steven grooby

A Word on Nominations, Judging and the TEAs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope this answers many questions.

Yours,
Steven Grooby

Grooby Releases Issue #002 of Grooby Girls Magazine

LOS ANGELES, CA – Grooby announced the second issue of Grooby Girls Magazine with cover model Crystal Malone is now available for download. The free digital publication is available exclusively at Grooby.com.

 

“The second issue of Grooby Girls includes a fun interview I did with our cover model, Crystal Malone,” explained Steven Grooby. “We’ve also included information and resources we found relevant to share with our performers. Although this magazine is mostly aimed towards our Grooby Girls, we’ve included lots of fun content for our fans as well.”

 

Issue #002 of Grooby Girls Magazine includes an exclusive interview and photo spread with Crystal Malone, a gallery of the Grooby Girls wearing their Grooby Gear, an informative piece about the adult industry by Jamie French, and more. To read past issues, visit 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 hosts the annual TEAs (Transgender Erotica Awards) held in Hollywood, CA. More information about the three-day event can be found at theTEAShow.com.

In 2017, the company took over the editorial content for Transformation, the world’s most popular transgender lifestyle magazine. For more information, visit Grooby.com or follow them on Twitter at @GroobyDotcom.

 

Steven Grooby Issues Statement Regarding Production Hold

As many of our models are aware, we had the largest production week planned in the 22-year-old history of our company this past week in Vegas.   Producers were flown in from Asia, and Los Angeles,  I was in from the UK and we had models coming from Chicago, Alabama, Texas, and Oregon as well as local talent.   With 15 VR shoots planned, and a large number of hardcore and solo scenes, we had $40,000 worth of model fees that were earmarked for Grooby and JustVR performers.

Immediately after our first set of the first proper day of filming, we were called about the moratorium and canceled all shoots while we reevaluated what to do, with hotels, flights, makeup, PA’s and other expenses committed to.    I’d like to thank all the performers who were already scheduled and traveling in their understanding of the situation and although their expenses were still covered, as we could only do solo scenes, their expected paychecks were vastly reduced.   I’d also like to thank all the trans performers in Las Vegas for coming through at last minute and working with us on solo scenes,  salvaging some of the budget.

While the events of this week have been costly to us,  they are minor in comparison to what could have happened to our industry, if not for the fast response of the FSC and all the performers they contacted to be retested and we support the FSC in their call for a moratorium.  Although the production ban has been lifted, we don’t feel it’s conducive to the quality of the scenes or the emotional well being of the performers to begin production of our scenes immediately and have canceled the last planned day of shooting.

We fully support and appreciate the work FSC has done this past week to keep our industry safe. We would also like to call for more discussion about on-set and off-set safety, and how to mitigate any further issues of performers bringing health issues into the tested performer pool.   We’d also like to further discussion on trade shoots and educating those performers.

We would like to thank all of the performers working with Grooby for their understanding, and their respect of the current situation and if any of them feel directly, or indirectly affected by the moratorium, or have questions to contact Kristel (kristel@grooby.com) or myself (admin@grooby.com).

Yours,

Steven Grooby

Grooby Girls Magazine #001

Grooby Snags Nine AVN Nominations

Los Angeles, CA – Grooby, the leader in trans erotica, received nine AVN nominations in multiple categories.

“I’d like to thank AVN and those who chose the nominations for the consideration in so many categories,” said Steven Grooby. “Our staff feel rewarded for their work during the year when they get to see these. In particular, we’re very excited about the ‘Marketing Campaign’ nominations as this is something we spend a lot of energy on.”

“I’m grateful for the multiple nominations, especially the ones we received for our company branding and specifically for our GroobyGirls.com rebranding,” added Kristel Penn. “The rebrand was a project that was in the works for years and relied on everyone in our company working together to ensure everything went smoothly. I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to help further evolve our company.”

