This was written a few years ago when I first started casting for Doing it Ourselves. It’s been posted on handbasketproductions.com since then, but I’m about to redesign the website so it makes sense to archive it here.
Background and Context
Mainstream pornography is a field rife with criticism about sexism, racism, objectification, and exploitation. There is also a fairly strong history of activists confronting these issues by stepping up to make porn that better suits a feminist and oppression-aware perspective.
Most people are aware that the mainstream representation of “girl-on-girl” pornography is often considered “fake” lesbians. Such representations include a variety of inaccuracies and stereotypes. But the problem does not rest with the performers. In fact, many actresses who do “girl-on-girl” are lesbian, bi, or queer, however, they rarely have any decision making power. Straight men produce the porn for a straight male audience that thinks of the actresses only in terms of fulfilling a fantasy. The performers must conform to the unrealistic expectations of the straight male imagination or get another job.
In response to that, there is now a decent infrastructure for queer-woman-made porn that offers everything “girl-on-girl” does not. It has real people, real emotions, real sex. There is even a recent growth in trans men-made porn. Yet trans women in porn are still represented only within mainstream porn production that is constricted by unrealistic expectations about what a trans woman is and a society that regularly sees trans women only as a more objectifiable kind of woman.
Having been in mainstream trans women porn myself, I know just how unrealistic it is. While I appreciated the individuals I worked with, I resented being referred to in derogatory terms, requirements that my body perform on command, and being asked to do things that are physically impossible for many trans women but have become standard in the industry. I felt like I had to strip away every symbol of my queerness and do my best to mimic the way trans women and women in general are thought of in male fantasy.
The opportunity for something better has existed for some time. For one reason or another, trans women are virtually never represented in dyke- or trans men- made porn, and trans women have not begun directing porn themselves.
This particular set of circumstances and moment in history creates an opportunity to make great change. I envision creating a film that continues the tradition of minorities reclaiming imagery of their own sexuality. I hope this film will begin fill the void of feminist, oppression aware, and trans woman-made porn and be sold on store shelves that. To my knowledge, this is the first film of it’s kind.
The creation of this film has been guided by a vision where trans women represent themselves and have the support and freedom to do so accurately, which aims to shatter the stereotypes and misconceptions about trans women’s sexuality that exist in queer communities, and show how hot trans women and their partners can be. And hopefully, this project will open the door to the possibility of many others like it.