Featured Post

Bad Dragon Announces 2018 TEA Platinum Plus Sponsorship

Award-winning fantasy fulfillers Bad Dragon announce their Platinum Plus sponsorship of the 2018 TEAs. The toy company’s first-time sponsorship is also the first official sponsorship announcement of the 2018 TEA award season.

Los Angeles, CA – Award-winning fantasy toy company Bad Dragon is proud to announce their Platinum Plus sponsorship of the 2018 TEAs, kicking off the award season as the TEAs first official sponsor.

“We are humbled to be one of the sponsors of the 2018 TEA show and look forward to participating in this great event as it celebrates its tenth year!” stated Bad Dragon’s PR/Marketing Team Lead Steven Vest. “With the trans community being near and dear to our hearts, it’s truly an honor for us to be involved.”

“Bad Dragon is one of the most unique companies and have some of the most innovative and original products I’ve ever seen – and their toys really seem to hit a chord with a lot of the trans models that we work with,” added Steven Grooby. “I’m very excited they’re going to be attending the TEA show as a headline sponsor there, and look forward to seeing what we can do to make it extra special for them and the attendees.

The 2018 TEAs are a three-day event held in Hollywood, CA, kicking off with an official pre-party at the Bardot on March 9, a daytime fan convention at the Avalon on March 10, and ramping up to the awards ceremony on March 11 at the Avalon. The awards will be hosted by viral sensation TEA Lifetime Achievement recipient TS Madison.

More details about the event will be released in the months to come. Visit their official website at theTEAShow.com.

The 2018 sponsorship packages are now posted to the website here: http://www.theteashow.com/sponsorship-info

Sponsor and media inquiries can be directed to Kristel Penn at kristel@grooby.com.

ABOUT BAD DRAGON

Bad Dragon has specialized in creating fantasy based adult toys since 2008, and pride ourselves on 100% body safe materials that are hypoallergenic, nonporous, and dishwasher safe. We give the customer the chance to make their fantasies real with highly customisable colors and features as well as a full range of sizes and variety for all levels of sex toy experience. We have something for all needs, whether it’s packers, dildos, masturbators and wearable toys for couples. Head to Bad-Dragon.com to see our full lineup of magnificent adult products and accessories! Press inquiries can be directed to press@bad-dragon.com.

 

Family

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There are various definitions of the word family; most often it refers to a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household related to one another by blood or marriage. There are other definitions as well, such as a group of people united in criminal activity, like the Mafia, or a taxonomic rank in the classification of organisms between genus and order. But there is another definition of family that can be just as meaningful as the other definitions: a group of objects united by a significant shared characteristic.

For many in the transgender community the simple fact that we’re trans brings us together and into a new family because of the shared experiences and the bonds that develop from those experiences. It doesn’t mean we love the family we were born into any less, it just means we have another family of people with whom we share an understanding of what it’s like to be transgender. I was there when my children were born but that doesn’t mean I understand what it’s like to actually give birth, just as cis-gendered people can’t truly understand what it’s like to be transgender. After feeling alone for so long it’s a wonderful thing to find others who understand.

And sometimes we turn to other people for friendship and support when we lose relationships with the family we were born into. There is no replacing the love of a child or sister, but sometimes it helps to have friends to talk with and who listen and understand what’s it’s like to lose a relationship. It doesn’t mean I’m trying to find a substitute family, it just means I’m human and there are times when I need a friend. It’s human nature to want to be part of a community or a family; we are not meant to be alone. When we are alone and feeling the loss of those relationships there are several common ways to react; we can seek out others to not feel so alone, or we can try to numb the pain through things such as alcohol or drugs, or we can just stop feeling anything and stop living life.

Through The Benz FamilyI was blessed to grow up in a loving family where I had a mom and a sister who loved me, and later in my life to have a wife and two sons who also loved me. Those are the relationships which have always meant everything to me and always will. Most relationships experience some amount of ebb and flow, whether they be family, friends or acquaintances. Some relationships grow and flourish, while others fade away. Sometimes rifts develop with people we love and care about which are not easily mended, and if we’re not careful we can lose people we love. Relationships are easy when things are going well, but it’s the difficult times which ultimately show how strong a relationship really is and whether or not it can weather the storm. Relationships require effort and dedication to make them work; they need to be tended to and nurtured, or else they shrivel up and die.

I am also blessed to have many friends who I’ve met online, and occasionally in person, and those friendships mean the world to me. Many of those friendships developed through my work in the porn industry, and over the past couple of years some of those people have become dear friends who have become like family to me. I have friends who I talk baseball with, or cooking, or any number of shared interests we have. We’ve gotten to know each other and shared parts of our lives and developed a bond and a level of trust that is very special. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to appreciate the friendships I’m fortunate to be part of, and I’ve learned that the quality of my life is directly proportional to the friendships I have. Unfortunately I’ve also learned that no amount of friendships can replace the love of the family I was born into.

I’ve learned things can be said out of anger and hurt, and that some things can never be taken back.

I’ve learned that life can change in the blink of an eye.

I’ve learned that time is precious and once we lose it we never get it back.

I’ve learned that forgiveness is hard, especially trying to forgive yourself for fucking things up.