Grooby was nominated for nine AVN nominations total, including:

 

  • Best Marketing Campaign – Company Image
  • Best Marketing Campaign – Individual Project (Grooby Girls Rebranding)
  • Best Transsexual Movie – All My Mother’s Lovers
  • Best Transsexual Movie – TGirl Teasers 4
  • Best Transsexual Series – Shemale.xxx Florida Roadtrip
  • Best Transsexual Series – TGirl Teasers
  • Best Transsexual Series – TGirls Porn
  • Best Transsexual Sex Scene – All My Mother’s Lovers (Arabelle Raphael and Delia Delions)
  • Best Virtual Reality Product/Site – GroobyVR.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.

In 2017, the company took over the editorial content for Transformation, the world’s most popular transgender lifestyle magazine. For more information, visit Grooby.com.

Keywords: Grooby, GroobyGirls.com, Grooby Girls, AVN, AVN 2018, All My Mother’s Lovers, TGirl Teasers 4, Shemale xxx Florida Roadtrip, Shemale xxx, TGirls Porn, GroobyVR.com, GroobyVR, Steven Grooby, Kristel Penn

Grooby Scores 10 XBIZ Nominations, 2 XBIZ Industry Exec Nods

 

Grooby, the leader in trans erotica, scooped up ten XBIZ Awards nominations this week. In addition, company owner Steven Grooby and Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn both received XBIZ Industry Exec nominations earlier this month.

 

Los Angeles, CA – Grooby, the industry leader in trans erotica, received ten XBIZ nominations earlier this week, in addition to two XBIZ Industry Exec nominations for Steven Grooby and Kristel Penn.

 

“Thank you so much to the staff at XBIZ for all the nominations,” said Steven Grooby.  “Being recognized for what we do each year is important to our models, producers, and staff as we have great pride in our company.  We’re particularly excited about being on the ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ list for our flagship site GroobyGirls, alongside industry giants. Good luck to all nominees.”

 

“I am very humbled by these nominations,” added Kristel Penn. “Every person in our company has poured an immense amount of love into our projects this year and I feel grateful for the opportunity to work alongside them. I’m also thankful to be listed as an XBIZ Exec nominee with Steven for the second year in a row. I owe a debt of gratitude to him for the opportunity he’s given me this year to really spread my wings and fly.”

 

Grooby is nominated in the following XBIZ Awards categories:  

 

  • Best Sex Scene: Virtual Reality – Being Aubrey
  • Best Sex Scene: Virtual Reality – Domino Presley: Superstar Edition
  • Trans Studio of the Year – Grooby
  • Trans Release of the Year – All My Mother’s Lovers
  • Trans Release of the Year – TGirls.Porn 9
  • Trans Director of the Year – Buddy Wood
  • Trans Director of the Year – Radius Dark
  • Speciality Affiliate Program of the Year – Groobybucks
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year – GroobyGirls
  • Trans Site of the Year – GroobyGirls.com

 

In addition to the nominations listed above, the company secured two XBIZ Industry Exec nominations. Steven Grooby is nominated for Businessman of the Year and Kristel Penn is nominated for Marketing Executive of the Year.

 

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.

In 2017, the company took over the editorial content for Transformation, the world’s most popular transgender lifestyle magazine. For more information, visit Grooby.com.

 

 

Transformation Magazine Issue #103 with Honey FoXXX Now Available

Los Angeles, CA – The world’s leading transgender lifestyle magazine, Transformation, announced the release of its latest issue (#103) with cover model Honey FoXXX. The issue is available for purchase at CenturianOnline.com and other major retailers.

“I’m especially proud of this issue and the rich content our writers contributed,” said Transformation’s Editor Kristel Penn. “There are so many stories to tell and we hope this issue resonates with our diverse readership base.”

“Kudos to Kristel Penn and the entire staff at Grooby for creating yet another stellar edition of Transformation!” added publisher Hanna Rodgers. “I am amazed at the diverse content they assembled, including an exclusive interview feature with the exceptionally beautiful Honey Foxxx. There is something for everyone in this issue.”

Transformation Issue #103 features an exclusive interview and photo spread with TEA winner Honey FoXXX, in addition to interviews with the Switch’s Nyla Rose, photographer Dave Naz, industry veteran Fran from Shemale Strokers, artist Sonya Saturday, Steven Grooby on the new GroobyGirls.com rebrand, and YouTube sensation Rin Senpai.

