The 2015 TEA Party to be Held at the Bardot in Hollywood

TEA Afterparty Flyer12 600x882 The 2015 TEA Party to be Held at the Bardot in Hollywood

July 25th, 2014|Categories: Featured Post, News|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Editorial: It’s time to end the ban against transgender soldiers

la ed transgender soldiers 20140724 001 600x337 Editorial: Its time to end the ban against transgender soldiers

(source:  LA Times)

What does transgenderism have in common with drug abuse and schizophrenia? According to the Department of Defense, they are all reasons to bar people from military service.

The repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” may have ended the ban on openly gay and lesbian troops, but a ban remains in place for an estimated 15,000 transgender troops, who must serve in secret or not at all. This groundless policy not only weakens the military, it stigmatizes transgenderism and deprives military personnel and veterans of the transgender-specific healthcare they need — even as other federal programs such as Medicare have lifted similar restrictions.

Military regulations have lagged behind on issues of civil rights for centuries. Commanding officers use the same reasoning to ban transgender troops that they previously did to ban female and gay troops: They’re not fit for battle. It will harm unit cohesion. Yet time and again, these assertions have proved to be unfounded.

The Palm Center, a think tank at San Francisco State University that focuses on LGBT issues in the military, put these archaic notions to rest earlier this year in a study co-chaired by former Surgeon Gen. Joycelyn Elders and Rear Adm. Alan M. Steinman, MD. The report declared that “there is no compelling medical rationale to exclude transgender people from military service, and eliminating the ban would enable commanders to better care for their troops.” Retired Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Kolditz, who served on the commission, predicted that ending the ban would reduce harassment, assaults and suicides.

If the military is unswayed by the research, perhaps it should consider the story of Kristin Beck. For 20 years, Beck served in the Navy SEALs, seeing 13 deployments, most of them in combat, and earning an impressive slate of military awards and decorations, including a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. In 2013, Beck came out as a trans woman after years of hiding her true identity. “No one ever met the real me,” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper later that year.

In May, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told ABC News that he was open to reviewing the transgender ban, and President Obama signed an executive order on Monday that includes formal protection of transgender federal employees from discrimination at work.

When it comes to issues of civil rights, Obama, like most politicians, has allowed public opinion to dictate his actions. Progress has been made, but at an infuriatingly slow pace. If this president hopes to be remembered for advancing equality, he won’t wait any longer on this issue. The military is not only America’s largest employer, it’s an important face we present to the world — and no place for discrimination.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion

Note: This piece originally appeared on the LA Times.

July 24th, 2014|Categories: Lifestyle|Tags: , |0 Comments

5 Things Not to Say to a Transgender Person (and 3 Things You Should)

800px Transgender Pride flag.svg 600x300 5 Things Not to Say to a Transgender Person (and 3 Things You Should)

(source: Huffington Post by Jennifer Finney Boylan)

1. “Hey, you! Have you had ‘the surgery’?”

This is kind of like someone coming up to you and asking about your vagina or penis. No, wait, it’s exactly like that. While there are some trans folks who are eager to start blabbering away about their nether regions, most of us consider our private parts, you know, private. Go figure.

2. “Do you love RuPaul? How about that Rocky Horror Picture Show?!”

It’s important to understand the difference between drag culture and trans reality. The former can be about performance, exaggeration, and entertainment; the latter is about people’s actual lives. Plenty of transgender people have begun their journeys in the drag community, and you will find many trans folks who adore all of the subversive, transgressive energy that drag can bring. But many of are uneasy when our lives are mistaken for “performance,” and it’s disrespectful to trans people to conflate the two.

As for Rocky Horror, here’s another delightful piece of subversive drag culture, made more enjoyably depraved over the years by the legendary participation of its audiences at the film’s midnight screenings. All of that is great. But remember that, while Frank N. Furter sings that he’s a “transsexual transvestite from Transylvania,” he’s surely not an actual trans woman any more than Al Jolson in blackface is actually Thurgood Marshall.

3. “So you must love that Judith Butler!”

OK, so plenty of transgender people love Butler’s groundbreaking work, which has to be respected for the way it brought the term “gender binary” (as in, “reject the gender binary”) into the vernacular (among other good reasons). But there are plenty of us who kind of sigh when we encounter a sentence like “If there is a sexual domain that is excluded from the Symbolic and can potentially expose the Symbolic as hegemonic rather than totalizing in its reach, it must be possible to locate this excluded domain either within or outside that economy and to strategize its intervention in terms of the placement.”

It’s worth remembering that for many trans people, our lives are not a clever academic theory but a daily struggle against violence and a difficult search for dignity and respect. If you’re talking to a trans person, make sure that you are thinking of them as an individual whose fight for identity is real, not as a person whose identity is some kind of scholarly abstraction.

4. “Can you can have an orgasm?”

Again, getting kind of personal with this one, aren’t you? Most trans people, post-surgery, are perfectly capable of orgasm, but perhaps it’s understandable if this isn’t the first thing folks want to talk about with a stranger. Author Kate Bornstein, in answering this question, playfully observed, “The plumbing works, and so does the electricity.” So, OK, the answer turns out to be The Hell Yes. But whenever someone asks me this question, I think of the story of the guy who kept asking his parrot, “Can you talk? Can you talk?” and at last the parrot says, “Actually, yes, I can talk. Can you fly?”

5. “You know who I feel sorry for? Your children.”

This is a classic way of being judgmental while pretending to be nonjudgmental. As it turns out, most trans people’s children are exactly as screwed-up, or not, as anyone else’s children. But it isn’t having a trans parent that affects children, either for the better or the worse. What damages children is other people treating their families with disrespect.

