Trans Ethics: How did you get started in the Industry?
Tasha Jones: I got started back in 1997 doing webcam shows for a company called “Video Secrets”. That lead me to open my own websites. When I started doing webcam shows and building my sites, I had no idea what I was doing or where this would lead me. I only knew I liked the attention, and the sex I was getting, made this job seem like the best job I ever had. I did my first video (never released) in 1998, it was really bad. (laughter) But [it was] fun to make and I saw what I could do to improve my “acting” as well as my performance in front of the camera. This lead me to team up with Todd & Mandy where I had the pleasure of working with them on 6 different DVD releases.
TE: Which of those DVDs was your favorite?
TJ: Tasha’s Trashy T-Girls. The reason was because I felt very sexual while filming my scene. I was filming with Carlos Spankmen. We had been together more than once already so we knew what each other liked. Todd was filming and whenever it was him, me and cock things would normally go very smoothly. So, this did not feel like a big production –there was no one there stressing me out. It was just sexual fun. I also got fisted which was new for me. The other main reason this was one of my favorites was because it was my very first DVD. Your first is always special.
TE: If someone told the 14-year-old you that you were going to be a porn star when you grew up, what do you think your reaction would have been?
TJ: I do not think the 14-year-old me would even know what a porn star was. If you told me that I would be able to have lots of sex and get paid good money, and that is what it meant, I would have already been naked before you finished your sentence. If you explained that I would have to do a shit load of work on my own to promote myself and try to get people to shoot me, I might have put my panties back on. If you then told me that I would have to deal with haters not only in public but now add a whole new audience of on-line jerks, I would have been fully dressed and laughed and gave you the finger as I was walking out the door.
TE: How long were you in the Industry before you got the hang of self-promotion?
TJ: I honestly did not grasp the full concept of self promotion until 2014! Everything changed when I made the transition from just doing this for fun to actually wanting to make a career out of it. What I realized was that I have actually been promoting myself without knowing it for many years. The trick is to be a social media whore. Simply put, flash your titties and that will make you a marketing genius because no one can say “NO” to titties.
TE: (laughs) Very true. When did you realize that you were actually a girl?
TJ: It all began in a small town in Nova Scotia, with a butter knife and a room full of crazy people. After 25 years of thinking I was a freak, I found out that I was actually born intersexed. Even though I identified as female from age four, it turned out that I was actually the sane one in that room full of crazy people that I call my family. So now after all these years, I have the answers from my medical records. I have the strength within myself to correct the mistakes that were done to me as a child and be the person that I was meant to be –which is not a cock loving tranny, but a cock loving woman!
TE: “…with a butter knife”…? Tell me about that.
TJ: Well to be honest, the butter knife is a metaphor, because from age 3 days old to age 12 years, I had thirty plus surgeries that were misguided attempts by the surgeon and my family to correct the problem of intersex. Now that I have full access to my medical records and I have chosen to have the SRS surgery, for me reading what they had done to me as a child, made me feel like I had been butchered by a dull butter knife.
TE: Having been born intersex, how do you feel about “corrective” surgeries on infants and children?
TJ: I think that it is a case by case situation, but I do believe that there should be testing done on the child before any major surgery is contemplated. This testing should include complete chromosomal evaluation and hormonal evaluation. I am a really good case to look at what not to do when a child is born intersexed. Because of poor medical decisions by both my family and the physician, the medical procedures that were done to me as a child have had life long complications that sadly I am faced with today. There was a lack of empathy and information that I received from my family, and I have spent years of my life questioning and torturing myself over how I felt. Because of that I have made some horrible choices in life. I suffer from severe depression, extremely low self-esteem and a huge fear of rejection. I also have a huge need of approval from people in my life. I have tried to let that part of me go because other people’s approval really means nothing in life. But sadly it is how I was built and I have really just learnt to accept it.
This all could have been avoided if the physician who was in charge of my care would have properly taken the time to diagnose me and give correct information to my family. Sadly this is a common occurrence amongst intersexed children.
