Despite the Transgender Erotica Awards being as the name infers, an Award show, its main agenda has always been as a celebration of the adult trans industry and to draw a focus on our part of the industry and to honor the fabulous individuals who work in it.  We have a three day event, so that performers, industry and fans who travel from across the world, can enjoy an unparalleled experience of networking and entertainment.  As seriously as we take the nomination and the judging,  we aren’t exclusively about that and all should feel welcome and included.

The nomination process takes us over a month.  We’ve made some changes this year which we hope will enable us to be even more objective and help our judges make their decisions.    Nominations are fielded from fans and industry –  last month anyone had the ability to put forward names and titles for all categories,  we considered each of these nominations in turn which if eligible were put forward.  We then approached the companies shooting the majority of trans companies and asked for their opinions on performers who had worked for them, and scenes/DVDs they considered their strongest.

We’ve made the final nominations tighter than ever this year, and restricted the amount of scenes or DVDs each company can submit, so each companies nominations should be only their best work.   Splitting Best Scene into ‘Best Scene Girl/Boy’ and ‘Best Scene Girl/Girl’ allows the judges to be more objective by making like for like comparisons.    The nominations for the performers are even tighter with dozens of eligible individuals vying for only a few places.   We consider a performers body of work over the year,  the number of different companies they’ve worked for and the scope of work they’ve done.   When you look at the names on the Best Solo Model and Best Hardcore Performer, you can see how difficult it is to change out any of those names for someone else.    Best New Face, Best Non-US Performer also face those challenges while Ms.Unique because of the nature of that award may feature models who’ve done less work but hit a very specific niche, look or style.

All those nominated should be very proud of that – nearly all categories had dozens (if not 100’s) of nominees.   In any sort of nomination or award shows, there are always going to be complaints or opinions, on why someone isn’t included – and I can only answer that we do our best to look at all suggestions no matter if it comes from large companies, or individuals to get a fair temperature of who should be on those nomination lists.

So how is it judged?   We have a unique judging system – each year a selection of judges from the industry, media, and fans are tasked with choosing their favorite performers or scenes.   All judges are given access to the works, or a body of work for each performer to make that selection.  Judges identities are kept a secret (even from each other) until they’ve all submitted their choices so there can be no accusations of tampering.   This year we have company owners, DVD directors, models, producers, media and fans on the panel.   Each judge selects their top 3 choices in order, with different points given to each choice in that order.   The winner being the selection with the most points overall.

We consider this the fairest, most transparent and most objective way to select winners of any award shows, many of which only use a panel of judges.  Nobody from Grooby is judging the show this year (I have occasionally over the years).

A small glimpse into other changes that might take place this year,  as you may know, we have Domino Presley as the Mistress of Ceremonies and Natasha Dreams as our red carpet host (more announcements on the red carpet soon) and we’re hoping to reconfigure the red carpet to provide more room inside.   We’re focusing less on companies names – and more on the performers this year, which is where the onus should be,  although of course, the sponsors will be getting a massive amount of publicity.    We’ve added a ‘Best Self Producer’ category to include performers who make their own content for the clips sites or trade.  We also are working hard on getting our small Saturday convention, TEAcon working and with a new and exciting format to include some round tables on content production, legal and health issues that affect our industry.

We will be addressing more topics as the date grows closer,  including new safety measures for all performers (we are now only a 21+ event),  dress codes (no sweatpants – yes, I mean you!) and how to RSVP as a nominee or a model.

The TEAs are operated as a ‘not for profit’ – Grooby presents it and we rely on sponsors to cover the costs of the locations, programs, entertainment and all the small things that add up to make the show what it is.  We pick up the shortfall – as well as have our staff run the show, and everything needed to make it successful,  so if you are considering sponsoring please speak to Kristel to see what opportunities are available as we really do need you.

I hope this answers many questions.

Steven Grooby