I’ve learned I’m not the person I thought I was.

I’ve learned that therapy only helps so much and that talking about it hurts like hell.

I’ve learned that working out at the gym is one of the few ways to block out the pain, but my body can only take so much exercise before it starts breaking down.

I’ve learned physical pain hurts less than emotional pain.

I’ve learned that I can’t escape the pain through sleep because I dream about people and things which hurt and I’ve woken up crying too many times.

I’ve learned there is no pain which hurts as much as the pain of losing the love of your family

I’ve learned what it feels like when life isn’t worth living and you want to die.

And I’ve learned that when it’s all said and done, that the only thing that really matters is the love of your family. None of the other stuff maters; the material possessions, the awards, the number of Twitter followers, the compliments about my looks, the mementos of my past. None of it means a damn thing.

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Grooby Featured on Vice.com, Glamour.com

 

Grooby, the leader in trans erotica, is making their mark in mainstream media with recent appearances on Vice.com and Glamour.com.

Los Angeles, CA – Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn is featured in an interview with Vice.com, in addition to an article by Lynsey G. published earlier this week on Glamour.com.

“Our company is constantly evolving and we’ve many ideas that have yet to be realized, including having all the relevant site names changed by the end of this year,” stated  Steven Grooby. “It’s encouraging to see mainstream media able to report factually on the adult industry and show it in a positive light. While Grooby is by no means representative of an ideal company in its business and ethics, it is striving to attain that.”

In Glamour.com’s piece, How Mainstream Porn is Finally Making Room for Trans Performers, Penn lent her voice to discuss trends in trans porn, insight to Grooby’s rebrand, and the road ahead for the company. She is featured alongside industry professionals such as Adam Grayson, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Kelly Pierce, Venus Lux, Dana Vespoli, Buck Angel, Cyd St. Vincent, Viktor Belmont, and Alyx Fox.  

Grooby was also recently featured on Vice.com in an interview with Penn titled, This Leading Trans Porn Company is Wiping Slurs from Its Site, which discusses their recent rebrand from ShemaleYum.com to GroobyGirls.com and its significance within the trans adult industry.

“Both interviews were once in a lifetime opportunities to discuss the evolution of Grooby and the road ahead for us,” added Kristel Penn. “Most aren’t privy to everything that takes place behind the scenes leading up to a big decision like this, so I appreciated being able to share that process with readers outside of our industry. Stigma around porn still abounds, but the more we discuss the adult industry as a three-dimensional and evolving environment, the more we can hopefully educate others about it.”  

Last month Grooby rebranded their flagship site (ShemaleYum.com) to the new GroobyGirls.com. Earlier this week their site, BlackShemaleHardcore.com, was rebranded to BlackTGirlsHardcore.com. More site and DVD-line rebrands are in the works and will be rolling out in the months to come. For more information, visit Grooby.com.

 

 

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Grooby Clearance Sale! Limited Time Offer!

For a limited time only, you can score your favorite Grooby goodies at a fantastic price! $5 for any of our Grooby tees, $30 for our limited edition Grooby hoodie, and tons of our DVDs starting at only $10!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SALE NOW!

 

September 14th, 2017|Categories: Featured Post, News|Tags: , |0 Comments

Grooby’s FloridaTGirls.com to Raise Money for Hurricane Irma Relief

Grooby, the leading producer of trans erotica, announces their one-off site, FloridaTGirls.com, as an effort to raise money for Hurricane Irma relief efforts in Florida and the surrounding regions. 100% of the site’s income will be donated directly to GlobalGiving.

Los Angeles, CA – Grooby announced their charity appeal to raise money for Hurricane Irma relief efforts with the creation of their one-off site, FloridaTgirls.com. Grooby staff worked overtime to create the standalone site in record time as a means to raise money for hurricane relief for Florida and the surrounding areas.

“We weren’t expecting to have to do another one of these so fast, but our staff has really went above and beyond spending their own time over the weekend to get this appeal site up,” said Steven Grooby. “ One of our photographers and our main video editor both live in Florida, and we’ve featured hundreds of models from the state over the year. Considering the scale of the issues and what has been going on in some of the islands, we’re extending the campaign for hurricane relief for the whole region.”

FloridaTGirls.com features 50 scenes of Florida-based performers who appear across Grooby’s vast menu of sites. For a simple one-time fee, customers will receive unlimited access and downloads to the site, with the added bonus that 100% of what they pay will be donated to GlobalGiving.

Grooby also recently created, TGirlTexas.com, to raise money for the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Texas. 100% of the income from that site will be donated directly to Global Giving as well.

 

ABOUT GROOBY

Founded in 1996, Grooby is the leading producer of trans erotica. In addition to operating over 30 membership sites, the company produces nearly 50 DVDs a year, and hosts the annual TEAs (Transgender Erotica Awards) held in Hollywood, CA. For more information, visit Grooby.com.

TS Madison to Host 2018 TEAs in Hollywood

The TEAs, also known as the Transgender Erotica Awards, is proud to announce viral sensation TS Madison as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the 10th anniversary show in 2018.