Three Good Questions to Ask a Transgender Person:

1. “How are you?”

By which I mean approach a trans person with exactly the same respect and open-heartedness with which you’d approach anyone else. In the same way that you wouldn’t begin a conversation with a stranger by inquiring about their race, their spiritual beliefs, or their politics, you probably wouldn’t want “So you’re transgender?” to be the first words out of your mouth. Many of us would rather not talk about what makes us different, especially with strangers. Many of us would rather talk, at least at first, about the things we have in common.

2. “Do you mind if I talk to you about some gender stuff?”

If you’ve established a rapport with a trans person and feel that the conversation has reached a point where Going There would be respectful, proceed with caution and see just how willing your new friend is to have at it. Most of us are happy to talk about the issues, at least in a general way, if we think we can do so in an atmosphere that feels safe.

3. “Are there books you’d recommend I’d read?”

When I first published my memoir, She’s Not There, a dozen years ago, there were precious few books that seemed to address our issues with much subtlety, or with any literary quality; that field was reserved pretty much for Kate Bornstein and her groundbreaking Gender Outlaw. Now there are lots of good books, by authors such as Helen Boyd, Jameson Green, Leslie Feinberg, and, yes, Judith Butler. I published a memoir of being a transgender parent this spring, Stuck in the Middle With You, as well as the updated anniversary edition of She’s Not There, which includes a new epilogue by my wife Deirdre Grace. Both of those books are available from Random House and other booksellers.

Two other recent standouts include Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness, the first transition memoir to also address issues of gender theory, not to mention the unique challenges faced by trans people of color like Mock. And the brand-new Trans Bodies/Trans Selves, edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth (and with an introduction by me), is a 600-plus-page resource guide from Oxford University Press, containing information on identity, love, transition, and politics, written by trans people for trans people.

Finally, your own Jenny Boylan has just published a new novella, I’ll Give You Something to Cry About (Shebooks). This novella tells the story of the Riley family, traveling from Maine to Washington, D.C., to see their young son perform “The Flight of the Bumblebee” at Ford’s Theatre. But most of the drama focuses on 16-year-old Alex, a teenager who has just gone through transition. This is the first time I’ve written a piece of fiction for adults about trans identity, and I hope readers will find Alex an inspiring character, giving life, humor, and dignity to the experience of trans men and women.

I should also mention Alex’s grandmother, Gammie, who is in the car as well. In the opening scene she looks out the window to see a group of chefs leaning against a wall. “What happened?” she yells out the window. “Somebody spoil the broth?”

For more information on Jenny Boylan’s titles, click here.

This post was originally featured on the Huffington Post.

The Tranny Chaser 2: Confessions of a Poolboy on Sale this Monday!

trannychaser2 600x400 The Tranny Chaser 2: Confessions of a Poolboy on Sale this Monday!

Tranny Chaser 2: Confessions of a Poolboy is director Buddy Wood’s highly anticipated newest release. This movie stars Jessy Dubai, Kelli Lox, Nelly, Roxxy Thorns, Sienna Grace, and Smith as the poolboy. Featuring five hardcore scenes with some of the industry’s hottest new talent,  Buddy Wood’s trademark humor shine through.

Pre-order your copy at Shemale Video Direct today! This DVD comes out on Monday July 21, 2014.


Dildo Lovin’ Anastasia

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Hottie Anastasia starts off outdoors at a local Toronto park in her latest scene on Canada TGirl. We get to chat this beauty up a little bit. There were actually cops behind us watching and eating lunch so we couldn’t do anything crazy. Bringing Anastasia back to the condo, I decided to shoot her on the balcony. There is a huge apartment building right across from me and Anastasia didn’t mind being naked and jerking off in front of potentially dozens of people. She even stuck my new 10 inch dildo up her ass with no complains. I love that. There is nothing worse than a woman that doesn’t do anal.

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Transgender Erotica Awards to be Held at Avalon Hollywood

TEA Flyer 600x600 Transgender Erotica Awards to be Held at Avalon Hollywood

Burbank, CA – The seventh annual Transgender Erotica Awards will be held the Avalon Hollywood on February 15, 2015. The Official After Party will be held at the Bardot in Hollywood on February 16, 2015.

The Transgender Erotica Awards (The TEAs) was originally created in 2007 and originally known as The Tranny Awards before changing it’s name earlier this year,  started as an online competition voted by a panel of industry judges. There were only a handful of categories and Grooby Productions sponsored all of the cash prizes. As interest grew, it was expanded into an actual event and has been hosted at a number of different venues in the Los Angeles area. To accommodate the growth of the show, this year the TEAs is moving to Avalon Hollywood.

“We’ve had such growth with the event over the last few years that it was time to move to a larger and more prestigious venue to ensure there is plenty of room for all our sponsors, nominees, and guests.  Unlike previous years, there will be seating available for all attendees and we will be able to retain the ability for all the models and guests to mingle and meet in the large bar areas,”  said Steven Grooby.  “We also learned a lot from last year’s After Party and have renamed it ‘The TEA Party.’  This year it will be higher end socializing mix where industry and fans can network, mingle, and party.  We’re all very excited about this move and have sponsors already committed to help us put on the best show yet.”