Regular columns include Luna LaVey’s Hair Tips, ComPASSionate Counsel, Ask Aunt Randi, and Natalie Mars’ Toy Reviews, Gym Tips from Becca Benz, Transgressive Podcast,  and an Op-Ed on the Trans Military Ban from trans veterans, to name a few. Purchase your copy today at CenturianOnline.com.

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.

 

 

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.

[Photos] AVN Expo 2017 Re-Cap

I’ve been sitting on these photos from the AVN Expo a few weeks ago, but I’ve only been able to come up for air today as everyone here at Grooby is TEA planning overdrive right now (and by the way, have you bought your TEA 3-Day All-Access Pass Yet?).

As I learned this time around, AVN is not a sprint, but rather a marathon. And in this marathon, the cups of water waiting for you as you round the bends are actually vodka.  Although we didn’t have a booth, we had plenty to do while we were on the convention floor. Fran from Shemale Strokers kindly let us bother her throughout the week

I was fortunate enough to moderate a wonderful personal panel called “Sex Is…Trans Activity” with Aubrey Kate, Foxxy, and Natalie Mars in the Joint. They talked candidly about their lives and how their work personas differed from their real selves.

I also participated on a fun panel with some big women in the adult industry called R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Grooby Dev took video of the panel, so I’ll be posting that soon as well!

In the meantime, enjoy the pics!

 

Grooby Wins Big at the 2017 XBIZ Awards

Los Angeles, CA – Grooby, the leading producer of trans erotica, won big at the XBIZ Awards and the XBIZ Industry Executive Awards last week. The company took home four awards in total.

“Thank you so much to XBIZ and everyone who voted for Grooby,” said Steven Grooby. “We have a small, dedicated team who take great pride in what we do as a company so to be honored with awards at Xbiz this year for Trans Release of the Year, Adult Site of the Year (Trans), and Trans Studio of the Year is a fantastic reward and motivation for everyone across the company.”

He added, “Thank you also for recognizing Kristel as Brand Ambassador of the Year, she’s been putting love, heart and soul into Grooby since she began and to see her nominated and then winning alongside other fabulous nominees was much appreciated. Finally, thank you for recognizing Mona Wales’ first directorial release, ‘Real Fucking Girls’, which is an unique of a project that we’ve ever released. All the women who worked on that DVD should be very proud of what they’ve accomplished with it. Thank you XBIZ for  the recognition and encouragement for us to go forward with in 2017.”

Last night at the XBIZ Awards Grooby won Trans Release of the Year for ‘Real Fucking Girls’, Adult Site of the Year for ShemaleYum.com, and Trans Studio of the Year. Buddy Wood’s ‘Tranny Vice’ was also nominated in the Trans Release of the Year category, along with Grooby Network stars Kylie Maria, Chelsea Marie, and Domino Presley for Trans Performer of the Year.

Earlier in the week, Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn won the 2017 XBIZ Industry Executive Award for Brand Ambassador of the Year. Owner Steven Grooby was up for Businessman of the Year.

“It is an honor to win such a prestigious award for my work at Grooby,” said Kristel Penn. “Steven has been instrumental in encouraging me to branch out and diversify our brand and I’m excited for what’s ahead for our company. Although I’m a representative for Grooby, I hope others will feel like this is a shared win for the trans adult industry as a whole.”

“Congratulations to Aubrey Kate on winning Trans Performer of the Year,” Steven Grooby added. “Never has an award been more appropriate for one of the hardest working and professional transsexual performers in the industry and we thank her for working with us.”  Aubrey Kate starred in Real Fucking Girls and also appeared in XBIZ nominated Tranny Vice, in addition to appearing on many of Grooby’s popular websites.

 

About Grooby
Founded in 1996, Grooby is currently based in Los Angeles and is the leading producer of transgender erotica. Operating over 30 membership websites, the company has numerous popular DVD lines and operates the GroobyNetwork.com, which gives models an unique opportunity to own and manage their own solo site. They are also the host of the annual Transgender Erotica Awards. For more information, visit Grooby.com.

 

TEA Nominations 2017 – A Note from Steven Grooby

tea17_teaser-2

As Steven Grooby and Kristel Penn are diligently tallying up the pre-nomination votes submitted, the task of checking and double checking extends to most of the Grooby staff to ensure the nomination lists are is accurate as possible.