Los Angeles, CA – The TEAs announced viral sensation TS Madison as their Mistress of Ceremonies for their 10th anniversary show in 2018. The “Lemme Pick You Up” web series creator hosted the TEAs in 2017 and is also a recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award. The 3-day event will be held at the Avalon and its connecting property, the Bardot, in Hollywood, CA.

“I am very excited to return this year, last year we had a wonderful time and great opening,” said Madison. “I plan to be the life of the party as always, honey. I am glad to be a part of all forms of entertainment, from adult to mainstream.”

“Madison has really introduced a new element to the awards as the host and I’m excited to see what she brings to the party this year,” added Steven Grooby. “Her brand of on-point humor, knowledge of the adult industry, and her quick wit keep us all entertained. It’s a privilege for us to have her as a host.”

The 2018 TEAs are a three-day event held in Hollywood, CA, kicking off with an official pre-party at the Bardot on March 9, a daytime fan convention at the Avalon on March 10, and ramping up to the awards ceremony on March 11 at the Avalon.

The 2018 sponsorship packages are now posted to the website here: http://www.theteashow.com/sponsorship-info

Sponsor and media inquiries can be directed to Kristel Penn at kristel@grooby.com.

More details about the event will be released in the months to come. Visit their official website at theTEAShow.com.

Grooby’s ‘Bob’s TGirls and Their Fucking Machines 3’ Now Available for Purchase

Los Angeles, CA – Grooby announced their newest DVD, Bob’s TGirls and their Fucking Machines 3, directed by TEA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Bob Maverick. The title stars Aubrey Starr, Mara Nova, Vixxen Goddess, Isabella Sorrenti, Tyra Scott, Kimberlin Rixx, and a Fucking Machine affectionately named “Willie.” The DVD can be purchased directly at GroobyStore.com.

“Our latest performers prove their prowess with Willie, the Fucking Machine,” said director Bob Maverick. “You really have to have some stamina to be in these type of scenes and everyone really showed Willie who’s boss!”

Bob’s TGirls and Their Fucking Machines 3 is the third installment to the popular series, enlisting the industry’s top stars and pairing them with Maverick’s famous Fucking Machine. All three DVDs from the series can be purchased at the GroobyStore.com.

 

ABOUT GROOBY

Founded in 1996, Grooby is the leading producer of trans erotica. In addition to operating over 30 membership sites, the company produces nearly 50 DVDs a year, and hosts the annual TEAs (Transgender Erotica Awards) held in Hollywood, CA. For more information, visit Grooby.com.

It’s Time To Abolish The Trans Panic Legal Defense

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Last week Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law a bill banning the “gay panic” and “trans panic” defense in murder cases, making Illinois the second state to do so, after California become the first state to officially ban the defense in 2014. The law prevents people in those states from claiming that the murder victim was gay or bisexual and made a sexual advance that caused them to react violently, or that the victim’s gender identity caused them to react violently. This is a defense tactic which specifically targets members of the LGBT community and is based on stereotypes and ignorance and fear. Defendants in murder cases have sometimes been able to argue their way to a lesser charge of manslaughter if the killings happened during a “sudden quarrel” or in the “heat of passion” when defendants claimed they were so shocked to learn their victim was gay or trans that they had no other recourse than violence. The new law clearly states that a defendant’s discomfort, surprise, or fear of a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity may not be used as a legal defense to justify the assault.

Gwen AraujoThe case which brought this issue to light was 2002 murder of transgender woman Gwen Araujo, who was beaten to death by four men after they realized that she was transgender. The defense came up with a “panic” defense, stating that the defendants were unaware that Araujo was transgender. Two of the men were convicted of second-degree murder and were sentenced to life in prison, and the two others pleaded guilty to lesser charges. There were no convictions for hate crimes.

While this is certainly good news that a second state has outlawed this barbaric defense, it begs the question why are there still 48 states which still allow it? Why do we still have 48 states which say it’s acceptable to use sexual orientation or gender identity as a reason for killing someone? It is astounding that in this day and age of supposed equality and freedom for everyone that a legal tactic like this even exists, let alone that it is legally allowed in 48 out of 50 states. This is unacceptable and we as a community need to stand up and work together to change this.

In years past under previous presidential administrations the standard method would be to contact your state and federal representatives to let them know you support introducing legislation to ban the “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses. However, given the current political climate I’m not sure that this is an issue which would be much of a priority to most legislators, but it’s still the best avenue to affect change and get this archaic defense banned in every state. One thing to be aware of is that if you aren’t a registered voter your voice literally doesn’t count; you must be a registered voter in order for the politicians in your state or district to listen to you. And this is a big problem for the trans community because we are extremely under-represented due to the fact that we often move out of necessity to find available housing or jobs, and that many trans people may not be registered voters due to name change issues and/or having to move frequently.

If ever there was a time for our voices to be heard, now is that time. It is crucial for members of the LGBT community to be registered voters and to actually vote. We must make our voices heard. Moreover, we need to let our state and federal legislators know that we do not support legislation which is discriminatory or results in our rights being taken away. We must demand equality and end the discrimination, and the only way to do that is if our voices are heard.

To find out who your legislators are and how to contact them click here

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Grooby Goes to Seattle: Vlog 002

To celebrate the rebrand of GroobyGirls.com, our Marketing Director Kristel Penn visited the famous gum wall in Seattle to leave our mark!