From The Beatles first west coast performance in 1964 to ABC’s hit television variety show ‘The Hollywood Palace,’ the Avalon is one of Hollywood’s most historic landmarks and a staple in LA nightlife culture.  Avalon Hollywood is located at 1735 Vine Street in Hollywood, CA.
For more information, visit or follow the event on Twitter at @TGEroticaAwards. Sponsorship and media inquiries can be directed to

Sexercise with Khloe Hart

It’s time to do some sex-ercising with Khloe Hart over at Shemale XXX! She has a stunning body, natural boobs, a sexy round ass, and a delicious uncut cock! This SoCal t-girl has to keep in tip top shape for the beach, so she wants to share with us her favorite exercise routine. Of course, it gets a bit sexy! But what can you expect from a hottie like Khloe Hart?

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Trans Supermodel Vinessa Janovich Wants Everyone To Be Happy

From Gig Harbor, WA to Phoenix, AZ, Vinessa Janovich has been all over the place. But, she’s finally settled back into the Pacific Northwest and is ready to take it by storm. Yesterday, I had the privilege of celebrating the Fourth of July with her and was able to conduct a face-to-face interview. Of course, we were drinking whiskey ‘n coke, so some of her answers are very candid.

Vinessa Janovich is more than just a pretty face, she’s a confident transgendered woman who isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind. When she’s not getting booked in Los Angeles, she’s bouncing around the state to different events and venues, and even finds time to just straight up party with her friends. But all in all, she’s a family girl.

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Brad Gilligan: So, let’s just jump right in. When did you “come out” as a transgendered woman?

Vinessa Janovich: My original plan was to disappear, to runaway to California, because I was so scared of what people would think of me. And then, I would return a few years later and be like, “Hey, y’all! It’s Vinessa!” But, that’s not what happened. I ended up deciding to be happy when I was 17. I learned everything I needed to learn about myself that I could at that time and I came out as a transgendered woman. It’s so bad to say, but I did not ask for a dick and I’m so excited to get that situation corrected.

Brad Gilligan: I feel like a lot of people, even in the LGBT community, are still educating themselves on trans* issues and don’t really know how to approach the subject. How should they verbalize their thoughts so that they don’t offend someone?

Vinessa Janovich:
Oh, I really love this question. I’ve been approached many times by strangers asking me usually, “So like, are you a guy?” And that, to me, is extremely offensive. Because, I do not look like a man at all. I have tits. The only thing that could trigger that thought is my razor bumps from shaving, since I haven’t yet had laser hair removal of it. I think people should just use common sense, but of course common sense isn’t so common. The best way to approach it is to ask them if they’re transgendered or not. If they get offended by that, then they’re stupid. I mean, what it boils down to is would you be offended if someone came up to you at a bar in front of a group of people and asked if you had a loose or tight pussy? If you had a small or giant dick? It’s just unnecessary. So, if you can avoid asking it, you should avoid asking it.

Brad Gilligan: Is there anything else that is sensitive that you personally feel people should know about?

Vinessa Janovich: I’m an open book, as cliché as that sounds. The “so, are you a guy” question is the only thing that offends me. Everything else is fair game and I will freely tell you about my experiences, statistics…whatever you want. I will say though that I won’t tell anyone my “boy name,” because I was never a man. You can probably Google it or something. As for anything else, please don’t ask people if they still have a dick or not, because it’s none of your damn business. If you’re BFFs, then sure, pop the question. Otherwise, it’s irrelevant, because my response will always be, “Do you still have YOUR penis?”

Brad Gilligan: In regards to the ongoing controversy around “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and their usage of she-mail, the “Female vs. She-Male” competition, and this alleged civil war of word policing in the LGBT community, what is your opinion on all of that?

Vinessa Janovich:
Here’s the thing, every trans* person has a different experience. Personally, I don’t care what you call me, because I’m unbothered by it. I’m far too busy and too focused on my career and trying to make something of myself that I could give two shits what people call me. They’re just words and I won’t lose sleep over them. And quite frankly, the fact that there was a competition where people couldn’t decipher if it was a transgendered woman or not is actually really groundbreaking. I’m not sure why people were offended by that, I think that’s really cool. RuPaul, her associates, and the rest of the LGB in LGBT could stand to be a lot more sensitive on the subject, but they are not the enemy.

Brad Gilligan: While walking around at the Seattle Pride festival last weekend, I saw someone come up to you and tell you that you were their role model. You made them feel unashamed of transitioning and they were going to tell their parents. How did that make you feel?

Vinessa Janovich: That made me feel like I’m succeeding in what I’ve really wanted to do in life, which is to inspire people to be who they are on the inside and not just on the outside. I want people to not be afraid of following their dreams and goals for themselves, especially their careers. We need to worry about pleasing ourselves first, because no matter what, for our whole life, we have to sleep with ourselves every night. I’ve never felt like my description was male to female, because there is not one point in my life where I’ve ever felt male. I believe my gender reassignment surgery and my hormone replacement therapy is corrective of a physical deformity and medically necessary. So, if I inspire anyone to feel better about themselves and to be their true authentic self, then y’know, mission accomplished.

Brad Gilligan: That brings me to my next question. People like to pass judgement and say that trans* people are just psychotic and screwed in the head. That’s it not a real thing. What would you say to that?

Vinessa Janovich: Well, short answer would be that they’re fucking wrong. I used to have problems with OCD, anxiety, and manic depression. Studies have shown that I and other transgendered people run the risk of dementia and other physical debilitations if it isn’t corrected. I would literally never wish being trans* on anyone, because it’s not an easy road, by any means. Imagine being exactly how you are right now, but waking up the next morning with the opposite sex organs. Ain’t nobody got time for that! It took me 17 years to understand it and begin enjoying my life, knowing that I’m not crazy, I’m not a demon, and I’m not going to Hell for being transgendered. Today, I don’t have to lie and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I’d like to blaze a trail for trans* people, and anyone really, who’s on the search for happiness.

