Tobi Hill-Meyer
hellothisisgay:

pinebark:

thx to everyone who’s checked out my new zine THESE WERE FREE ON MY BLOG already! if you haven’t yet and you wanna see like 22 pages of this kind of thing you can get it at gumroad!


This was one of my favorite parts of this zine, if folks are interested you should definitely check out the whole thing. But it seems some folks are reacting negatively to this particular page so I want to take a moment to share my reading of this.

First off, it’s key to notice the “rude and abrasive” part about this. The author is talking about a repeated pattern of being attracted to butches who turn out to be jerks and wishing she wasn’t. It’s about dealing with the cognitive dissonance of finding someone to be a jerk yet still being attracted to them. 
The decentralizing masculinity bit is a part of a larger political perspective that questions the way in which masculinity frequently gets prioritized even in queer spaces and other counter-cultures - and that often comes in the form of masculinity being seen as hot.
When this issue is applied to butches and femmes, it’s important to remember we’re dealing with two axis of power, not one.  Butches are (typically) both masculine and gender non-conforming, and will experience privilege from the former while experiencing oppression around the latter. No it’s definitely not the same way it works out for masculine cis guys, but neither do they simply cancel each other out.  It’s a complicated experience that shouldn’t be reduced to a binary understanding of privilege and oppression.  
I often see this dynamic coming up around cis butches who have only ever experienced masculinity and gender non-conformity in tandem. From their perspective, they always come and go together and might as well be the same thing.  But as a butch trans woman, I’ve experienced them separately. I can see how fucked up people treat me for being gender non-conforming, and I can also see moments where my voice is is given weight and authority at the same time that the feminine folks around me are seen as superficial or non-consequential.  And just as I know the hardships of being seen as gender non-conforming and masculine, I know how much worse it is for those who are seen as gender non-conforming and feminine.
As for this idea being presented a couple of times:

wtf is this also butch women aren’t masculine

I think you’ll have to explain this one to me.  I’m a butch woman and I consider myself masculine.  Certainly not male and certainly not a man, but why can’t I be masculine?  Is masculine suddenly something only men can be?  Maybe these words mean different things to you and that’s where we’re getting confused. But if so, you’re going to have to explain it to me.

hellothisisgay:

pinebark:

thx to everyone who’s checked out my new zine THESE WERE FREE ON MY BLOG already! if you haven’t yet and you wanna see like 22 pages of this kind of thing you can get it at gumroad!

This was one of my favorite parts of this zine, if folks are interested you should definitely check out the whole thing. But it seems some folks are reacting negatively to this particular page so I want to take a moment to share my reading of this.

First off, it’s key to notice the “rude and abrasive” part about this. The author is talking about a repeated pattern of being attracted to butches who turn out to be jerks and wishing she wasn’t. It’s about dealing with the cognitive dissonance of finding someone to be a jerk yet still being attracted to them. 

The decentralizing masculinity bit is a part of a larger political perspective that questions the way in which masculinity frequently gets prioritized even in queer spaces and other counter-cultures - and that often comes in the form of masculinity being seen as hot.

When this issue is applied to butches and femmes, it’s important to remember we’re dealing with two axis of power, not one.  Butches are (typically) both masculine and gender non-conforming, and will experience privilege from the former while experiencing oppression around the latter. No it’s definitely not the same way it works out for masculine cis guys, but neither do they simply cancel each other out.  It’s a complicated experience that shouldn’t be reduced to a binary understanding of privilege and oppression.  

I often see this dynamic coming up around cis butches who have only ever experienced masculinity and gender non-conformity in tandem. From their perspective, they always come and go together and might as well be the same thing.  But as a butch trans woman, I’ve experienced them separately. I can see how fucked up people treat me for being gender non-conforming, and I can also see moments where my voice is is given weight and authority at the same time that the feminine folks around me are seen as superficial or non-consequential.  And just as I know the hardships of being seen as gender non-conforming and masculine, I know how much worse it is for those who are seen as gender non-conforming and feminine.

As for this idea being presented a couple of times:

wtf is this also butch women aren’t masculine

I think you’ll have to explain this one to me.  I’m a butch woman and I consider myself masculine.  Certainly not male and certainly not a man, but why can’t I be masculine?  Is masculine suddenly something only men can be?  Maybe these words mean different things to you and that’s where we’re getting confused. But if so, you’re going to have to explain it to me.