Grooby’s TGirlTexas.com to Raise Money for Houston Hurricane Relief

Grooby, the leader in trans erotica, announces their one-off site, TGirlTexas.com, as an effort to raise money for hurricane relief efforts in Houston, TX. 100% of the income generated from the site will be donated directly to GlobalGiving.

Los Angeles, CA – Grooby announced their charity appeal to raise money for those affected by the hurricane in Texas with the creation of their one-off site, TgirlTexas.com. Grooby staff volunteered their time and worked around the clock to create the standalone website, which features Grooby’s Texan models. Surfers can choose from a range of prices to donate and then receive access to all of the site’s content for a one-time payment.

“There are many, many Grooby Girls come from Texas and surrounding states and it’s an area we’ve always worked in, with our first ever shoots coming from Corpus Christi in 1996,” stated Steven Grooby. “Omar Wax works with many models there and we want to do something that can get some money back into those communities who are suffering through this disaster.   We went through the models across our sites from the past year or so from Texas, pulled out some great sets of them and decided to create this site as a fundraiser.”

TGirlTexas.com features 50 scenes of Texan-based tgirls who appear across Grooby’s vast website offerings. For a one-time fee, consumers will receive unlimited access and downloads to the site, with the added bonus that 100% of what they pay will be donated to GlobalGiving’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Grooby added, “100% of the income will go directly to the GlobalGiving. That means for every $15 purchase, $15 will be donated.  We decided on the GlobalGiving as a charity that supports everyone, regardless of any labels.  Many of our models may not be directly affected but their friends, families, and neighbors may be and we want to reach the whole of society. We just hope that the little we raise can go some way to providing relief to those affected.”

 

ABOUT GROOBY
Founded in 1996, Grooby is the leading producer of trans erotica. In addition to operating over 30 membership sites, the company produces nearly 50 DVDs a year, and hosts the annual TEAs (Transgender Erotica Awards) held in Hollywood, CA. For more information, visit Grooby.com.

Ya Gotta Have Style!

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Being transgender is no easy task; there is a lot to learn and it’s a steep learning curve. When we transition we are literally reinventing ourselves from the ground up; we have to learn things on the go that cis-people have had their entire lives to learn and understand. Not only do we have to learn how to be comfortable with ourselves and figure out our place in life, we also have to deal with practical issues such as how to present as our authentic gender. Our appearance is one of the things we focus on, especially early in our transition, because the reality is that how we look plays a large role in how we are accepted; in other words, whether or not we pass. But passing is more than just about looks, it’s about confidence. There are some things we can change, for instance, through surgery, and there are others which we can’t change and we just have to adapt and manage with what we have. But one of things which we can learn, is fashion. And fashion is more than just the clothes we wear; it’s a statement about who we are. It’s an attitude.

Developing your own unique sense of style takes time, and a lot of it is trial and error; figuring out what doesn’t work is just as important as figuring out what does work. You can learn a lot online and by observing other people, but there is no substitute for actually trying on different outfits and styles and seeing what you like or don’t like, and more importantly, seeing what looks good on your body style. And while it can be a challenge, developing our sense of style should also be something which we have fun with, because most of us had to go through quite a journey to reach the point where we can express who we really are. And it’s not as much about the clothes and makeup and shoes as it is that we now have that option to wear whatever we want and to be our authentic selves. One of the things I enjoy most about being a woman is that I’m able to polish my nails. Something as simple as that is very meaningful for me, along with having long hair. I had to wait over 50 years to be able to transition and reach the point where I could express who I really am, so you can be darn sure I’m going to savor every moment of having polished nails and wearing my hair long!

But as I mentioned earlier, having a sense of style is more than just the clothes and make-up and hair; it’s about who we are on the inside. It’s being confident in who you are and feeling good about yourself. You can wear the most expensive clothes and makeup, but it won’t matter if you don’t have confidence and your own sense of style. I don’t need to be perfectly dressed and made up to feel good about myself. Early in my transition I wouldn’t leave the house without wearing make-up and being perfectly dressed and accessorized because I wasn’t secure enough about myself without all those things; they were my battle armor I needed to venture out. But these days I generally go without make-up and I wear my hair up, and I’m okay with looking frumpy! I still love the opportunity to get all dressed up, but the difference is now it’s my choice; my sense of worth is not determined by what I’m wearing or how I look or worrying about how others perceive me. And that is part of the process as we transition and learn to be comfortable with ourselves; we are all unique and there is no right or wrong way to be trans, just be yourself. The only person you need to please is you! And that brings us back to developing our sense of style. Again, there is no right or wrong way to express who you are and your sense of fashion; the most important thing is to find what works for you! Some people just want to blend in and live their lives, while others want to express their unique style and stand out. So, it’s important to know yourself and what style you’re going for.