Steven Grooby has written a helpful post [HERE] to explain the pre-nomination process and some of our biggest categories.

CLICK HERE TO READ STEVEN GROOBY’S POST RE: TEA NOMINATIONS

Special Grooby Edition of Transformation Magazine Now Available for Pre-Order

Transformation #99

Los Angeles, CA – America’s #1 trans magazine, Transformation, announced their special edition Issue #99 is now available for pre-order at CenturianOnline.com. This issue marks a second collaboration between Transformation and the leading producer of trans erotica, Grooby. The magazine is scheduled to hit newsstands on October 18, 2016.

“I’ve enjoyed working with Grooby since day one so I naturally thought it would be a great partnership to have them guest edit another issue of Transformation to commemorate their 20 year anniversary,” said Transformation’s Editor-in-Chief Hanna Rodgers, “While their main business focus is producing transgender adult erotica, they genuinely care about everyone in the trans community, which really shows in the content presented in this issue. A lot of hard work and sweat goes into editing a magazine and Guest Editor Kristel Penn did an outstanding job creating an issue that I know everyone is going to love!”

“Steven and I are so excited to be teaming up with Hanna again to bring you an awesomely eclectic edition #99 of Transformation,” added Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn. “I’ve always had a passion for writing, so this was a great privilege to work side-by-side with her on this issue. I really appreciate the heart and soul of those who contributed and were interviewed – I think that authenticity really comes through on the page.”

Issue #99 includes a beautiful multi-page spread from Transformation’s cover model Jenna Tales, interviews with Her Story’s Jen Richards, Morgan Bailey, Krissy4u, an exclusive behind the scenes look at Grooby’s “Real Fucking Girls” and their 20th anniversary party, beauty tips from Isabella Sorrenti, and a special edition of Becca Benz’s “Through the Benz” column. These articles are in addition to Transformation’s regularly appearing popular columns and features. To purchase your copy, visit CenturianOnline.com.

Transformation Magazine embraces everyone on the gender spectrum to show the world that it is important to be true to yourself and express your individuality, from TG/TS to Drag to Queer to Fluid. Their aim is to encourage these efforts by demystifying the variety of “gender identities” with enlightening and entertaining content. Visit their official site at CenturianOnline.com to purchase an issue. You can also follow them on Twitter at @transpubinc.

Thoughts on the party, the business, and personal accountability

ThroughTheBenz_featuredsize

The Grooby 20th anniversary party was every bit as wonderful as I imagined it would be. It was nice having so many people there to share in celebrating such a special occasion. But the best part was seeing friends and having the time to talk and reconnect. The night was filled with lots of laughs and hugs and smiles.

We may have been there to celebrate the anniversary of a business, but more importantly, we were there to share this special occasion with the people who made it happen and those we have worked with and for. What made this so meaningful is the friendships and the sense of family among those in attendance. Grooby is much more than just a business, to many of us they are family.

Becca Benz at the Grooby 20th Anniversary Party, Bardot, Hollywood

Courtesy of David Edwards / DailyCeleb.com

It was a blast celebrating 20 years and we look forward to the next 20, but I think we’re all hoping for another party to celebrate the 25th Anniversary!

It was unfortunate that in the days following the party a series of posts appeared on Twitter attacking Grooby Productions and Steven in particular. I won’t address the particulars of what was said or by whom, other than to say that the accusations and comments directed at Steven were without merit and often flat out lies. Grooby Productions is a business and no one is being forced to work for them; if they don’t feel they are being offered reasonable wages or working conditions they have the option to look elsewhere.

The comment made about so many Grooby models being homeless is completely asinine. Homelessness is an issue which affects people from all different backgrounds and walks of life; you will find homeless people who have graduate degrees, who have had successful careers and businesses, and a shamefully high number of veterans. Homelessness is epidemic and an unfortunate consequence of the society we live in and the state of the economy, and what Grooby pays their models is inconsequential to the homelessness issue

Grooby provides opportunities to many people who would otherwise not have any other options. What each person does with that opportunity is entirely up to them. We are responsible for our own lives and what we accomplish, and attempting to place blame on someone who provides these opportunities simply to push your own agenda and get attention is beyond contemptible.

