TransEthics: What was it that first got you interested in politics?
Brianna Westbrook: I’ve always been interested in politics since a young age. I love being a leader for people. I just never thought that I could run for office until recently. The confidence was not there for me in my earlier years of life. The election of Donald Trump is what pushed me to use my voice. That was my breaking point. I saw a storm coming last year when he selected Mike Pence as his running mate.
Kate Adair: What I do is work on a platform called BBC The Social. It’s an online space giving a platform to new and emerging content creators. It’s about letting people make what we are passionate about. In my case I started with a couple of a Trans 101 videos and have recently moved on to doing a weekly thing called queer bites where I get to discuss a topic of the week… usually I take it from something that I have seen in the news or something big from the world of LGBTQI+ society, but I do admit I’m bias a little towards the trans content. I’m a trans person who leads on creating what I make, script, film and edit my own stuff and the BBC listens to my views and allow me to make what I feel is relevant and important. They tend not to change or alter what I say and —at least with the social— are happy to listen to my lead on whats needing to be said and put out there. Continue reading →
TransEthics: How old were you when you started pursuing sex work?
Stacy Sadistic: I was 23 when I first started doing things for money, but I had been in the fetish scene for many years before that. I had a girlfriend who introduced me to the fetish world. She took me to lots of fetish events, and introduced me to new things and new people. I grew up in a small town, so I was kind of repressed. I reluctantly got into cross-dressing at her request, but soon found that I really enjoyed it. We had sort of a switch dynamic, but after many years together, I realized she was abusive, so I left.
Its funny, because lots of people told me that I was “naturally submissive,” and would never be a good dominant. I don’t think BDSM is something I would have sought out naturally on my own volition, but after getting into it, I found that I enjoyed being able to give my partner a certain experience, the play was fun, and I liked the community. Continue reading →
TransEthics: How did you get into the sex industry?
Tiffany Starr: I’ve always thought it would be cool to be in the adult entertainment industry, but I never thought I would actually do it. It seems a lot of people fantasize about it at one time or another. It started a little over five years ago. I was working as a receptionist for a large software company. My job had a lot of down time and paid very well. I had a girlfriend at the time named Sarah to whom I was very attached to, and a great car to boot. That all changed in one month.
My car was totaled by a pickup truck and insurance paid just enough to cover the loan. A week after that I was laid off because the company was downsizing and cutting corners. A few days after that my girlfriend at the time and I broke up. I was left devastated, depressed, and with a lot of unpaid bills. Due to the economy being in shambles it was tough finding a replacement job.
Thus I grew desperate and reached out to a friend of mine who just so happened to be a popular transsexual porn star. She offered me a shoot on her website and that all I would need to do if fly to L.A. I decided to contact all the porn companies I could before going out there, because if I was going to shoot one scene I may as well shoot a bunch. It was only supposed to be a temporary fix until I found a new job. However after shooting for most of the major Transsexual porn sites out there I grew popular. It was then that SMC (shemaleclub) offered me a website in their network. I took the offer and I have been shooting porn ever since. Continue reading →
TransEthics: I’ve interviewed a couple of non-binary people in the past. How do you define “non-binary”?
CN Lester: I would probably say that I don’t define it — I think the very appeal is that there is no fixed definition — or, rather, than everyone has their own, and we respect individual interiority — that’s the whole point. I don’t personally used the term non-binary (unless repeating someone else’s choice to use it) for a number of reasons.
The main reason being that gender is not a binary. Sex is not a binary. It never has been, it never will be, and I object to having to define myself, and the whole complex web of humanity, in reference to a lie which has caused untold damage. As ever, that’s not to say that men and women aren’t men and women — just that there have always been more descriptors than just those two, that those descriptors need not be fixed to specific entry requirements, and that every person (man, woman, neither, both, either, more options) will have their own take on what gender and sex mean.
Editor’s note: Trigger warning for violence as a first-hand account of violence against Ms. Banks is discussed.
TransEthics: There are many who would consider you a leader in the trans community. How does that make you feel?
Sophia Banks: Uncomfortable, to be honest. I don’t think of myself as a leader. I am not really into the concept of leaders. I am glad and honoured I inspire some folks and have a platform to educate people. But being seen as leader makes me uncomfortable. Rising to a sort of level where I am seen as an authority has always been weird for me. I started out just speaking my truth as a trans woman pissed off about shit and things kinda blew up. One thing I hate about being seen as a leader is how I am expected to act strong all the time, never feel weak or insecure. It all happened so fast as I was going through my own transition and the struggles that come with that. Continue reading →
TransEthics: What inspired you to come up with the Trans 100?
Jen Richards: The seed of the original idea began with co-founder Toni D’Orsay. She had wondered aloud on her Facebook who would be in a Forbes style top 100 trans people. She asked for people to suggest names in the comments. I put in a few, then tried to go to sleep. But as is my issue, my brain did not comply, and I began thinking about all the possibilities of a list of 100 trans people. I got back up and called Toni (we had met through We Happy Trans, my earlier project) and we began discussing ideas. Continue reading →
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 →
Some of my followers on Twitter actually want to know more about me: The woman who started TransEthics. One even asked me “When did you realize that you are actually a girl?” That is an excellent question. And since you asked, I’ll lead you on my journey of self-discovery, and finally self-acceptance.
In hindsight, I’ve known since about 3 or 4. I remember wanting my Mom not to cut my hair. (She did anyway… once I even asked if she could put it in pig-tails, but it was too short.) When growing up, doing “boy stuff” always felt wrong to me. I was always very sensitive and emotional. I wasn’t into sports, hated fishing, and the like. Even more I *hated* boy clothes. I’d always wanted to wear dresses and such, and started to do so secretly at about age 7. Continue reading →
Trans Ethics: How did you get started in the sex industry?
Honey FoXXX: I was 18 Years old and I was living in South Central (Los Angeles). This is a time pre-transition. I was on the 103rd street train station and this talent producer Robbie said “You look like you have a big dick.” He gave me his card and a week later I was shooting for gay porn.
TE: So you started pre-transition… how long were you doing that before you decided to get on hormones and start being your true self?
HF: I did gay porn for almost two years. I started my transition and taking hormones at 19, but I didn’t start living full time until I was 20, which is when I was discovered by Danielle FoX, which is how I got into TS porn.
TE: When you were growing up, did you ever think that the sex industry would become your career?
HF: Honestly… NO! No way! I was shy and quiet. I was kinda nerdy. Plus my parents were pretty conservative for a gay couple so I was very sheltered for a long time. Continue reading →