When I do clean up and dress nicely I often get comments about the clothes I wear and my sense of style. I doubt I have a better sense of style than anyone else, I’ve just figured out through trial and error what works for me. I understand my body size and shape and know what styles look best on me. Trust me, I’ve spent countless hours inside store dressing rooms looking at myself in the mirror trying to decide if a certain style looked okay on me and figuring out the right size. Like I said, trial and error! There are some styles I’d love to wear but they look terrible on me because of my body type, so I avoid those and instead wear things which accentuate what I do have. Being rather flat chested eliminates a lot of clothing options, but I can get away with small boobs since I’m tall and slim and wear styles which emphasize a slender figure like mine. Basically, I’ve always just worn things that I liked and which I felt looked good on me. I don’t worry about current fashion trends; I tend to stick with the classics which never go out of style. And I’m not overly adventurous when it comes to fashion, I mainly stick with a few certain styles that I know work for me. Also, be aware of your surroundings and dress appropriately for the occasion; you won’t see too many women wearing a little black dress and 5 inch stilettos at the grocery store. Nothing will draw attention to you as quickly as being inappropriately dressed.

Another consideration is cost; it can add up very quickly when you’re trying to build a wardrobe. But you don’t have to buy expensive clothes to look good; I buy a lot of my clothes from stores like Target which have pretty reasonable prices. And when I first began transitioning I shopped at places like Goodwill and found a lot of really nice clothes at bargain prices. Another thing to keep in mind is that even though we all love dresses you have a lot more options with separate tops and bottoms which you can mix and match.

And one last thought: SMILE!!! It drives me crazy how often I see trans women who post pictures of themselves and they’re dressed nicely and have beautifully done hair and makeup, but it’s all for naught because they’re not smiling! A smile goes a long way towards how you look, as does how you move and carry yourself. And not just how we walk, but the overall way we move and carry ourselves. The best way I can describe it is flowing; you want flowing graceful movements, whether it’s walking, reaching for something, or turning around. You can see what I mean if you watch people dance, and in particular ballet; the graceful and elegant way they move. It takes time to develop an awareness of how you move and to be able break old habits and develop new ones. Lots of practice and lots of patience!

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Are “you guys” being overly sensitive?

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We in the transgender community have a lot of things to be concerned about in these troubling times. Our state and federal governments continue to attempt passage of legislation which takes away our rights and makes it legal to discriminate against us. Bathroom bills continue to be proposed in state after state. Federal protections for transgender youth have been done away with, leaving them more vulnerable and at even greater risk of bullying. Transgender murders and suicides continue at a horrendous rate. Trans people still have high rates of unemployment and poverty. We have a president who is systematically taking away our rights, such as declaring he will reinstate the ban on trans people serving openly in the military, and who is sorely lacking in moral character by failing to stand up to and condemn the violence and hate carried out by the white supremacists and neo-Nazis. We have a nation which is divided and coming apart at the seams.

And in the midst of all these pressing issues, there are an increasingly large number of people in our community who would rather worry about petty things, which, in the large scheme of things, aren’t really very relevant. And more importantly, they divert our time and attention away from the issues which are important. One of my pet peeves is people who get very offended when they are part of a mix-gender group of people which gets referred to as “you guys.” I completely understand that some people are sensitive to being triggered by certain things, such as being mis-gendered. No one, including me, likes to be mis-gendered, and especially when it’s intentional and meant to be hurtful. But the term “you guys” is generally considered to be gender-neutral. There is a big difference between being called a guy, which is gender specific, and being among a group of people which is addressed as “you guys.” We need to use common sense and have some level of comprehension as to how the comment was said and the intended meaning. Someone can be called a lady, but based on the context of how it was said along with the tone of voice and whether it was said sarcastically, it can be said as an insult and to be demeaning.

Some words, such as dude, guy, lady, gal, girl, boy, etc., refer to specific genders and are pretty much universally accepted. “You guys” is generally accepted as a generic mixed-gender colloquialism. Very few people these days refer to a mixed gender group as “guys and gals.” Just doesn’t happen in today’s society and with how the English language has evolved. Should we be in an uproar because we still continue to use the words “manhole cover,” “freshman,” and “mankind?” Again, where do we draw the line? Should we start a petition to change the name to “womanhole covers?” I personally think that sounds like a bad idea!

My point, is that sometimes we lose perspective, and maybe get a bit overly sensitive. Let’s not jump down someone’s throat over an innocent comment when there was no malice or ill-intent behind it. The English language is always evolving and words take on new meanings, but we still have to use common sense and take into account the context of how something was said, along with body language and tone of voice. Let’s not stress over the little things when we have so many important issues which need our attention.

And with that I’m going to thank you guys for taking the time to read this and go to bed now!

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The New Grooby Girls: An Interview with Steven Grooby

On August 15, 2017, we rebranded our flagship site, ShemaleYum.com, to GroobyGirls.com. This is a big day for Grooby and we’re excited to share the news with the world. The Grooby staff have been hard at work to ensure the switchover is seamless for our customers, but please be patient with us as this is a massive project.   

People looking for the official press release can click here, but we wanted to talk more about the rebrand in a format we felt was more our style. In this interview, Steven Grooby and Kristel Penn chat about the history of Grooby and its place in trans porn, the new site and what will happen to the original site, and the future of the company.  

Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @GroobyGirls and @Groobydotcom for more updates.