TE: Do you think parents have an inherent need to determine a child’s gender rather than just be parents of an intersex child?
TJ: I think for any parent having an intersexed child, it is going to be extremely complicated. Because of what I have experienced in my life, I have a jaded opinion on how parents should or should not act. If I were to step away and to take my own personal pain out of the picture, then I would have to say that it is human nature to place gender upon a child. I think some parents are more understanding, accepting and supportive when they are faced with anything medical involving their child… then there are parents who should not be parents in the first place.
TE: When you look back on your life now, what advice would you give to doctors and parents when dealing with an intersex child?
TJ: For both doctors and parents: compassion, empathy, understanding and strength. Doctors need to realize that the patient and the patient’s family relies on them to give them sound advice. The doctor needs to make sure that whatever medical treatment they provide, they are doing it to do what is best for the child and the child’s future. In cases of intersexed children, the physician has to go the extra mile and perform due diligence in terms of what is best for the child. As for the parents, the most important thing is to educate themselves as much as they can about the child’s condition and realize that this situation is going to affect the child’s entire life. How they act and react now will determine how the child will mentally handle the struggles he or she will face throughout the child’s entire life.
TE: Do you think that an intersex child should have a say in what gender is ultimately chosen for them, if any?
TJ: All children have to have some determination of their gender. Most of the decisions are made for intersexed children before the child reaches the age of reason or majority. But, if it is possible for surgery to be minimal so that the child can understand and have some role in the decision, that would be the ideal situation.
TE: You mentioned having to deal with haters on-line. How do you respond to people who say sex work is “unethical”?
TJ: The majority of the people that complain about sex workers are generally the people who use sex workers, or their husbands use sex workers and that is why they are so damn bitter. People have a misunderstanding of what being a sex worker is all about. Being a sex worker can be a form of strength, a way to gain self-confidence about yourself, and it can be extremely empowering. Of course you are going to have the other side of drugs, underage prostitution, and pimps, but for the most part you’ve got intelligent people who are using what they have to go further in life, and that is something that should be looked at more on a case by case basis versus lumping us all together saying we are all drug addicts, alcoholics, have diseases, etc.
TE: How has being in sex work empowered you?
TJ: It has allowed me to have confidence within myself, to view myself as how others see me, and it has given me power in my life, when for the most part I have felt powerless.
TE: There are quite a few trans women in sex work. Do you find this to be a bit of a lopsided demographic?
TJ: I think that this really has to do with the fact that transitioning is a very expensive undertaking and that being a sex worker allows a greater income potential than a regular job. I also think that the job opportunities for trans women are limited. I believe that self-confidence plays a huge part in whether people become a sex worker.
TE: Initially, do you think self-confidence is higher or lower among sex workers?
TJ: Most sex workers, in my opinion, start off with low self-esteem, and in pursuing their goals usually get higher self-esteem unless there are drug or alcohol problems.
TE: Do you have any tips on avoiding drug and alcohol problems?
TJ: I think that some people have an addictive personality and they are more prone to drug and alcohol problems. Also some people who have low self-esteem and are generally unhappy are more prone to drug and alcohol problems. There are no real tips to avoid these problems other than having a support system that works for you.
TE: One last question: What are your plans for the future?
TJ: World peace, cure hunger and to suck more dick than McDonalds has given out in hamburgers. (laughter)
I have a brand new site opening up www.clubtasha.xxx; multiple DVD’s coming out in 2015. I am going to be hosting a party in Toronto at Club 120 in April with my sidekick Michelle Austin, and her boyfriend Dickie. That’s on the business side. On a personal side, I am going to try and finish my book, travel more, and complete my transition.
TE: What is your book about?
TJ: I am working on two books currently. One is an autobiography I have been working on for 10+ years, and the other is a book about sexual adventures of a tranny call girl.
TE: You must let us know when they are finished. Thank you for taking time out of your evening to chat with us.
TJ: No problem, I enjoyed the interview.
Follow Tasha Jones on Twitter.