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Brad Gilligan: Switching gears, how did you get into modeling and what do you like the most about it?

Vinessa Janovich: I got into modeling in 2010 for Seattle Fashion week. My first time walking a runway was when I walked for Richard Blayne Walsh as a finale piece for his set. I was the first openly trans*gendered model to walk the runway in Washington state and the runway was 92 feet long. The moment I set foot on it, it was like ever bad and good thing disappeared. Pure freedom. I don’t understand modeling, but I love doing it. It’s a morbid, tough industry. But, who doesn’t love getting their picture taken and wearing cute outfits? My favorite part is working with so many different photographers, because they all have different visions, and it’s really cool to see how their art differentiates.

Brad Gilligan: Who is your biggest influence in modeling, whether they be transgendered or otherwise?

Vinessa Janovich: I don’t really have a specific influence celebrity-wise, it’s always been my family and friends. Even the fans that I have. I’m more inspired by people than celebrities, but if I have to choose, I’ll say that I really admire Laverne Cox of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. She’s taking it to a new level that my community hasn’t quite experienced and I really love what she’s doing with her celebrity status.

Brad Gilligan: Aside from a successful modeling career and be a leader for the masses, what do you most want out of life right now and in the future?

Vinessa Janovich:
Right now, I just want a good man and a puppy, so that I can start a family. Though, currently I’m dedicating my body and my mind to my career. I just want to be living art. In the future, I’ll get that good man and a cute little puppy. It’ll happen eventually. Everything happens for a reason.

Brad Gilligan: Last question, what do you most want people to know about you after reading this interview, if they weren’t familiar with you before?

Vinessa Janovich: I want people to know that I’m here as a story to motivate people who feel like they can’t accomplish their dreams or their goals in life, especially if they’re transgendered. And, I really just want people to know that if you feel like you don’t have a friend, you have me. You can always message me. I love talking to people!


You can find Vinessa Janovich on Facebook or regularly at The Mix in Tacoma, WA. Will she be hosting karaoke again? I forgot to ask. Gawd, dammit.


Ren Rika’s “O” Face

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We love Ren Rika’s “O” face here on Shemale Yum! She’s one of the cutest LA girls we’ve seen and we find it so sexy the way she blows perfect smoke rings for the camera. Considering her petite size, she has quite an ass for the grabbing! She’s making us drool with desire for her.

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Jessy Dubai

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The beautiful Jessy Dubai loves summer! Mainly because it’s an excuse for her to wear a bikini and hang out poolside.  In her latest scene on Shemale Yum,  she’s enjoying the warm summer sun and showing off that teeny bikini.

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The Trans Day of Action: Taking Back Stonewall

LGBT e1403268551420 600x398 The Trans Day of Action: Taking Back Stonewall

Solidarity LGBT photo via Shutterstock

This article was written by Beth Lalonde and originally featured on the Huffington Post.

Walk down the main street of any city next weekend and you’ll see them: rainbows. They’re on every corner, waving cheerfully from flagpoles and spilling out of windows in glorious ROY G. BIV. Enormous banners in pink and purple are never far behind, advertising a bevy of special sales and promotions. Around the world, Pride festivities are in full swing. It seems like everyone is eager to cash in — from Wall Street giants to Main Street mom n’ pops.

In many ways, our modern Pride celebrations couldn’t be more different from the event they’re commemorating. Forty-five years ago, just after midnight on June 28, 1969, the New York City Police Department conducted a routine raid on the Stonewall Inn. Crowds of trans women, sex workers, and homeless youth were handcuffed, herded out of the bar, and into pushed into paddy wagons.

And then a curious thing happened.

The people in handcuffs began to fight back.

These days, it seems like those details of Pride’s origins have largely been forgotten. Later this year, Roland Emmerich, best known for directing big-budget blockbusters light on plot and heavy on special effects, will direct and produce a film about the riots. So far, every actor attached to the project is, like Emmerich, a cisgender white man. Trans women of color, like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who were present in the riot and crucial to its success, are absent from the screenplay.

But Emmerich’s film is only the latest indignity in a long tradition of the mainstream LGBTQ movement’s pointed exclusion of women, transgender people, and people of colour.

And TransJustice, a group of activists affiliated with New York’s Audre Lorde Project, has had enough.

On June 27, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Audre Lorde Project, along with other trans and gender non-conforming organizations and individuals, will convene at the Christopher Street Pier to commemorate Stonewall — and reclaim its legacy.

The occasion will mark the Audre Lorde Project’s tenth annual Trans Day of Action, an event created both to honour those who fought at Stonewall and to draw attention to the continuing struggles of transgender people of colour.

The mainstream LGBTQ movement, backed by predominantly white, cis and male organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, has, in recent years, focused almost exclusively on the issue of marriage rights. Tremendous advances have been made towards nationwide marriage equality. Nineteen states have legalized marriage equality, and federal lawsuits protesting discriminatory marriage laws are pending in each remaining state. While these advances are worth celebrating, many of the LGBTQ community’s most marginalized members feel that equally important causes have been neglected. Not all of these causes are as glamorous — or as good for businesses, which deal in extravagant weddings — as marriage equality.

The Trans Day of Action aims to spotlight these causes, and build solidarity between those who feel excluded from mainstream Pride celebrations.