Kristel Penn: By the time I joined the company ten years ago, ShemaleYum.com was already established as the site for trans porn, especially for performers looking to make their big break in the industry. Can you speak a bit about the origin story of Grooby and your flagship site? First of all, does the name ‘Grooby’ have some kind of personal significance to you or is it just a made up word?

Steven Grooby: Have you only been with the company for ten years, it seems longer?  Grooby is just a made up word, because ‘Groovy’ was unavailable.  I got tired of people asking me what it meant, so I started calling myself Steven Grooby,  so it’s become very personal to me. I love the word.

KP: I bet it seems longer because of all the white hair I’ve probably given you by now! Although the Grooby brand is now exclusively associated with trans content, most people would be surprised to know you owned a number of non-trans sites back in the day.

SG: As domain names were so expensive in 1996 (and I was broke) I bought ‘Grooby.com’ as a domain to cover a number of AVS sites I had in different niches, so the sites were grooby.com/shemale/, grooby.com/bbw, grooby.com/shaved, etc. When it was clear the ‘shemale’ niche was rocketing above the other niches and I decided to create a unique site for that, I settled on the name ‘Shemale Yum’ as something catchy. It doesn’t actually mean anything other than the general idea that ‘Yum’ means (tasty, gorgeous) and ‘shemale’ was the go to word, for the little amount of transsexual porn available on video and magazines at this time.

KP: When you created ‘Shemale Yum’ in the late 90s, what was trans porn like back then? Were there a lot of other sites creating trans content exclusively and were terms like ‘Shemale’ and ‘Tranny’ commonplace then?

SG: There were a few minor sites when we started but the newsgroups were all ‘shemale’ and the other porn available on VHS were often ‘Shemale’ and ‘Tranny’ titles.  The first other websites I saw were Shemalexxx.com and Planet Shemale.  We actually started coining ‘Tgirls’ earlier than anyone else in porn, and have really been instrumental in that usage.

KP: It’s kind of cool to see how much the term “tgirl” is used now, both in and out of porn. I’ve also heard performers say they’re a “Yum Girl” which I’ve seen use interchangeably with “Grooby Girl.”

SG: ‘Shemale Yum’ is the home planet. All other sites are spin-offs from it. It’s the website that most TS models in the industry first appear on. Since 1997, it’s been featuring new models and existing stars. It’s the first place models like Vo D’Balm, Domino Presley, Foxxy, Natassia Dreams, Kylie Maria, Morgan Bailey, Bailey Jay, Jessica Foxx, and probably over 1800 other performers were photographed here first. Black-Tgirls.com came from Shemale Yum, as did Brazilian-Transsexuals.com; almost all other sites we run owe their success to Shemale Yum. Everyone knows the name and the brand.

KP: How funny – all these years, I actually thought Black-TGirls.com was launched at the same time as ShemaleYum.com! I find I still learn something new every day at work.  What about you? In your experience of being in the industry for over 20+ years, do you think the social consciousness in society (non-porn) mirrors the social consciousness within the adult community?

SG: I think the transgender porn industry has done more to bring more girls to be authentic to themselves and embrace their gender earlier, than any other industry.  Media is still catching up, almost every portrayal of a trans person is still problematic and doesn’t show them as more than a misinformed stereotype.  

KP: I agree, there still isn’t a lot of diversity in mainstream media when it comes to trans people – which means those few representations tend to either be too “ideal” or too much of a two-dimensional stereotype. Either way, lack of representation misses the nuances of what it means to be trans.

SG: Sites like Shemale Yum started showing models that were outside the stereotype norm of a ‘shemale pornstar’ very early on, inviting models from different backgrounds, body shapes and sizes, ages and stages of transition. We showcased diverse models and in turn, I’ve been told many times, that girls who saw these diverse models who were more authentic, were encouraged to make the first steps themselves.

KP: Because Yum also features performers who are earlier on in their transition alongside some of the biggest names in TS porn, I think many apply to the site when they want to make their big media debuts.  

SG: I truly believe with no hyperbole intended, that we’ve been responsible for many girls being able to be true to themselves.  While many may find this problematic because of their own issues with the porn, there are few other outlets that have allowed girls social interaction and a platform to be themselves.

KP: I often get frustrated by the misconceptions about porn outside of our industry, and in particular, misconceptions about Grooby as a company. I’ve heard some out crazy, outright lies about us and it still makes me mad! I don’t know how you stay so calm. Perhaps I’ll be calmer 10 years from now.

SG: I’ve been in this industry longer than most, and at Grooby we’ve evolved and changed. In the early days, when I was younger and traveling the world, the ego did overtake a bit too much and I recognize that.  We did always believe in treating the models with respect and manners, which is why we’ve seen producers come and exit the company rather rapidly if they didn’t fit our ethos.   

I stand by everything our company does – and with the people we work with in the US and Europe, we’ve created a company that the employees are genuinely proud of.  We always try to do ‘the right thing’ and we’ve evolved from being just a porn delivery company, to an adult entertainment media lifestyle company with more than just porn.   

KP: I’ve been particularly proud of our evolution into a lifestyle company, with the creation of TAIF (Trans Adult Industry Foundation), handling the editorial content for Transformation Magazine, and the educational workshops we’ve been hosting in non-porn specific places on destigmatizing porn and its consumption. Despite that, however, I notice you are still confronted on social media on a somewhat regular basis (although, it seems with less frequency these days).