It is beyond me why some in the adult entertainment industry feel the need to bring others down or throw around unfounded accusations; it reflects poorly on everyone and only hurts the industry. And we in the transgender community need to be there for each other and to support one another, instead of fighting among ourselves. We of all people should realize the value of community and supporting each other because all too often we are the only family we have. If we as trans people can’t support each other and trust each other then who else will? Life is too short to be fighting among ourselves when we have so many people who are already against us.

Becca-Signature2

Grooby 20th Anniversary

ThroughTheBenz_featuredsize

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Grooby Productions. To mark this special occasion I wanted to do a column about what Grooby means to you; the fans, the models, the employees, the photographers, everyone. I asked you to share your thoughts about what makes Grooby special to you, whether it be the people, the events, the work they do, your favorite memories, or any other thoughts about Grooby. I really appreciate all the responses I received and I enjoyed reading what you had so say. It’s clear that Grooby and the people who work for Grooby have touched many lives and that there is a great deal of respect and love for everyone associated with the comapany. So without further ado, here you go!

Becca Benz

When I think of Grooby I think about the people because to me Grooby is so much more than just a company, it’s more like a family. Grooby has accomplished a great deal, not only in the adult entertainment industry but also in the trans community, and most importantly, they have touched the lives of so many people, myself included. While the bottom line is that Grooby Productions is a business, they care about the people, whether they be employees, models, or fans. I was given an opportunity which opened so many doors and I got to experience things I could never have dreamed of, and it helped me to find myself and to be happy with who I am and my life, and I will forever be grateful to Steven and everyone at Grooby for that. But the best part was the people I got to meet and the friendships I made, which is why when I think of Grooby I think of the people.

Mike Phillips

So, Becca Benz asked me to write a few words about what Grooby means to me. The first word that popped into my head was “More”. Now, of course one can’t speak about Grooby without saying a few words about the beautiful models and the professional manner they’re portrayed within the Grooby Universe. If you’re looking for Transsexual Porn you really don’t need to look beyond the various sites that fall under the Grooby Umbrella. But, there is so much “More” to Grooby.

How about how they support various LBGTQ organizations? What about Team Grooby walking in the 110+ degree heat raising money for the continuing fight against AIDS? Always “More”! About a year ago Grooby not only created Trans Adult Industry Foundation (TAIF) they also announced they will support it with a monetary pledge. This could’ve been just a check but Grooby being Grooby, they wanted to involve the models & photographers, so for every model shoot they contributed a percentage to TAIF. Yes, even “more”

I’ll bring these few words to a close but before I do it would be a crime if I didn’t mention the Transgender Erotica Awards (TEA). Grooby sponsors the TEA, each year in Los Angeles. This annual event was created to recognize achievement in the transgender adult industry.

So, what does Grooby mean to me? That’s simple

More: additional, further, added, extra, increased!

Krissy Kyung

If you were to ask me for a summation of my thoughts on Grooby Productions, its owner, photographers, and staff throughout the years that I’ve known some of them, many positive words would come to mind. It is unfortunate that we cannot always see the unfolding of Chaos Theory when it comes to companies like Grooby Productions, that impact so many different lives on so many different planes, because I think this case would be a fascinating study. What impact can one opportunity given, have on a life spiraling out of control? While I can only speak for myself, I’d bet my last dollar that there are countless other lives whose experiences parallel my own.

The opportunity to shoot for Grooby Productions site, Shemale Yum, came at a time when I was questioning my existence, value, and worth as the struggle to find acceptance in an increasingly complicated world continued to elude me. Today it is almost impossible to imagine a world without the interwebz; but back then, people like myself were often left to feelings of being completely alone in the world – hiding in the shadows of newsgroups, chat rooms, and Geocities. That first shoot gave me the confidence, knowledge, and financial means to set my life on a course that was 180 degrees from the direction it was headed in at the time. I can honestly say that if I had never been given the opportunity to shoot those few scenes, developed a small but loyal fan base, and had the chance to speak with Steven personally in those questioning times, my life would be far, far different from what it is today.

