Trans Women Porn Project

Reflection on Trans Women in Porn: Backlash; Biteback to VOD Release of Doing it Ourselves: Trans Women Porn Project >>Drew DeVeaux

Cross posted from: http://drewdeveaux.com/

DVD Cover: Doing It Ourselves

DVD Cover: Doing It Ourselves

So, I wasn’t going to start actually blogging for another week, but I couldn’t resist after reading a single word: “disgusting”.

The word, in this case by a commenter on the *awesome* Hot Movies for Her VOD site, was what I suppose constituted a “review” to the recent release of Doing it Ourselves: A Trans Women Porn Project on their site. I felt compelled to respond to their comment; I only wish I could be more succinct, as they were so adept at. Believe me, I could think of many single-word statements, but I refrained and wrote this instead:

dear hot movies for her ‘commenter’,

i am curious as to precisely what your tactless quip ‘disgusting’ refers to? i’m curious, in fact, if you even took the time to watch the film.

sure the film isn’t a work of technical genious. but consider that in the context that this work is by a first-time director working on no budget, doing something that no one had even attempted: to make a film that captures authentic sexual experiences of trans women.

following in the work of other feminist pornographers, DOI, forges an entirely new sexual narrative that has been pushed aside in the drive to create content that typically considers real sex as messy and obtrusive distraction from pre-fabricated fantasy.

while fantasy has its place, the mainstream shemale porn industry has almost totally monopolized images of trans women’s sexuality. not just dumb-ass boring, its ubiquity casts trans women as into a singular mold that doesn’t fit reality, that doesn’t get at how hot and diverse trans women can truly be. tap that shit!

anyhow, the brevity, and concise perfection of your reponse couldn’t be more aptly timed. it’s reactions such as yours, autonomic responses that underscore the importance of this work. great job tobi!

peace out,

dd

p.s. while they’re not up here, the BTS inteviews are pretty rich in framing the importance of this work, just sayin.

It’s interesting to revisit this work as it was almost a year and a half ago when Doing it Ourselves (DIO) was shot. It was such a thrilling experience and, as it is for most newbie’s first times, there was a shuddering juxtaposition of determination and uncertainty about how it would all go. I am unequivocally proud to be part of this work as I think it was so revolutionary at the time that it was conceived. That said, I think it’s really fantastic that while comments such as the above speak to the imperative need for work that revisions who trans women are and what sort of sex we have, there is also exciting progress that’s being made, progress that renders some aspects of this film happily anachronistic!

To elaborate, on the film’s website, director Tobi Hill-Meyer talks about their motivations for making the film. Written in 2008, they note that while “there is now a decent infrastructure for queer-woman-made porn…trans women in porn are still represented only within mainstream porn production that is constricted by unrealistic expectations about what a trans woman is”.

Since 2008, in less than 2 years, things have really started to change! This is not an exhaustive account (and please comment with what I’m missing) there has been a recent shift in portrayals, imagery, and simple inclusion of trans women in porn.

Producer and director Shine Louise Houston was the first queer/dyke porn director to include trans women in their work, going as far back as 2007 and one of the first (and one of the hottest) Crash Pad Series scenes featuring the openly trans Julie and Michelle Aston. Since then several other trans/transitioned female models have been feature on the site including DIO Tobi Hill-Meyer, Maya Mayhem, and myself, of course. ;) Shine, won Feminist Porn Awards in both 2008 and 2009 for Best Trans Film, the latter for Crash Pad Series Vol II which featured that undeniably strokable scene with Julie and Michelle Aston.

Also, Courtney Trouble has been inarguably visionary with respect to her inclusion of trans women in her work, both on her NoFauxxx site as well as the gazillion DVDs she’s put out in the past year. Trouble was a recent winner of some sexy hardware at the 2010 Feminist Porn Awards for Best Trans Film. From her seamless and nonchalante inclusion of trans women & trans men in her films, including the pairing of trans boys and girls (I’m referring to my *smokin* scene with Cyd Loverboy in Seven Minutes in Heaven 3) I’d say she’s the early winner to repeat in that category in 2011! The banner image on this blug is me not fisting Cyd from that very scene!

Other trans women, most notably Mandy Mitchell, have begun to sublimely work with(in) ‘mainstream’ porn esthetics and industry to create creative smokin hott work that subverts and sells. Check out Mandy’s yoga porn trailer if you can – *love love love it*! :)

Also we are starting to see the inclusion of trans women in mainstream porn outside of the ‘shemale’ or ‘transsexual’ niche they’ve been confined to. Case in fucking point, I am excited about work I have upcoming with another Feminist Porn Award winner, Nica Noelle, for her Sweet Sinner and SweetHeart Video Lines in the coming few weeks. Stay tuned for more details! :)

This echoes, and certainly builds on, the work that Jiz Lee, Dylan Ryan, Syd Blakovich and many others who have hustled to get their queer sensibilities and esthetics out into the world and have unleashed them onto the sets of mainstream porn. While it’s hard to single out one piece of work, I’d say that Jiz and Syd’s collaboration with Belladonna for Strapped Dykes was a seminal moment in the crossover of queer porn into the mainstream, as Jiz eloquently reflected on in their blog. I also like Jiz’s reflections on ‘penetrating’ mainstream porn as a genderqueer performer here.

And so it’s interesting to reflect on where I’ve come from and where I’m going, on how DOI is still an important piece of work that aligned with my initial motivations for starting out in porn. While these will always remain intact, my interests and goals have certainly diversified. So while DOI is still an important piece of work, the successes of trans women in finding their way into queer porn and mainstream porn and finding their own creative voices isequally powerful and exciting!

DrewDeveaux

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