SG: I’m probably the easiest target in the whole adult industry as I engage people on social media, and because like the entrepreneurs I admire, I believe in being the face of the company. The attacks on us, or on me personally, by a small group of people I find amusing, the only issue they can find were on the site name – or that fact that I’m a ‘white’, ‘cis-gender’, ‘male’.  I’ve seen interviews where people have claimed to have been instrumental in the name changing of the TEA’s and I’m sure there will be a few here also. Only last week, a cam performer claimed the reason we changed the TEA’s was because of sponsorship money, which was absolutely false.

KP: Do you have to fight the urge to respond to every untrue claim? I know I do.

SG: When you’ve been at the top of the game as long as have, you expect to be sniped.  We just take it as it is,  make the statements why we are doing what we do, stand by it and if people want to discuss it, then by all means. But nobody other than the Grooby staff members have had any input on any name changes we’ve ever done.  That’s the fact.

KP: I bet some will be shocked by the name change.

SG: Never say never (and I never did!).

As you know, this wasn’t an overnight decision. It’s been a planned and protracted timeline that’s taken us to the renaming of the site and a lot of work to get ‘GroobyGirls’ built into the brand it is now.

KP:  Yes, this was definitely a decision that took quite some time to solidify. I’m glad we waited until we could get all of our ducks in a row. I think this rebrand will feel very fitting to our fans and performers. It won’t take a lot of energy to make that switch over in someone’s head.

SG: Yes, and also, change is good, and we’ve changed our company and sites constantly over the past 20 years, but simply renaming a brand that has as much worth as ‘ShemaleYum’ wasn’t something that could be done without having a proper plan in place, and that plan was to build ‘Grooby’ and ‘GroobyGirls’ into the brand, to be bigger than the individual website names.

The tshirts, calendars, all the merchandise, the hashtags, and the naming of more new products with ‘Grooby’ such as GroobyVR.com and GroobyDVD.com have all been to make ‘Grooby’ the searchable word, and the key to this has been to get ‘Grooby’ into the more general usage that it has become.

KP: Just to reference a point people generally bring up when it comes to keywords/search terms used in porn. You mentioned before that words like “shemale” are the most searched for porn than other related terms.

SG: Yes, most research shows that it is – and for search engines, people looking for transsexual porn will use that. We dropped using the word in all our editorials and previews years ago and worked on making ‘GroobyGirls’ a bigger descriptor. If you look now, where ShemaleYum.com used to rank 1st page on a search for ‘shemale’, it doesn’t feature at all now – so for us, the search engines on that word are now irrelevant. But ask practically anyone who is interested in transsexual porn to name the biggest TS porn companies and Grooby is going to be within the first names they mention. We can spend more time and energy on more specific search terms and reaching new audiences through the branding.

We’ve had to recognize that the word ‘shemale’ can be considered offensive by a lot of our models, and even though they’ve continued to work with us, our aim has never been anything but to show them the utmost respect and to create an environment and company which they will to love to work in.
GroobyGirls.com is the perfect fit for the new site.  Through our marketing and merchandising and lots of effort that name has become synonymous with trans girls who work in, or want to work in adult entertainment.  Across social media you will already see girls calling themselves ‘Grooby Girls’ and anybody with a passing interest in trans porn, know’s what ‘Grooby’ is.
We’re the first site not to have to use any descriptor in our title other than ‘girl’.  Which is exactly what our models are.   Gorgeous, interesting, fun, sexy, powerful girls.  They’re Grooby Girls.

KP: So why did you go with GroobyGirls?

SG: When you and I sat down to go over new names for ShemaleYum all those years ago, the one thing I absolutely did not want, was to do what I think everyone would have expected, to change it to ‘TgirlYum’ or something else using ‘transsexual’, ‘tgirl’ etc. I wanted something that defined the models less in the typical descriptor words, yet defined them within another.

KP: I do remember those conversations quite vividly! We brainstormed for what felt like hours, not coming to an agreement that felt like a good fit, tabling the project for a bit, and then returning back to it again.

SG: Using our brand name (as a company that specializes only in the transgender field) is what defines the type of model and they are all girls, so ‘GroobyGirls’ is the perfect website. Fans should be in no doubt what sort of content we feature, and models are already happily wearing and promoting our ‘GroobyGirls’ shirts and brand.

KP: What has been the most difficult part about this switchover process?

SG: Keeping it a secret. Apart from only a small handful of Grooby staff, absolutely nobody had any idea we’re about to do this. So it was difficult and I think that makes it more exciting and for me more fun.

KP: This morning our staff coordinated and triple-checked with each other before making the switch over to ensure we timed everything right. Do you think this is going to make a difference in sales for us?  How do you think the members will react?

SG: It’s good to make changes and keep things fresh. I don’t think this will affect the sales immediately either negatively or positively but it’s going to help with the continuance and building of the Grooby brand. I think the members will mostly be nonchalant, they come for the models and not the name. We have amazing support from them, but if this does help some people decide to join when they previously had an issue with it, then all the better. The main effect is going to be for the models. Many haven’t had a problem with the name but many have, even though they’ve understood the why’s and history of the site. This should hopefully resolve any of those issues and I believe by just being ‘Grooby Girls’ it’s something they can continue to be proud of and stand by.

