Trans Trials: Erin Fernandes on Transition as a Business Owner, Privilege, and Finding Oneself

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TransEthics: When did you first come out as transgender?

Erin Fernandes: About 13 years ago, but I was just cross-dressing at the time and my wife caught me. I almost ended up in a divorce. My father in law researched transgender and explained it to my wife, saving my marriage for the time being. But it was just a family secret for years. Very few knew, just my wife, and in-laws. It’s only been about a year that I have been me in public.

TE: How did the rest of your family react to you coming out?

EF: Most didn’t accept it. My mother still has a hard time with it. I had to help educate her on the subject. And she’s got a doctorates degree — go figure (laughs). Lots of tension between my brother-in-law and I still, but he’s coming around, not that I care. The way I see it is, if you can’t accept me for who I am, why should I accept them? But all in all its been a pretty easy transformation for me. My wife has been my biggest support through everything. Continue reading

Trans Erasure: Riley Alejandro on Non-Binary Issues, Genderfucking, and Media

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TransEthics: When did you first realize that you’re transgender?

Riley Alejandro: I didn’t know that transgender was a thing until I was at least in my teens, probably around thirteen or fourteen, when I had access to the internet. I first started expressing issues with being told I was a girl around 8 is my first thought of it, telling my parents that I wasn’t a girl, that I was a boy and making up a lie as to why. I was forced to go to therapy. That’s when I also learned that this wasn’t something that people accepted too well. Continue reading

Trans Artisan: Courtney Trouble on Gender, The Effects of Transphobia, and Art

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TransEthics: What did you do before you got into sex work?

Courtney Trouble: I started doing phone sex as a job a few months after my eighteenth birthday because between college, my personal projects, and trying to be a freelance writer, I didn’t have the time or interest to stay at an entry-level retail or food job. I just didn’t have it in me. I was initially attracted to sex work because I wanted to work on my art (which at that time, were photography, zines, websites, and music) instead of work at someone’s store. I’ve been doing some sort of internet-based sex work since 2002. So what did I do before sex work? Be a teen, I guess. A nerdy, super creative, artistic, baby riot grrrrl who didn’t want a corporate job.

TE: When did you decide to move beyond working the phones? Continue reading

Transcending Binary: Miss Erika Rose on Being Non-Binary, Trans Identity, and Camming

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Trans Ethics: How long have you been camming?

Miss Erika Rose: Privately or publicly? (laughs) I’ve done private shows for a better part of four years and started doing it for private groups a bit over a year an a half ago. I’ve been camming publicly for about seven months now.

TE: Why did you get into sexwork? Continue reading

Trans Action: Chelsea Poe on Activism, the Trans 100, and Violence Against Trans Women

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TransEthics: What does it mean for you to have been in the Trans 100 this year?

Chelsea Poe: It really meant a lot to me. Being recognized by the trans community for my activism is extremely humbling. I think for myself it validates what I have been doing in the industry thus far and really makes me motivated for the future.

TE: Your activism –especially where it intersects with sex work– has ruffled some feathers of late. Tell us about some of the challenges you’ve faced. Continue reading

Trans Dominion: Jane Starr on Coming Out, BDSM, and What’s Missing in TS Porn

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Trans Ethics: How did you first get in to sex work?

Jane Starr: My first intro to sex work was when I moved to Los Angeles. I needed a job so I could do things like eat, pay rent, sleep indoors. I applied at Buffalo Exchange and The Pleasure Chest, which is probably the most versatile well-known sex store in L.A. I had met a girl who had just been fired from there, so I said “let’s go,” and they hired me. I thought it was going to be the most bleak depressing thing I could ever do.

TE: Sex work, or working at that store?

JS: Working at the store. My only experience with sex work had been at seventeen. I was a homeless drug addict in Houston, Texas . I met lots of other punk street kids –boys and girls. They were really cool. They were open about getting picked up, being prostitutes. This was way before my transition, so I started doing it too. In my drug addict mania I started cross-dressing like all the punk girls I had admired my whole life. But my need to transition was still buried way too deep inside of me.

TE: How did you discover that you needed to transition? Continue reading

Trans Legalities: Mia Davina on Media, Discrimination, and Something New

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TransEthics: What do you say to critics who say that sex work isn’t ethical?

Mia Davina: I would have to play Devil’s Advocate a little and ask what is ethical to them? If working a “Normal” job where you are paid tiny amounts for all your free time and have to put up with bosses you hate is ethical, then I wouldn’t want to be ethical! Porn has always had stigma against it although sex is a beautiful thing that creates life. Porn performers are tested constantly and work in a safe environment. It’s much less “dirty” than sex is for people outside the porn world.

I think people can’t live off of the tiny wages they make doing 40 hours a week, let alone being Trans and having to mask your truth to appease your bosses, and unless people are paid better it is silly to look down on sex work and Adult Entertainment.

TE: What were you doing before you got started in the sex industry? Continue reading

Trans Undaunted: Brooke Zanell on Restrooms, Porn, and Being a Trans Teen

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Trans Ethics: How did you get started in the Industry?

Brooke Zanell: I was traveling with TS Lady Godiva escorting, we were in Hollywood, Florida and she asked if I wanted to come with her to her photo shoot with Tonya for Tonyaworld.com. And Tonya asked if I wanted to shoot and I did. I fell in love with the camera.

TE: You do have a flair for it. What awards were you nominated for at the 2015 Transgender Erotica Awards?

BZ: The Transcendence Awards sponsored by Dr. Sinclair
Continue reading

Trans Intersection: Tasha Jones on Being Intersex, Empowerment, and Self-Promotion

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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? Continue reading