Trans Differential: Halley Wynn on Trans Bodies, ‘Deadly Babes’, and Ethics in Sex Work

DSC_0581TS.Halley Wynn5-1

TransEthics: Your Twitter profile says you are a “muscle t-girl”… would you care to expand on what that means to you?

Halley Wynn: Well, there are two separate but inclusive fields of thought I have on that: The personal and the political. I like fitness, weight lifting, different movement arts and working out in general. Participating in these activities generally gives you increased muscle tone and increased mass depending on the type and volume of activity, because of this I identify as muscly.

Now for my political opinions, I feel like femme people but especially trans femme folks are incentivized to avoid muscle mass or lots of tone. Being that it is supposedly a masculine trait, and therefore being “overly” fit is akin to outing yourself according to some.  So I am a trans femme fitness enthusiast: Muscle T-girl.

TE: How do you respond to critics who would say that overly muscular trans women ultimately hurt the ideals of what trans women should be?

HW: (laughs), Who gets to say what an ideal trans woman is? In all seriousness, my experience with people who criticize trans athletes are rarely worth responding to because they cherry pick scientific evidence and avoid what would require them to just say out right “I am a transphobe and you can’t play with us”. My biggest example would be the horrible and ignorant things Joe Rogan said about Fallon Fox and her no longer [being] allowed to fight, despite if she were an Olympian she would still be allowed to compete. Or, rather she meets all that is required of trans femme athletes for competition

How I normally want to respond is: “I sweat for this, I worked hard for this, I experienced pain, doubt, misery and guilt for this and if you are going to disregard my fitness because I am an AMAB (Assigned Male At Birth) person, you are missing the point.”

TE: And what point would you try to get across?

HW: That I am a woman regardless of my fitness or muscularity… that my fitness has nothing to do with my origins and everything to do with who I want to be. That I actively make choices to be this way and I wasn’t just stamped onto the world like this.

TE: You use the hashtag “DeadlyBabes” in your bio and on some of your tweets. Could you tell us a little about that?

HW: Yes, I’d love too. Deadly Babes is a model collective focused on producing consent based alternative porn and welcomes all bodies, identities, and backgrounds. @BillyNyx started and manages the collective and just offered me a moderator position. We hope to start making content under this collective soon. We are currently accepting applications for new models as well, and hope to have a world-wide model network of indie or semi-independent models.

TE: Do you think there is a market for such a diverse porn collective?

HW: I do. That being said, I don’t think it will be easy. I mean an example of success would be Crash Pad –we hope to be that queer, with a range of content from cam work to choreographed high-art style clips like a four chamber heart studio produces. I think folks are starting to become more comfortable with expressing taste for “variant”  porn. Instead of people whispering through the internet what custom fetish clip they want, this is an opportunity to be upfront with your desires and fetishes, which is why we focus on consent. You have to have consent to accomplish more complex or obscure fetish filming.  I have heard [of] people including those that primarily fund porn (cis-het folks) complain of wanting better porn often enough that all I care to say is “fund it”. Here we are and we take commissions for now.

TE: What does being a sex worker mean to you?

HW: Oh… so much. Being a caretaker, a curator of experience, having presence and passion enough to give a commitment to freedom and expression. I like being my own employer and managing a small business of me. I like meeting people in these small intimate settings and fulfilling their needs or producing content for multiple views that entertain many. I guess in summary: sex work for me is outlaw art.

TE: Your other job is being a caretaker?

HW: Hmm? I feel like being a sex worker is being a caretaker, especially if you have any professional medical training such as EMT, massage therapy, herbalism, psychology, or any other such knowledge. I personally have education in massage therapy, which I use to heal and excite my clients.

TE: So you work your education in massage therapy directly into your clients’ sessions?

HW: I do, there are many benefits and bodily responses which can elicit through massage, such as increased dopamine and oxytocin production, vascular dilation, and pain relief. Often times it also relaxes those that receive it, so it is incredibly helpful for those that are experiencing physical discomfort or newbies who are anxious.

TE: How do you respond to people who claim that sex work is somehow unethical, and should be combatted with strict laws against it?

HW: Well, [to] conservative types or those right of center I would say –with much assumption– that sex work is a viable market because of the negative patriarchal aspects of society, such as false piety and monogamy, masculinity being proven by sexual conquest. However patriarchal society also endangers sex workers directly due to the same entitlement that demands there be a market of accessible sex workers, ether to maintain masculinity such as a closeted person seeing queer sex workers, or simply someone “trying to make their marriage work”.

For [anti-sex work] feminists (deep breath, heavy sigh) why…? If you are suggesting that one cannot be a sex worker because it has a patriarchal market, why would you attempt further endanger sex workers by legislatively attempting to further increase vulnerability for those that willfully commit to sex work? To be pointed, this kind of thinking polices those whose bodies are most marginalized first, with consideration to intersectionality and context.

Sex is controversial: who has it, how they have it, who they have it with, if it’s the wrong sex or the right sex… I think it is a part of title anxiety, and attempts to control external factors to validate identity. Generally the only “wrong” sex is nonconsensual sex, and those engaging in the sexual act get to collaborate on what is consensual and ethical. Those that say sex work is unethical fail to see that often we are the ones working the hardest to have firm, healthy boundaries in all our relationships. We are often trauma informed and motivated to provide a genuine and caring experience for those that seek us out.

TE: Last question: If you had one succinct thought you could convey to the world, what would it be?

HW: Beauty and pain are universal, which one will you spread? “Life is Beautiful.”

TE: Thank you for spending some time with us this evening.

HW: Thank you for your time… this was challenging and fun. One thing I want to add: Trans folks: love yourselves – you are beautiful. Cis folks, nobody passes… not even you.

TE: Nice…

follow Halley on Twitter

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