The Audre Lorde Project’s Points of Unity detail the purpose of the Trans Day of Action. The first item on the list is a call for the end of police violence against trans and gender non-conforming people, especially the displaced queer and trans youth of colour who gather at the Christopher Street Pier. Other items include calls for access to publicly funded trans-inclusive health care, an end to housing discrimination, and new laws to prevent homophobic and transphobic discrimination in workplaces and schools.

The last item on the list is, arguably, the most pressing: a demand for justice for trans and gender non-conforming people of color who have been victims of violent hate crime. According to the Anti-Violence Project’s most recent report on homophobic and transphobic hate crime, trans people of colour are nearly 30 percent more likely to experience violence than any other group in the community. Trans women are particularly vulnerable, comprising 40 percent of all LGBTQ murder victims. As recent TIME covergirl, actress Laverne Cox, said in a February appearance at Harvard, simply “walking down the street is a contested act for many trans women of colour.”

The AVP report calls for the Department of Health and other governmental agencies to recognize violence against transgender women of colour as a public health crisis, and. But these policy recommendations have yet to garner anything like the widespread support that the marriage equality movement has received.

If you’re interested in supporting the work of TransJustice, and learning more about LGBTQ politics beyond marriage equality, consider stopping by the Christopher Street Pier on June 27. For more information, visit the Audre Lorde Project’s website.

(Source: Beth Lalonde and originally featured on the Huffington Post.)

June 27th, 2014|Categories: Lifestyle|Tags: |0 Comments

Grooby Productions, Third World Media Release Black Tranny Jizz Jam #3

blktrannyjizzjam3sleeve 600x404 Grooby Productions, Third World Media Release Black Tranny Jizz Jam #3

CHATSWORTH, Calif. — Grooby Productions and Third World Media have announced the release of its latest title, “Black Tranny Jizz Jam #3,” with a street date of June 23.

“This title has five hardcore scenes featuring some of the hottest black shemales I’ve ever seen,” said Grooby Productions CEO Steven Grooby of the film, directed by Remy and starring Caramel Bombshell, Erika James, Jesikah Rabbit, Mizhani and Giselle Martin. “This entire series features some of the world’s most beautiful black shemale porn stars doing what they do best — sucking cock and getting fucked!”

Founded in 1996, Los Angeles based Grooby Productions produces transgender adult entertainment and has established itself as one of the pioneer companies of transgender porn, with its site called “the first transsexual pay site with original content.”

The company owns a number of transsexual adult websites and produces its own DVD line distributed by Third World Media, as well as having other interests in forums, blogs and social networking within the transsexual niche genre, including its annual Tranny Awards.

For sales, contact Dave Peskin at or (877) 313-3937 ext. 104.

June 27th, 2014|Categories: Industry News, Press Release|Tags: |0 Comments

Laverne Cox Talks to TIME About the Transgender Movement

original 1 930x1240 600x800 Laverne Cox Talks to TIME About the Transgender Movement

This article was written by and featured on

The Orange Is the New Black star on politics, happiness and why genitalia isn’t destiny

On TIME’s cover this week is an unlikely icon: Laverne Cox. Bullied and harassed for appearing feminine while growing up in Mobile, Ala., Cox eventually came out as transgender while living in New York City and took up acting. Now a star on the Netflix drama Orange Is the New Black, she has emerged as a public leader of the trans movement, using her increasingly prominent perch to make the case for equal rights and touring the country giving a stump speech titled “Ain’t I A Woman?” When Cox says it, that refrain is not a question.

Cox spoke with TIME for this week’s cover story, “The Transgender Tipping Point.” Below is a behind-the-scenes video of the cover shoot at her home in New York, and an edited transcript of an interview conducted May 8 in Palo Alto, before Cox addressed an audience at Stanford University.

Who was in your house growing up?

My twin brother and my mother, just the three of us. I never knew my father. He was never married to her mother, he was never a part of my life. It was just my mom, my brother and me.

And what were you like as a child?

I was really creative. I started to dance very young. I loved to dance. I begged my mother to put me into dance classes and finally, in third grade, she did. Tap and jazz but not ballet. She thought ballet was too gay … Throughout all of that, I was very feminine and I was really bullied, majorly bullied. There was this side of me that was this over-achiever that loved learning. But then I was also taunted at school. I was called names. I was made fun of.

Are there any particular instances of bullying that stand out in your memory?

There was this one instance in junior high when I had gotten off the bus and I was chased by a group of kids, which was, you know, pretty normal. They couldn’t really bully me on the bus because the bus driver could see in the rearview mirror, and that wasn’t allowed. But the second we got off the bus, they would try to beat me up. So I’d have to start running, immediately. So that day I was running for my life, basically, and four or five kids caught me. They were in the band. And I remember being held down and hit with drumsticks by these kids. And a parent saw it, the parent of some other student, and called the principal and the principal called my mother and my mother found out about it.

Otherwise you wouldn’t have told her?

No. And I remember being yelled at, because I didn’t tell her and then because I didn’t fight back. I never wanted to fight back. I was scared. I also thought I was above duking it out in the schoolyard with kids. I remember being blamed for having been attacked by a group of kids.

Is there a moment or time you remember first feeling like you might be transgender?

I tell this story about third grade. My third grade teacher called my mom and said ‘Your son is going to end up in New Orleans wearing a dress.’ Up until that point I just thought that I was a girl and that there was no difference between girls and boys. I think in my imagination I thought that I would hit puberty and I would start turning into a girl.

How did your thinking change after that moment in third grade?

