So last Sunday I went out with my friend Scott, who was the perfect date and a true gentleman, and we attended the Transgender Erotic Awards (or TEA Show) in Hollywood. It’s an awards show for tranny / shemale porn performers, which is not what I do obviously although I have been able to shoot with a couple of very nice models such as Ada Black and Stefani Special who do trans porn and it is an interesting world, just different. This was my first year attending and Trannies In Trouble was actually one of the many sponsors for the night (it wasn’t nearly as expensive as it sounds.) I didn’t have my camera with me unfortunately so we only took a few shaky snapshots with Scott’s phone but we had a really fun time.
Sitting at the same table were a couple of lovely latina ladies, including this cutie next to me who was fascinated by my latex dress and who kept feeling up my latex-clad arm (I really didn’t mind.) Ileana Logan from the east coast was also there, looking very lovely as a blonde (we were able to shoot some new pictures just a couple days beforehand). And although I didn’t get a good shot of her face below I also was finally able to meet Amber Dubois, also from back east, who said some of the nicest things about my dressing and my website – I was really touched. We’ve emailed off and on on Facebook for several years and she was an absolute dear, so I was really glad we just happened to run into each other that evening.
The show was a little late getting started but the presenter, a fabulous drag queen named Jujubee from RuPaul’s Drag Race, was a hoot and kept things going once they did finally start around 10:30 (I could tell it was going to be WAY past my bedtime before we got out of there!) I’ll admit as the show continued I really started to feel like a visitor in a foreign land, since Trannies In Trouble is a completely different thing from shemale porn. That’s totally okay but I really felt, like my friend Kim said, like a related but distant cousin. It was an interesting evening and hopefully I’ll meet some more trans models who are also into bondage but I don’t know if I’ll really need to attend next year. I know a lot of the performers there would just look at fully-clothed bondage photography and ask, so when does the sex start?
One ironic twist is that the awards show used to be called The Tranny Awards but this year they changed it because of complaints from some of the performers who find the word tranny offensive and demeaning. That kind of made me feel like an old dinosaur too, since when I started my site almost twelve years ago (yeah, that long!) no one was saying a thing about the word tranny, or even debating its use. At the same time I do understand the argument since most people agree that the word tranny comes from the word transvestite rather than transsexual, so I can see if you’re a trans person who lives full-time, you may not like it. In any case this is probably all best left to another blog post in the future. But Jujubee, bless her heart, made a point of using the word tranny over and over again and pretend-apologizing for it every time, reminding the crowd that, Oh right, we’re not supposed to use that word anymore. I breathed a sigh of relief at her tongue-in-cheek humor as I was secretly fearing that someone might shove a microphone in my face and demand I explain myself for the name of my website. In reality, I was practically unknown in this crowd so I really had nothing at all to fear. And the obvious answer would just be, hey, I AM a transvestite and crossdresser and a full-on fetishist. If anyone here is a tranny I certainly am!
Finally by the end of the evening I’d had one too many drinks (three is a lot for me…gotta hide those wine glasses from the camera!) but thankfully Scott was perfectly sober as we wandered out onto the sidewalk and made our way back up to the Valley for some sushi in the fridge here and some reflection on the evening. Like I say, I don’t know if I need to race back again next year but I’m glad I got to do it and see more of a subculture that, especially living here in Van Nuys, the porn capital of the world, has always seemed just a couple of degrees away…