PVV – genderfucking hollywood (because I can’t say “tranny awards”)

…but I just did – ugh!!

I struggle with the word “tranny,” so I’m going to use another common adult industry-ism for trans – “TS” – in its place. Discussion of all that is at the end of this post. For now…

The 4th Annual TS Awards are this Sunday night, February 19th at Joseph’s Café in Hollywood, and I’m super excited to be attending!! The TS Awards are dedicated specifically to trans women performers (and the cisgender “Non-TS” performers and consumers who love them).

I am very interested in this particular awards show for many reasons. First and foremost, I have never attended the TS Awards before – this will be a new experience for me. I’m very excited to learn more from this less visible but extremely viable segment of the adult community. And although an awards show is not the place for hard-hitting in-depth interviews, my ethnography glasses will definitely be on.

I’m also very interested to attend the TS Awards in light of some controversy that was recently swirling around the adult community regarding trans performers’ real and perceived treatment at the AVN Awards ceremony, both at this year’s show and presumably during years past. There is much to be said about this situation; but first, here are some links to get you up to speed…

–> TS Performer Brittany St. Jordan voices her concerns about this year’s AVN Awards show here.

– then AVN and several influential TS women performers met to discuss the issues –

–> AVN gives their take on the meeting with Brittany and others here.

–> Brittany gives her take on her meeting with AVN here.

(there’re other links outlining this debate that are a bit more in-depth, but these are the most accessible and are relatively SFW)

…so suffice it to say that I’m very interested to explore the ways in which different dimensions of the same (adult) community treat, honor, and generally interact with one another in an awards-type setting (and beyond) – super excited!!

Here are some show details: Joseph’s Café is located at 1775 North Ivar in Hollywood. The red carpet opens at 8:30 PM and the awards start at 10 PM, with DJ Chelsea Malone from NYC Tranny Strip spinning all night. Nicole Paige Brooks from Season 2 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is hosting the show, and Domino Presley will be working the red carpet and doing live interviews. Many of this year’s nominees will be attending, including Morgan Bailey, Tiffany Starr, Jesse, Brittany St. Jordan, and Liberty Harkness. For a full list of this year’s nominees, go here.

Pre-sale tickets to the TS Awards can be purchased here, and a limited amount of tickets will be available at the door.

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And harkening back to the beginning of this post, you may be wondering: what’s up with “tranny,” Dr. Chauntelle?

sigh… where to begin?

First and foremost – however folks want to be referred to, that’s what I want to say. Be it your name or your sex or your gender or your age or your ethnicity or etc etc etc, I support persons’ right to self-identify… (and I should – on forms that ask me to state my “race/ethnicity,” I’ve been putting “Californian” for years now, because race and ethnicity aren’t conflatable, “/”-able concepts)… so I feel a little bit like a colonizing know-it-all for questioning and/or feeling discomfort with an attribution that comes from within a community. Ultimately, if folks want “Tranny Awards,” then Tranny Awards it should be!!

This is my own issue, which may be prompted by years of feminist and social justice-based research, advocacy work, and training – more theory than you can imagine and years and years of working with members of trans and queer communities.

“Tranny” sounds so pejorative to me (and so does “shemale” for that matter). But “trans” doesn’t seem correct – The “Trans Awards”? – and neither does “transgender” or “transsexual” in this situation, though I know that many women active in the TS segment of the adult community identify with one or all or some of these.

So what to do? Shift through the attribution soup? Here’s what I (think I) know:

Generally, a transgender individual’s gender (ie man, woman) does not “correspond” “conventionally” to their named/categorized physical body (ie sex – male, female). A transsexual individual is transgender person who is transitioning in some way towards a version of self that they find more actualizing. Now, we are all actually kinda doing this to some degree, but transsexual folks are taking any number of specific steps on a sex- and gender-shifting level.

And even though this hasn’t come up in this post, this term is often thrown out alongside these other experiences so it’s worth mentioning. Transvestism, or the practice of engaging in transvestite behavior, has to do with dressing. This behavior may be correlated with gender, sexuality, or any number of other things; but, at its core, the concept has to do with various forms of dress only.

These are all extremely simplistic characterizations of extremely loaded and complex captures related to many individuals’ identities; but for this here blog post, they’re gonna have to suffice. Whatsmore, everyone has their own understanding of all things, terms and definitions included, and language shifts considerably. Email me or comment below if you have questions, thoughts to share, or more current information.

Point being though: TS Awards? Tranny Awards? Something else?

What do you think?

oh and fyi: a cisgender (re “…and the cisgender “Non-TS” performers who love them” from above) individual’s gender (ie man, woman) does “correspond” “conventionally” to their named/categorized physical body (ie sex – male, female).

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