Going to a therapist and the fear of God being placed in me about ending up in New Orleans wearing a dress, that was a profoundly shaming moment for me. I associated it with being some sort of degenerate, with not being successful. My mother was a teacher. She was grooming my brother and me to be successful, accomplished people. I didn’t associate being trans, or wearing a dress, with that, or wanting to be a girl with being successful. So it’s something I just started to push down. I wanted to be famous, I wanted to perform. Those things I really, really wanted more than anything else.

Another part of your story you’ve talked about is your grandmother passing away, how you felt like she was looking down on you and disapproving. What happened in that moment?

I was in sixth grade and I was going through puberty. During puberty, the attraction for other boys got really strong. And I learned in church that was a sin. I imagined that my grandmother was looking down on me and that she knew what I was thinking, because she’s in heaven. I just imagined that I was disappointing her and it just was devastating for me. So I went to the medicine cabinet and got a bottle of pills. And took them. And swallowed them. And went to sleep, hoping not to wake up. And I did wake up, with a really bad stomachache. I don’t remember what the pills were. Whatever it was, I thought that they would kill me but they didn’t.

Did you talk to anybody else that night?

Nope. I was very isolated. I didn’t have anyone that I felt close to or that I could talk to. My brother and I were close-ish. But he was dealing with his own stuff. I didn’t really have friends until my junior year of high school. And my mother just had an inability to fully emotionally connect. I think a lot of it was just the stress of trying to take care of two kids by herself. My mom, a lot of her memories of those times, is just that she was really stressed out, trying to figure out how to put food on the table and clothes on our backs … What was the saving grace for me is that I had this great imagination and I was a good student and I loved to perform. The imagination that I used for that creative work was very life-sustaining for me and it continues to be.

How did things change as you got older?

I started trying to find a compromise in terms of gender in high school. I started embracing androgyny. I was just really scared and in a lot of denial. And I wanted to make everybody proud and happy and find a place for myself in the world. The funny thing is being in this androgynous space really wasn’t any better, in terms of perception or reception from people. It was part of my journey that got me to where I am now.

How do you think life might be different for trans kids who are in middle school or high school right now?

There’s a way to connect through the Internet that I didn’t have. So you can connect with people who are like you, who may be in another part of the country. That didn’t exist when I was a kid. I think there are more media representations that young trans people can look to and say, that’s me, in an affirming way. There’s just so many resources out there now that it makes you feel like you’re less alone and gives some sort of sense of, okay, this is who I am and this is what I’m going through, as opposed to being ‘What the f*** is wrong with me?’ That was what I grew up with.

Do you have any lingering feelings like that?

Oh yeah. I absolutely have a lot of work that I have to do around shame, lingering shame from childhood, and childhood trauma. It’s a struggle every day, to stay present, not to become that, you know, eight year old who was bullied and chased home from school. Some days I wake up and it’s like I’m eight years old again. And I’m scared for my life and I don’t know if I’m going to be beaten up that day. I don’t know what mood my mom’s going to be in. That’s intense. But luckily I have tools. I have amazing therapy. And I have support now. I can reach out and talk to people.

The people out there in America who have no idea what being transgender means, what do they need to understand?

There’s not just one trans story. There’s not just one trans experience. And I think what they need to understand is that not everybody who is born feels that their gender identity is in alignment with what they’re assigned at birth, based on their genitalia. If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is okay, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied. They don’t deserve to be victims of violence. … That’s what people need to understand, that it’s okay and that if you are uncomfortable with it, then you need to look at yourself.

Janet Mock [who wrote a best-selling memoir called Redefining Realness] has said that what’s happening in this moment is that trans people are taking more control over their narrative. Would you agree?

Absolutely. We have to listen to people. Folks want to believe that genitals and biology are like destiny! All these designations are based on a penis, however many inches that is, and then a vagina. And that’s supposed to say all these different things about who people are. When you think about it, it’s kind of ridiculous. People need to be willing to let go of what they think they know about what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman. Because that doesn’t necessarily mean anything inherently. Folks are just really uncomfortable with that sense of uncertainty, or that shift.

Why do you think that makes people so uncomfortable?

We live in an uncertain world and we want to believe that what a man is and what a woman is–I know that. And people don’t want to critically interrogate the world around them. Whenever I’m afraid of something or I’m threatened by something, it’s because it brings up some sort of insecurity in me. I think the reality is that most of us are insecure about our gender. They think, ‘Okay, if there’s this trans person over here, then what does that make me?’ We want to just coast along in a belief system that makes us feel secure, because we are a culture, as Brene Brown would say, that is intolerant to vulnerability. And if we are in a position where we have to begin to question this very basic idea of ‘A man has a penis and a woman has a vagina,’ then that’s a lot of vulnerability.

Telling everyone they have a sexual orientation seems simpler than telling everyone they have a gender identity.

There are so many terms. Facebook just gave us 56 custom genders. The biggest thing is that it’s about listening to individuals, not making assumptions … The reality is that lots of lived experience defies that trapped-in-the-wrong-body narrative. People are like, ‘I’m confused!’ And it’s like, ‘Calm down. Relax. It’s okay. Who is this individual right in front of you?’ … When it comes to terms, trans or gender-nonconforming are two great terms that can encompass a variety of different experiences.

Would you say you’re a happy person now?

Absolutely. Happiness is weird though. I’m so busy and I’m living my dream. I feel like myself and I feel pretty integrated, like the person that I am inside is who the world is seeing, which feels calming. But it’s not like ‘Oooooohhh, I’m a woman now and the world is amazing.’ There’s hardships. There are a lot of struggles still. I’m happy that I am myself and I couldn’t imagine my life if I were still in denial or lying, pretending to be a boy. That seems ridiculous to me. That seems crazy at this point … It’s nice to be done with transitioning.

