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Groundbreaking Erotic Documentary Exploring Trans Women’s Sexuality is Released

Fearless Revealing, the second volume of the Doing it Again series by Handbasket Productions is now available for download. Riding the line between pornography and documentary, this series is an provacative and stimulationg portrait of trans women’s sexuality.

Seattle, WA.
April 16th, 2014

Doing it Again is a detailed exploration of trans women’s relationships and hookup dynamics, created by Handbasket Productions. Earlier this month Playful Awakening, the first volume of this erotic documentary series, won the Special Documentary Award from Germany’s Transgender Film Festival an Honorable Mention from the Feminist Porn Awards. Now the second volume, Fearless Revealing, has been released for digital download.

Doing it Again: Fearless Revealing focuses on trans women and their cis (non-trans) partners. Weaving together explicit scenes and interview footage, this eye-opening series is as tantalizing as it is informative. “For so many people, porn is the first or only place that they learn about trans women, and often what is meant as fantasy is assumed to be our real life experiences,” says director Tobi Hill-Meyer. “I’m excited that this series will now be one of the options for those same audiences to enjoy while gaining a sense of the range of what trans women’s sexuality can entail.

With episodes five through nine, this volume includes gentle dominance/submission, long term relationships, newly dating couples, strap on fucking, conversation around coming out as trans and as being attracted to trans people, light bondage, managing disclosure of trans status, experiencing harassment, sensation play including fire and electricity, polyamorous support networks, and finding community.

Release of physical DVDs is being delayed due to an exciting new distribution deal with Pure Play Media and are expected in the coming months.

Handbasket Productions is a radical, oppression aware media collective focusing on queer culture, trans experience and sex positivity that has released two feature length films before the Doing it Again series, both of which have won Feminist Porn Awards.
Handbasketproductions.com
Media Contact: Tobi Hill-Meyer, Tobi@handbasketproductions.com

Please take a moment to read about my work with COLAGE

I tweeted yesterday when I realization that my mom included my feminist porn award on our family holiday newsletter which goes out to all my extended family.  It’s made me realize how much my family of origin has had an impact on my ability to do the work I do, and the way I do it.  And COLAGE, as a youth driven network for people with LGBTQ parents – which I’ve served on the board for the past four years – has provided me the community to overcome my isolation and position my heritage as a second generation queer as a big part of my strength.

With that in mind I wanted to update you on the work that I’m doing with COLAGE.  For the past year and a half I have been working as the board chair and am incredibly proud of some of the things that the board and COLAGE as an organization have accomplished.  Building on our excellent guide for people with trans parents, this year we put together a resource guide for people born via donor insemination.  We prioritized our community and chapter base our first Speak Out training for COLAGEr’s of all ages, including adults, as well as setting up Regional Retreats, in addition to our existing annual Chapter Institute.  We’ve been developing our Voices Raised program for COLAGEr’s of color and next year plan to hold a Leadership Summit including Rebecca Walker – author, activist, and daughter of Alice Walker.

Since this year was our 20th anniversary, we put together a 15 minute film documenting what COLAGE has been doing for the past two decades.  You can check it out here:

Unfortunately, as I write this I just finished a budget call where it was revealed just how much the recession has finally caught up with us.  We will most likely end this year with almost half the income we had budgeted, and more than half of our income last year.  As a result we’re discussing likely cuts to some of my favorite programs – including our scholarship program and our fellowship program (which produced the resource guides I mentioned above).  It’s made me realize that I haven’t been doing as much fundraising as I should be, and that’s why I’m reaching out to you.

I’m hoping you can help me reach my goal of bringing in at least $1000 in the last two weeks of this year to help COLAGE continue providing the great programming that we do.  Please consider making a donation.  Especially with an uncertain economic future, a broad base of donors is really important and even a small donation can make the difference.  Donate here.