I suppose that in the larger scheme of things, it is rather grandiose to make such a speculation about a company that produces porn as its main business, but that’s really the point, isn’t it? To me, Grooby Productions is much more than just a company producing porn – it is a porn producing company providing opportunities to those who otherwise would have none – and doing it successfully. It is a company with its heart on display, proudly worn on the sleeves of those who represent it, right alongside the best T&A in the business.

Does porn with a conscience exist? Honestly, I don’t really know the answer to that, and I think everyone has to answer that question individually. What I can say with 100% certainty is that Grooby Productions is about as close to a for-profit business run by truly good people as you can get, and I’m so very proud to be a part of the Grooby Girl family.

Thanks Grooby and here’s to 20 more years of being on top!

Michelle Austin

In October of 2010, in my apartment in Austin, Texas I shot my first solo sets for Shemale Yum, and a few months later I was in a moving truck heading to LA to pursue a career in the adult industry and to host the 3rd Annual Tranny Awards (now the TEA Awards). This is my sixth year in the business and my whole journey has had Grooby a part of it.

When I was 20 something I was approached to shoot for Yum, it was early in my transition and I turned it down. Then a 30 something girl who knew herself was approached again and finally did it. Grooby has always supported my journey, supported my body image and helped me form the career I have today. Steven has been a mentor, when they first created the Grooby Network we met in his office in Burbank and he had asked me to be his first solo model on the network. From then on he mentored me and challenged me to make bold moves. My career wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Grooby. The staff has been overly amazing, they have always made me feel a part of the family and to this day support my company and career.

I have many favorite moments but the biggest ones have been with the Tranny Awards/TEA Awards. Since hosting the awards in 2011 (which is by far my favorite moment.), no one knew who I was but that night I entered into a sisterhood. Every year we all get together and love each other. Hosting the awards made me proud and every year I have dedicated my time because I believe in Grooby and the awards and will continue to be a part of it until Grooby stops asking me to. Happy 20 Years Grooby! You have a big place in my heart and thank you for all the love!

Brooke Myers-Zannell

Grooby has allowed an opportunity for trans woman to openly express their creativity through sexual exploration. We have gone from the unheard to being extremely mainstream. Opportunity is arising from all angles, which would not be possible without the presence of Grooby Productions. So I hope to see more growth from this company because that’s what they’re doing growing.

Rusty Eldora

I first saw pictures of a trans woman I think in 2001, when I thought trans women were just an act or fantasy. Slowly over the years I found I was looking at TS porn more often, slowly becoming curious. I felt I really needed to date a TS girl but was quite scared. Finally in 2012 I went on my first date with a tgirl and it was a total shock – she was real, she sounded girl, looked girl, thought girl, in every way really a girl except with a surprise. A number of dates later I found tgirls to be right for me, the best part is their intelligence and drive. Later I realized it takes the strength I noticed to succeed at transition.

My interest kept rising as I read the discussion on HungAngels, the forumn about transsexuals, about the Awards show, and I watched the 2013 show recordings and pictures. One model was from Seattle, DeliaTS which is a friend of a friend and I soon met her, along with Kelli Lox and Stacie Miguire. Stacie and I started dating and we discussed how fun it would be to go the Awards, It was both exciting and scary to be heading to the 2014 TEA show. Stacie grew up in Burbank so it was her home turf, which helped. I had butterflies going into Cobra but soon things felt all right. Once Kelli and Delia both had given me hugs and the girls from the forum seemed to know me it became a very good night. I met both Steven and Scott that night but just talked briefly to them. By the end of the awards we had been invited to a lot of parties and the BBQ, it felt like we were adopted into the family. I attended by myself in 2015, and with a group in 2016. I work as a professional with no association with the industry, yes I advocate for trans women and have a number of tgirl friends but there is no business reason for my involvement, yet I feel honored to be part of the family.

Compared to what I thought from the outside of the Adult Entertainment industry, I see Steven and the companies that sponsor the TEA show to be a very good group of people. Yes they are businessmen, but they really do care about the models far above what is expected. I am in a number of professional organizations and the quality of the Grooby management is as good as any law or accounting firm.