KP: What’s going to happen to the old site?

SG: We’ll have to keep it up as a redirect but simply when people type it in, they’ll be redirected to the new GroobyGirls.com. We’ll work with affiliates and sites on changing their branding and links. It’s a long process – we aim to get the ‘previously known as’ off the site within 12 months and the Shemale Yum brand will fade organically.

KP: What about all the logos on the photos and videos on existing content?

SG: It would be financially impossible to change all of them – and they are of that time. Everything going forward will be branded GroobyGirls.com.

KP: Grooby owns and operates over 30 membership sites. Do you plan on changing the names of any of our other sites that have the word “shemale” in it?

SG: ShemaleYum.com is the biggest and most important of our sites, and this site had to be first otherwise we’d look hypocritical. We’d also look hypocritical if we didn’t re-brand the other sites and we’ve plans for all of them, we just ask people to be patient. Most of our sites already use ‘tgirls’ (a word which we helped define) or ‘transsexuals’ but for the rest we’ll change, we’ve an amazing domain for Shemale.XXX so watch for that.

KP: Do you think this will encourage other sites to change their name from ‘Shemale … ‘  or other similar rebrands?

SG: I have no idea and I don’t really care. We make decisions for our company. We’re the most recognised brand in the world for trans porn from a business, fan and model perspective. We’re proud of our standing in the community and the support we both give and get with the trans adult community and the wider adult business community. As I stated, this has been a long and planned path to get to this position and we still have some way to go. What ever other companies or sites do is entirely up to them.

KP: What do you see ahead for Grooby?

SG: Grooby is going to continue to capitalize and build on our brand but stay specialized only in the transgender field.  We’re going to look at more reaching out into the community and continue to work on getting our foundation, TAIF.org, to continue doing good work in the wider trans world.  

KP:  I’ve also been researching additional organizations where TAIF can donate money to. I’d like to also encourage people to email us suggestions of organizations who might benefit from support from TAIF.  Any insight on what’s ahead production wise for us?

SG: On the production side, we are always looking for new opportunities.  Our recent deal to do the editorial content for print publication, Transformation, is very exciting and we may look at more ideas like that.

In the immediate future to celebrate and commemorate the changing of the site name, we have new tshirts, embroidered patches, and stickers going out to all the models – and the much anticipated annual Grooby Girls Calendar will be out soon.

KP: And also, the super secret Grooby Staff Calendar with cover model Steven Grooby.  And me is Miss September.

Grooby’s ShemaleYum.com Rebrands to GroobyGirls.com

Grooby, the leader in trans erotica, announces their flagship site, ShemaleYum.com, will be switched over to GroobyGirls.com effective today.

Los Angeles, CA – Grooby announced their flagship site, ShemaleYum.com, will be rebranded as GroobyGirls.com starting today.

“Change is good, and we’ve changed our company and sites constantly over the past 20 years,” said Steven Grooby. “Simply renaming a brand that has as much worth as ‘ShemaleYum’ wasn’t something that could be done overnight and without having a proper plan in place, and that plan was to build ‘Grooby’ and ‘GroobyGirls’ brands, which we’ve spent a number of years doing. We’re now in the position where they can replace the original website name.”

ShemaleYum.com launched in 1996 and is the world’s longest running trans adult website, featuring an unprecedented mix of newcomers and top stars annually.  Many of the most popular TS performers today had their first shoots on ShemaleYum, including Vo D’Balm, Domino Presley, Kylie Maria, Wendy Williams, Bailey Jay, and over 1850 different trans women.

GroobyGirls.com launched in 2011 as a promotional site for Grooby models. Each year a limited number of t-shirts are released to the models and fans.  Other GroobyGirls merchandise has included calendars, playing cards, towels, stickers, and tattoos.

The company currently operates over 30 membership sites and produces approximately 50 DVDs a year. Visit the new site at GroobyGirls.com.

When asked if Grooby had plans to change the names of any of their other sites, he stated, “ShemaleYum.com is the biggest and most important of our sites, and this site had to be first otherwise we’d look hypocritical. We’d also look hypocritical if we didn’t re-brand the other sites and we have plans for all of them, we just ask people to be patient. Most of our sites already use ‘tgirls’ (a word which we helped define) or ‘transsexuals’ but for the rest we’ll change, we’ve an amazing domain for Shemale.XXX so watch for that.”

Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn added, “Grooby has been a longstanding ally of the LGBTQ community and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. I’m really excited for this rebrand, especially for our community. Whether you know our company personally or not,  I believe people will see this change is a more accurate reflection of our company ethos.”

Existing affiliates will not need to change their links. Interested affiliates can contact admin@grooby.com directly.

All press inquiries can be directed to kristel@grooby.com.

ABOUT GROOBY

Founded in 1996, Grooby is the leading producer of trans erotica. In addition to operating over 30 membership sites, the company produces nearly 50 DVDs a year, and host the annual TEAs (Transgender Erotica Awards) held in Hollywood, CA. For more information, visit Grooby.com.