Where is America when it comes to the acceptance of trans people?

We are in a place now where more and more trans people want to come forward and say ‘This is who I am.’ And more trans people are willing to tell their stories. More of us are living visibly and pursuing our dreams visibly, so people can say, ‘Oh yeah, I know someone who is trans.’ When people have points of reference that are humanizing, that demystifies difference. Social media has been a huge part of it and the Internet has been a huge part of it, where we’re able to have a voice in a way that we haven’t been able to before. We’re being able to write our stories and we’re being able to talk back to the media … We are the reason. And we are setting the agenda in a different way.

One example of setting the agenda is the oft-referenced interview you did with Katie Couric earlier this year, when you explained why focusing on genitalia is misguided.

That felt like a moment when things really shifted. I felt really good about it and I remember thinking, As many people who have been on daytime TV, I’ve never heard someone push back and really talk about the homicide rate in the trans community and talk about the disproportionate discrimination and talk about someone like Islan Nettles, who lost her life just because she was walking down the street while trans. And to shift the narrative away from transition and surgery. I’ve never seen someone challenge that narrative on television before. But in the community, we’ve been talking about this and frustrated for years.

What is your response to people who have fought against trans-friendly laws and bills, like the new California law?

It’s scary to me. There’s a lot of fear mongering. I try to see their side of the story. They think that there are these people who were assigned this at birth, who are going to be infiltrating these spaces and, basically, our girls are going to be unsafe. It’s a thing that stigmatizes trans identities … These opponents don’t really understand who we are. They don’t really understand who trans people are when they’re opposing these bills. Sometimes we’re used as scapegoats too, to get other unfortunate agendas passed. That’s the cutthroat thing that’s going on. Some folks, they just don’t understand. And they need to get to know us as human beings. Others are just going to be opposed to us forever. But I do believe in the humanity of people and in people’s capacity to love and to change. God help me for that.

At the end of an event where you spoke in San Francisco, a woman brought down a six-year-old named Soleil who wrote you a note, asking what to do when bullied at school. And it was a very emotional, electric moment. What was that like up on stage?

That was a deep thing for me. What was really emotional for me is Soleil is six years old. I forget how young six years old is. Soleil is a baby and is being told that they can’t be themselves. I think about when I was that age and my gender was being policed and how deeply painful it was and how it made me feel like I was wrong, at my very core, that every instinct I had, to reach for this and be who I was, was wrong. And seeing Soleil, I just thought about how young six years old really is and how innocent six years old really is. And how we need to protect this child. And we need to protect our children from that and allow them to be themselves.

Source: TIME.

June 27th, 2014|Categories: Featured Post, Lifestyle|Tags: , , |0 Comments

The Quiet Clash Between Transgender Women And Drag Queens

Drag Feature1 600x354 The Quiet Clash Between Transgender Women And Drag Queens

Note: this article was written by Zack Ford and posted at Think Progress.

In March, RuPaul’s Drag Race, a reality competition show in search of “America’s Next Drag Superstar,” featured a mini-game called “Female or She-male.” Contestants looked at pictures of bodies and tried to guess whether the person in the picture was a drag queen or a cisgender (not transgender) woman. This prompted a backlash from many transgender activists, who were upset by the nature of the segment and its use of the word “shemale,” which GLAAD explains is a term that “dehumanizes transgender people and should not be used.”

After an initially weak response to the outcry, Logo TV, the LGBT-focused network that airs Drag Race, announced it was pulling the episode and also cutting the “You’ve got She-mail!” segment that has been part of every episode of the show over its six seasons. Despite the resolution, the incident has continued to be a flashpoint about how the visibility of drag culture on Drag Race impacts public understanding of what it means to be transgender. Questions about the appropriate use of words like “shemale” and “tranny” speak to a larger conflict over media representation and the authenticity of identities.

RuPaul, the show’s host and executive producer, has been unrepentant, telling comedian Marc Maron recently, “I love the word ‘tranny,’” and that it’s only “fringe people” who are taking exception with such language. But among those “fringe people” expressing concern are former contestants from Drag Race, including Carmen Carrera and Monica Beverly Hillz, both of whom now identify as trans women. According to Hillz, she is still fighting for respect from society, because “people don’t understand the daily struggle it is to be a transgender woman.”

Hillz’s point is at the center of the conflict, because Drag Race is a show that is not about being transgender but that clearly has implications for transgender people — a particularly vulnerable population. People who identify as transgender report incredibly high rates of discrimination across their lives, including in employment, housing, health care, education, and police interactions. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Program’s recent study found that 72 percent of all violent crimes against LGBTQ people in 2013 targeted transgender women, who also made up 67 percent of LGBTQ homicide victims. One of the most alarming statistics, that 41 percent of transgender people have attempted suicide — compared to just 1.6 percent of the general population — reflects the mental health consequences that result from this discrimination, harassment, and violence.

At the same time, the ongoing conversations about language sparked by Drag Race reflect what Time magazine recently called “the transgender tipping point.” With spokespeople like Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black) and Janet Mock speaking regularly to mainstream media outlets, visibility for transgender people — especially trans women of color — is on the rise. There have also been many victories for transgender equality, such as California’s new law and court rulings in Maine and in Colorado protecting transgender students. Maryland just became the 18th state to enact nondiscrimination protections based on gender identity, and exclusions for transgender health needs have been lifted for both Medicare and federal employees’ health insurance programs.