Thru association with Grooby many tgirls find their confidence and become empowered women. Their product is likely the first place most people see photos of trans women and realize their true beauty.

Steven, congratulations on leading Grooby thru 20 years of growth and support for the community. I hope there are many more decades where Grooby is at the TS forefront.

Dan / Sparky Snakeden – Grooby employee

I started working for Grooby because I lived next door to Buddy Wood in San Diego back in 2006. I think I started as a freelance dvd cover designer; it was regular work for me since that’s what I did at a gay porn company at the time. I’ve been friends with Buddy since 2002 when we would go the gay bars and he would find a t-girl and I would find a gay guy and we would kinda play wing man for each other. There are tons of stories from those early day like meeting girls that become huge stars like Khloe Hart, Foxxy, Jesse Flores, and Yasmin Lee. So many models I got to know really well over the years! I guess I could name drop list but that sounds weird.

Buddy moved to LA first and I followed 2 years later when Grooby was moving from Hawaii to LA, so I was kinda was just in the right place at the right time when Grooby needed someone in LA to help them with the move. It was kinda the office bitch type of job, running errands and whatever work they threw at me, so they liked it I guess because I got hired full time.

Years later I then started up Grooby’s cam system tgirl-cams.com meeting even more of the models. Also around that time the first awards show Grooby did at Club Cobra and I made fake giant checks to give the girls on stage; they got the real check mailed, but I am one of the Grooby employees that’s dealt with the what is now called the TEA Show every year from start to present. I think I took like a year and a half break but have been working for Grooby around 8 years. We all know so much about each other, and I hang with Kristel Penn the most because we just mix together like peanut butter and jelly; who knew a gay graphic designer and a lesbian writer would be the dynamic duo of Grooby and that we’d be partnered for the fun Grooby events like dvd premier parties, our 20th Anniversary party at Bardot in Hollywood. I guess by the time people are reading this there will be a room swimming with trans pornstars from over the years with only a limited number of fans tickets available on the groobystore.com, so expect this to be a historic milestone to mark 20 years in a niche that was never taken seriously back then. And look where we are now.

The shorter answer is Groovy + Booby = Grooby

That’s what Grooby means to me.

Dev – Grooby employee

When I first started with Grooby a decade ago, I wasn’t sure yet what my role was in the overall picture. All I knew for sure was I just wanted to help create the best product I could.

One important thing I learned is you don’t have to necessarily see the entire way to get to your destination, as long as you can see what’s directly in front of you, you can always move towards it. We still have a long journey in front of us. Even now, as long as you strive to create the best you can, things have a way of falling into place.

It’s been an honor to work alongside the Grooby team. They’ve been a family to me. Cheers to another 20 years and beyond.

Micha Angela

Grooby. A portal for self-expression that takes a social taboo and made it in to a legacy.

For years the shame and fear that accompanied my dysphoria was debilitating. When my bell had finally rung and I found myself confessing my need for help to the doctors at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, I had no idea that a British guy named Steven, who runs a company in L.A., would be playing such a huge part in my metamorphosis into the girl I have become and the woman I was meant to be.

When the first invitation found its way to me, I didn’t know what to expect. I was honored and apprehensive. I was (am) naive to the entertainment industry and was full of unwarranted concerns. What I found was absolutely contrary to my overactive imagination and turned out to be a family that I didn’t know that I had.

After being outcast, shunned and basically disowned from my family on the East Coast, The Grooby Girl family provided not only a social and economic network, but also an opportunity for spiritual growth and for girls like me, to learn from the best. I honestly don’t know where my transition would be if it weren’t for the awesome folks behind the scenes at Grooby Productions.

Thanks a million, Steven, Kristel, Dan, Dev and the rest of the Grooby crew. Much love.

Al Tom – Altomic Visuals

I’ve know Steven since the early years of Grooby. I’m amazed at how far the company has come and just what he did for the transgender adult market. From just a single website to now hosting yearly awards shows for the adult trans community to helping host hundreds of TS adults sites. I think Grooby has helped show that being a trans person doesn’t mean you’re not normal, but that you are just like everyone else. Society still has a long way to go to accepting all people of color, sexual orientation, gender orientation and religious views. But it’s one small step at a time and I think that’s what Grooby has done. They took that step and filled a niche in the adult market making trans people more visible to the masses. Being visible is a very important first step in helping society become more accepting. So congratulations to Grooby for opening the door for the trans community to come out and be proud of who they are.

