Can I take a moment to tell you all about something amazing? In recent years, the place of trans women in pornography has been a topic of hot debate within trans communities, and a site of some awesome activism. Some of this activism has included Tobi Hill-Meyer’s seminal Doing it Ourselves: Trans Women Porn Project, which featured queer trans women in a feminist porn context. That movie brought a lot of issues around transmisogyny to light, and queer trans women have been making serious inroads into the feminist porn world as a result.
But what about straight trans women? So often trans activism focuses on one specific trans experience: that of a mostly white, exclusively queer kind of trans person. Straight trans women have been left out of the conversation. And when we talk about straight trans woman porn, we can see only typical tranny and shemale porn produced for a cis male gaze.
Well, legendary feminist pornographer Nica Noelle has changed that. She has started a new studio called Trans Romantic that creates porn specifically catering to the desires of straight trans women and other trans women who like cis men. This is stuff made for a trans woman’s gaze. The first title in this series, Forbidden Lovers, has a plotline about a cis man taking his trans woman girlfriend home to meet his parents, before she’s disclosed being trans. When she does disclose, they have amazing and hot sex! The non-sex parts are super cute and really romantic and lovely. Dreamy!
The great thing about this is that the men are really hot! Tranny and shemale porn are stigmatized industries, meaning that male performers often won’t be able to return to straight or gay porn if they do tranny or shemale porn, and that results in usually really unattractive/boring guys doing it with super babely trans ladies. Nica Noelle has found REALLY HOT GUYS who are excited to be part of these films! This is a big deal in the porn world.
I absolutely loved Forbidden Lovers, and I’m not even straight. Want to support things for trans women and not just your tiny bubble of acceptably queer ones? SUPPORT TRANS ROMANTIC!!
Edited to add: Also! These movies are produced with plotlines that show trans women as not only objects of desire, but SUBJECTS OF LOVING RELATIONSHIPS. That is hugely revolutionary.
I’m really excited to see this and would love to get a chance to check it out sometime soon. I can in the notes on this post that some folks are critiquing it for various reasons and I’d just like to put this in the context of trans-positive work coming out of the mainstream industry. Yeah, it’s inevitably going to have some issues that are problems in more anti-oppression spaces. It’s not currently possible to get rid of all that and still distribute (let alone produce) in the mainstream industry. But the shift towards trans women taking more control in the production of mainstream porn and actually creating it with trans women in mind as an audience — that is a mind blowingly amazing progression and deserves to be celebrated!
Also, I’ll mention that in my own productions I have been frustrated at not having been able to include straight trans women. In my current project I’ve made a significant outreach effort to include more trans women with men (particularly cis men, as I haven’t had that in a film before) and I’m excited about the turnout. And just like how recruiting through mainstream channels has it’s problems, recruiting through feminist/queer porn channels has it’s problems too. One of them is that there are significantly fewer straight trans women (or other trans women involved with men, particularly cis men). It’s made this outreach difficult. Noting that, I’m really excited to see this project moving forward and can’t wait to see what else Trans Romantic produces.
(And btw, while the casting for trans women with cis partners has closed, I’m still casting for trans women with trans partners and am particularly looking for more trans women with trans men. If you’re complaining about trans men not being involved in Trans Romantic, let me point you to my casting call: http://blog.handbasketproductions.com/?p=290)
Adding to comments, this maybe hasn’t even been mentioned, but nica has no clue about actual trans issues. I spoke with her personally before she started these films, and she told me how her brother “who is gay” only dates “drag queens and ladyboys” and how she wanted to do “romantic shemale porn” - and then got confused when I said “you mean trans women” - she had to have me clarify what “trans women” meant (I think she thought I meant ftm.)
Also, that photo looks heavily photoshopped - did she alter the womans face and body? It looks a little blurry/painted.
Also, she is very blatantly against sex work, and has publicly shamed escorts for “bringing stds into the industry. ” and her arguement got worse as people questioned her logic. She Insists that she only wants to work with performers that are “loyal to the industry” and “classy”, not whores and prostitutes. So that sucks.
She did hire a drew deveaux, a trans woman, in an all-girl lesbian feature (where theyall role play that they really are straight, but drunk…) - but I’m pretty sure she wasnt aware that drew was trans until after the film was made, at which point in her defense, she tried to stand up to her distributor, who had anti-trans policies in thier contract. But that was the end of that collaboration.
She is not a rad woman. At least not how I see it. Movies like this do seem really, really awesome and badly needed, but I regret that this woman may not be the straight porn savior we are looking for.
I am excited to see tobi’s new work, and have myself been shooting some scenes between trans women and men. There needs to be more, and I wish someone like tristan taormino or nina Hartley would do straight trans-inclusive features.
(I’m responding on my phone using speech to text. Revised for typos as much as I could, but plz forgive any oversights.)