not a reflection on class or intelligence or coolness, we are not elevated because we use respectful language for people outside of our own experience that we don’t know. we *should* use the word *woman* - unless welcomed otherwise.
tobi’s latest film Doing It Again Vol. 1” Playful Awakenings was just reviewed on XCritic by the best reviewer in the trans porn industry, and he used the term trans woman and woman because that’s what the movie called it’s performers. In a review from the same writer for a movie called Shemale Playthings - he used the words shemale and tranny and never trans woman or women. (and if you’re curious, tobi’s film got the better rating overall)
Producers of trans porn have power over how their performers are viewed and what words are used to describe them. Porn reviewers and retailers are happy to carry along our language. Customers and fans use the words we ask them to use, too.
i will leave this recent interaction with a cis straight male fan of my work as a sad example of the power behind what we call the porn we make. he had seen a scene from Trans Grrrls (of Chelsea, actually) and came to dinner after the event. midway through our meal he started telling this story about how someone had shown him a dvd of of mainstream trans porn at a party. he called these women freaks and tr*nnies and sensationalized the entire experience. I didn’t really know what to say except, “how was that porn any different then what you saw tonight” and he said he didn’t know, but the box cover called them “shemales” and “trannies” so he did too. He didn’t see how that porn and my porn was similar. He didn’t call my performers tr*nnys, he called them women.
i also believe integrating trans women into all kinds of porn, and having women be cast as women in scenes about women - without the trans signifier. but that’s next on the politics of porn show.
anyways. don’t use the word tr*anny unless someone tells you to call them that. and don’t judge people who call themselves tr*nnies. and give porn consumers the benefit of the doubt that they will follow your lead if you choose to market your porn in a new way. allowing porn performers to represent their own preferences regarding language and sexuality is more important that you think. end of story.