Happy twenty years in the business and I wish Grooby the best for the future.

Kristel Penn – Grooby employee

When I started at Grooby nearly nine years ago, I spent my first day as a photo retoucher. I did 8 hours photoshopping out some toilet paper from you-know-where and I was slow. It was one the second day when Steven and I were discussing the newly formed (and not regularly updated) Grooby.com blog that he said, “Wait, you can write? Stop retouching. I want you to do this instead.” It was blogging and website updates at first, which soon expanded into other areas like social media, press and editorial writing, event management, and now marketing, branding,  philanthropy, and education.

My seemingly random climb through the Grooby ranks may seem odd, but it’s more common than you think. We all started with a passion to create a good product and as the company has grown, so have we in different ways. Steven gave me the opportunity to flourish creative writer and thinker, but also encouraged my strong passion to support our community.

I’m really grateful for the opportunities and friendships working with Grooby has afforded me. As Dan mentioned, we’re like peanut butter and jelly, partners in crime, thick as thieves. We work well together and, along with Dev (who does so much TEA prep work with us), work hard to create something memorable each year for the people we care about. We are not a perfect company, but we try in every interaction, every transaction, and every decision to do our best. And when we fail or misstep, we do our best to take it in, process it, and do it better. I’m proud of that.

Alana Lorena de Gracia

This is really a new world to explore but Grooby gives me a lot of interesting things to think about. Like where humanity intersects industry, and how to balance it while remaining successful. Especially how it impacts our community since we are considered more exotic. The keyword struggle for trans vs. shemale is one example. Many of us would like to see the latter go away, and there’s a lot to discuss. Grooby seems to be upfront talking about it, giving me hopes for continuing discussion.

I’ve also seen that they are an opportunity provider, definitely providing opportunities for trans women to help meet financial needs. I would actually like to hear more about Grooby as a platform for expression for transwomen who want to sell and project their image.

Lana Heart

For me, Grooby is the first experience I had with seeing transsexual women. Even though it took several more years, I came to the realization it is possible to live life as who I was supposed to be. I never dreamed back then that I would have the opportunity to be part of this great organization. I’ve seen the ways Grooby reaches out to the community with education and support, it really makes me proud to be a part of it all.

Hanna Rogers – Editor of Transformation Magazine

Taking over the publishing of Transformation magazine a few years ago was probably the single most challenging endeavor I have taken on, and one that I could not have managed without the support of Steven, Kristel, and everyone at Grooby. They have helped introduce me to countless people in the transgender community, shared advice, and are always willing to submit content for features and interviews. I remember being more than a little bit nervous the first time I went to Burbank to meet Kristel and Steven the first time because I felt like a fish out of water while at the same time way over my head, but I was immediately wrapped up in one of Kristel’s famous hugs and all the nerves simply evaporated. I feel truly blessed to call Kristel a friend (and fellow crazy cat lady), she is such an inspiration to me and knowing how hard she works day after day keeps me going, no matter how much I might be struggling with my own workload.

When Grooby invited me to judge the 2013 Tranny Awards (now known as the TEA’s) I was surprised, thinking I was too new to the industry to be of any relevance, but being included in such a way helped affirm not only my place in the community but also continued significance of Transformation magazine. And of course, the TEA Show is one of the most fabulous parties I’ve had the honor of attending and participating in; it has been an incredible experience to be able to talk face to face with so many of the gorgeous tgirls who have been in Transformation who I had only seen in photos up to that point.

As someone who had no real knowledge of the trans community prior to taking over Centurian Publishing and Transformation magazine, watching how fast this facet of the world has changed in the past four and a half years is incredible, and the fact that Grooby continues to expand their brand beyond the adult industry tells me a great deal about the integrity of the company and especially of Steven. The invaluable work they do is empowering and inspirational, much like the editorial direction of Transformation, and I look forward to working together with the entire Grooby family for many years to come.

Becca-Signature2