As an incentive, I’d like to a signed copy of one of my recent books or films to anyone who donates $50 or more.  Sign up for a monthly donation of $10 or more and I will send you two two.  Just email me (nodesignation at gmail) to let me know what you’d like and where to send it.

  • And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families.  It includes my essay “Donor Mom” on my experience growing up with a donor and my decision to become a donor myself.
  • Best Lesbian Erotica 2010, which includes my essay “Self Reflection,” probably the first story in the best lesbian erotica series to focus on two trans women.
  • All six current issues of Pocket Porn, my early erotic fiction zine series which focuses on the experiences of and issues faced by a variety of trans women in a small town queer and trans community.
  • Doing it Ourselves: The Trans Women Porn Project, the film that won me the Feminist Porn Award for Emerging Filmmaker. Note, I’m in this film, be sure that you are comfortable with that before watching.
  • The Genderfellator. My feature length, plot driven, pornographic, parody of the 2007 transphobic short film, The Gendercator.  Scheduled to be available in late March.

Thank you for whatever you can give.  Donate at this link.

Follow up for Kate

Earlier this week Quinnae Moongazer wrote a well crafted open letter to Kate Bornstein, drawing attention to the things she says that invalidate trans people with binary genders, especially within how she uses, discusses, and defends other people’s use of the term “tranny.” Kate immediately wrote an apology and said she would only use the term among friends, forgoing it’s use in public. However, one day later she realized that her apology was premature, written before she had a chance to process the whole thing. She wrote another post explaining that she actually would be using the term in public.

I had a lot to say about this, and to Kate directly. This began as a comment on her blog and expanded into something bigger. So I’m placing it here.

I saw your post the other night and it really lifted my spirits. I’ve always appreciated your writings but have been a bit alienated from you for a while now – because of this and the other issues Moongazer raises. But let me be clear, in certain circumstances I like the word tranny too. In pretty limited ways which make total sense to me and my immediate community, I use it. But what was difficult for me was not that you used it, but how you dismissed the concerns of those who felt hurt by it. And how you stood up to defend the right of anyone to use it in any “positive” context.

If a gay cis man yells out to me “Hey there, fabulous tranny.” Or a straight cis man announces “I love trannies!” That’s going to make me uncomfortable – I hope I don’t need to explain why. I’d try to tell them that and that it’s not an okay use (even though it’s positive) or what might be a better way to frame their sentiment. When they hear that THE Kate Bornstein said it was okay, possibly even preferable, for them to use the term, it undoes the education I was working on. Continue reading

Unexpected Gender Role Models

I’ve been writing a lot recently about the gendered aspects of my childhood, Mulan-Shang.jpgtrying to piece together that part of my trans narrative in a way that can be explained and understood by others. Whenever I heard messages about what little boys were supposed to be like, I sought to be the exact opposite. I occasionally found strong girl role models, but the overarching memory I have is the experience of being repulsed from the idea of prince charming, warrior heroes, and any type of masculine virtue – except in one case.

I have a distinct memory after seeing Disney’s Mulan when I was 15 and visiting my cousins. There was one song all about celebrating maleness and masculinity. Repeated again and again were the lines “Be a man!” with the emphasized conclusion “I’ll make a man out of you!” I was hooked on it, singing that song ad nauseam for a week or two. On a conscious level, I’ve never been sure what drew me to that song. It certainly doesn’t fit with my overall childhood narrative. And over the past several years my mind occasionally returns to ponder the puzzle.
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True Blood a Metaphor for Trans Folks?