In many ways, the feud over Drag Race seems to stem from the visibility that the LGBT community has increasingly achieved, and an instinct to defend the authenticity of particular identities. For example, several drag performers responded aggressively against calls not to use words like “tranny,” suggesting it was word-policing and that reclaiming epithets is part of drag culture. Trans women have expressed their own concern that, if conflated with drag queens — i.e. “men in dresses” — the validity of their own identities will be questioned, further contributing to the oppression they experience.

In reality, as several Drag Race contestants outlined to ThinkProgress, this debate is circling some complicated conversations about identities that violate gender and traditional gender roles, but are not so neatly defined as “trans woman” or “cis man.”

“You can fully transform yourself. It’s as easy as deciding to transform yourself.”

Drag, in its most commonly understood form, might be defined as gay men portraying sensationalized women for entertainment purposes, but those who do drag describe it as something more significant than that. Each queen has their own personal reasons for doing drag and expectations for what they hope it can accomplish beyond making an audience laugh.

Benjamin Putnam, better known as RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 contestant BenDeLaCreme, told ThinkProgress that for him, drag is about “dismantling that perception that we think we have about knowing what gender is.” Gender is a very “base thing,” Putnam explained, something we notice about a person even before their race, and drag creates an opportunity to question those expectations — ideally to improve the ways that we can be “kinder and treat each other better.”

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Review: Tranny Chaser 2: Confessions of a Poolboy

610 horizontal trannychaser2 600x123 Review: Tranny Chaser 2: Confessions of a Poolboy

Tranny Chaser 2: Confessions of a Poolboy is director Buddy Wood’s highly anticipated newest release. This movie stars Jessy Dubai, Kelli Lox, Nelly, Roxxy Thorns, Sienna Grace, and Smith as the poolboy. Featuring five hardcore scenes with some of the industry’s hottest new talent, I loved that Buddy Wood’s trademark humor is found between scenes. Before I forget, you can purchase it at Grooby TV for download.

So, Smith is a poolboy. Oops, poolman. Nobody calls him a poolman, but considering how much action he gets, I think he deserves the title. He enjoys his job because the hours are easy, the pay is decent, but mainly because he gets to meet lots of girls. His newest client is the beautiful Kelli Lox, who runs a boarding house for special girls. Kelli needs her pool cleaned twice a week and hires Smith to keep those chlorine levels high.

The first scene begins with the sexy Jessy Dubai lounging poolside. She slips off her heels, adjusts her bikini, and dives right in. They make small talk, with Smith watching as she touches herself.

“Have you ever played with a girl like me?” she asks coyly.

“No,” he responds, tentatively reaching over to stroke her off. He leans over to taste her cock and she thrusts slowly into his mouth while moaning. This sets the stage for the following scenes, as Smith encounters sexy t-girl after t-girl.

They decide to continue things in the bedroom, with Smith eager to take off her clothes. She rides his cock hard, spreading her ass cheeks to go as deep as possible. Jessy is a girl who knows what she likes in bed and she’s unapologetic about getting it. Watching her bounce that round ass of hers on Smith’s dick is simply mesmerizing. My favorite moment is watching Jessy jerk herself off while Smith fucks her. She really gives her cock a good tug.

Smith can’t wait to get back to the house to see who might be waiting for him during his next shift. Roxxy Thorns is stroking off in her bedroom while Smith cleans the pool outside. She can see him from the window and she likes the idea that he can see her. She comes outside to tease him, slips down her bikini bottom for him to suck her off. There’s no hesitation this time! Smith dives right in and to get things started.  Roxxy is confident in bed and shows Smith exactly what she likes. She wants to make sure she’s being pleased and Smith is happy to comply.

The next scene opens with Sienna Grace lying in bed naked. She starts her mornings like usual, jerking off under the covers and touching herself. She gets out of bed, and slips on a bikini to go relax by the pool, but then notices something curious outside. Smith sees her from the corner of his eye and comes to her bedroom window to say hello. She rubs her sizable bulge and lures Smith into her room for some x-rated fun. He takes his time with her, tonguing her throbbing she-pussy as Sienna Grace lifts her legs for him to get a better taste. I found this to be a very sensual scene, even when they are fucking. Smith and Sienna both take their time with each other, savoring each moment.

Nelly is hanging outside poolside when during Smith’s next shift. She likes the idea that he can see her, so she pulls out her cock and begins stroking herself in plain view. Smith goes about his business, but soon Nelly gets his attention and he makes his way over. They go back to Nelly’s room and Smith wastes no time getting her naked. He greedily sucks her cock while massaging her nipples, but all we can really focus on is the sound Nelly’s moans. There is much urgency in this scene, a contrast to his scene with Sienna. It seems like Nelly and Smith can’t get enough of each other, especially watching her slurp up his cock in her mouth.

It makes sense that the final scene is with the lady of the house, Kelli Lox. Smith definitely loves his new gig by this point and is excited to see who he might encounter next. While cleaning the pool, he gets distracted by thoughts of naked t-girls and he goes over to the window to sneak a peek at who might be inside. Unfortunately, Kelli Lox catches him in the act. She threatens to call his boss and he begs her not to, offering to do anything to avoid getting him in trouble.

She thinks for a moment, smiles and answers, “You’re going to suck my dick, poolboy.”

Smith shrugs and then pulls down Kelli’s bikini bottoms and starts sucking on her throbbing she-cock. She takes him inside and gives him a cock sucking of a lifetime, taking the entire length of his dick in her mouth. She rides his dick hard and you get a great close up of her magnificent ass. They fuck in a variety of positions on Kelli’s couch, with Smith ramming deep into her.

I’d say it’s a cumworthy ending to Buddy Wood’s latest  effort. AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT GROOBY TV!