Vampire-Human relationships in True Blood are set up as a metaphor for same-sex relationships. They are hated by the right wing Christians, legally persecuted, and at one point they sneak in a reference to vampire-human marriages being legalized in Vermont. However, the relationship dynamics are built on difference and the societal oppression is based on one person who is hated for being “unnatural” and other person who is hated for loving them. There’s even a population of humans called ‘fangbangers’ that exoticize and seek out vampires as the ultimate lovers. That’s a lot more like trans-cis relationships. Watch this video I put together and judge for yourself

While there’s a lot of gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters on TV, we don’t get a lot of trans representation. When we do, it’s often been less than ideal representation. Slowly trans characters have moved from crime show psychos to crime show victims to hospital show victims and finally for sensationalism on drama and reality tv shows — and that’s a major improvement! But as far as an ongoing representation of a major trans character in a healthy, supportive, and affirming relationship, well I can’t find anything like that. But at least when I watch True Blood I can pretend. It fits so well I have to wonder if it was the intention.

Language, Reality, and my Trans Girlhood

While working at COLAGE’s Family Week in Provincetown earlier this month – a week long gathering for LGBTQ-headed families with programming for 200+ youth who have LGBTQ parents – someone who was working with the younger group asked how to explain what “trans” means to an 8 year old audience. peacechild.jpgThis was particularly important considering that some of the youth in the group may have trans family members or be trans themselves. Another facilitator suggested using very simplistic language and gave an example, “like a boy who wants to be a girl.”

That’s when I jumped in, because language has a way of affirming specific perspectives on reality. In the above statement the subject of the sentence is “a boy.” This choice says that the trans person in the example really is a boy, not a girl. I try to challenge myself and everyone else to change their language to be more trans-affirming.

Let’s discuss a few specific ways that can be done. For those who put in the effort to really make this shift, you might be surprised at how your perspective of reality shifts as well.
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Craigslist Adult Services Censored by Government

Over this last weekend, those who relied upon Cragslist adult services got a clcensor.jpgrude awakening. Without any warning, and with no official statement yet, Craigslist removed the adult services section from all US sites and replaced it with a small censored image.

One friend of mine was extremely startled, as she relies on the ad section for her source of income and had to suddenly scramble to make up the few hundred dollars that she needed for the rent that is due. Presumably, thousands of others are in a similar situation.

“Could you imagine going into work one day, only to find out the building has been burned to the ground by an angry mob wielding torches and pitchforks; You’re out of a job and have no clue as to what’s next?”

After searching for news, it turns out this occurred because last week 17 state Attorney Generals sent a letter to Craigslist demanding that they shut down the section.
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Open Letter to The Advocate

Yesterday I received an apology from Christopher Harrity, Manager of Online Production, apologizing for misidentifying my photo as Briana Freeman. It’s quite clear that it was not malicious, but simply a matter of not paying close enough attention while google image searching. He was “horrified” to think that his mistake caused me strife, tried to reassure me that the transphobic commenters were just being mean because it’s the internet, and he asked if there was anything else The Advocate could do.

As a matter of fact, there is. I explain how the problem goes deeper than mean anonymous commenters and a random mistake and outline steps The Advocate needs to take to correct this ongoing problem in my open letter behind the cut.
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The Advocate Thinks I’m Brianna Freeman

Last week a story a story went around the blogosphere of Brianna tobipic.jpgFreeman, a 45 year old trans woman in Maine, who was suing Denny’s after a manager refused to let her use the restroom. The Advocate ran the story last Friday and – apparently figuring that one trans woman’s picture was as good as another – they posted my picture along with a caption indicating that I was Brianna Freeman.

I might have laughed it off as a stupid mistake, but glancing down at the comments I can’t help but notice that Advocate readers, being the advocates for equality that they are, took the opportunity to pick apart my appearance, judge me based on whether or not I met their definition of a real woman, and discuss how scared they would be to see me in the bathroom.
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Video Fixed

Some people pointed out that the video cut out from my kenote speech about 15 min from the end. Well, I checked it out and it looks like there was an error while uploading it. I’ve re-uploaded it, and verified that it’s the size it should be. Enjoy the last 15 minutes. And please, let me know what you think.

http://www.handbasketproductions.com/video.htm

Sometimes it’s been hard to sift out the real comments from the dozen or two fake ones I get each week. But I’m trying to be more vigilant these days.