Working on a side project…

Working on a side project…

Hey, so I was wondering if you or any followers knew of any trans/genderqueer erotica that isn't Take Me There. I haven't been able to find... anything? that's like that?

transqueersxxx:

Followers?

I wrote an erotic fiction series called Pocket Porn back in 2006-2008. It dealt with queer and trans issues in a fictionalized version of my home town and every story involved at least one trans person. Those zines launched Handbasket Productions, which at the time was a zine distro and later went on to start producing trans positive porn. I never finished it but got through 6 issues and they are all still available at my online store as either hard copies or ebooks. 

Handbasketproductions.com/store

Your "tobi hill-meyer"/"Tobi Hill-Meyer" tag doesn't work, I think because it gets rendered as "tagged/tobi-hill-meyer" in the URL, and Tumblr hates hypens.
Anonymous

Hmm, I see. It’s odd, you’d think that even using the url “tagged/tobi-hill-meyer” should return all the times I entered it as a tag, but it doesn’t. Anyone know why? Do I need to tag things “Tobi Hill Meyer” - with a space instead of a hyphen?

tobitastic:

Remember all those comics I had been reblogging by Christianne Benedict and Rachel K. Zall? Over several months I shared with you my anticipation and excitement of each page being released. Well now they are on their way toward creating a print version - and you can get your…

Oops, I suppose I did forget the link to the kickstarter.  It’s here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1076215508/exiles-trans-stories-by-christianne-benedict

Kickstarter: The Exile and Happy Landing of Natalie Rios

Remember all those comics I had been reblogging by Christianne Benedict and Rachel K. Zall? Over several months I shared with you my anticipation and excitement of each page being released. Well now they are on their way toward creating a print version - and you can get your copy, along with a few additional stories for just $10 at their kickstarter campaign!

They’ve already hit their base goal, which means that one way or another this will happen, but if you can help them reach a stretch goal of $3,000 then they will add an exclusive 8 more pages to the story. I know I want to see those.

Also, do you know anyone who runs or works at a comic store or book store? They’ve got a retailer special to get 10 copies of the book. Considering how hard it is to find trans characters in comics, and the existing collections tend to exclude trans women or depict them as ridiculous stereotypes (*cough* Glamazon *cough*), this could be a great way to support independant artists and show that trans women are worth investing in both as protagonists and as artists and writers!

If you missed it when I originally posted them, you can read the entire story of Natalie Rios at this link (note: contains explicit sexuality)

  1. Why do I make porn
    I came of age in sex positive communities where I saw people’s sexuality being celebrated in amazing and positive ways - but it was always a cis person or sometimes a trans guy. Trans women were tolerated in my communities, but not really expected to participate on that level. I wanted so badly to see someone like me being celebrated for being sexual, and although I couldn’t have that when I needed it most, I realized I could be that for someone else. So after getting the boot from mainstream porn because my body won’t ejaculate, I set out to make my own and create opportunities for trans women to represent ourselves in ways we actually wanted to be represented.
  2. Who do I make porn for
    I say “the trans community” but I mean that in a very broad sense. Trans women, trans men, genderqueers, and cis partners, friends, and family - anyone who’s lives are touched by trans issues. Trans women are often my primary focus, and I’ll hear from folks about how my films have helped them come out, made relationships possible, or even saved lives.  That really matters to me. At the same time I can hold a multiple focus and I’ve included messages for anyone who cares about trans people, and sometimes they are even directed at cis people. But even when I make something for cis people, it’s “for them” in the sense that it is what I think they need to hear rather than “for them” in the sense that it caters to their desires and conforms to the assumptions they’ve already made.
  3. What would you change
    I see porn with trans women tends to have a specific cookie cutter mold. It’s not just that it’s for cis men, it replicates a very specific fantasy that producers assume cis men want (and is often true but only because that’s what cis men are told to want). We all know the trope, trans women who are always sexually available, skinny, hyperfeminine, completely shaved, either dominating bitches or obedient submissives, with hard cocks, penetrative sex, money shots, and so on. I want to see us break out of that mold. I want to see a thousand different images of trans women’s sexuality rather than the same image duplicated  thousand times.  I don’t even mind if many or most of those images don’t appeal to my preferences, I just want folks not to be locked into any one particular set of requirements. If we truly allow ourselves the freedom to experiment, I’m sure there will be some pretty amazing things created.

chelseapoe:

I feel like I have been lacking in my activism as of late and caught up in promoting my projects and I really wanted to do a piece for a while to start a conversation of trans porn performers.

So Please if you are a trans performer and have a few minutes if you could answer 3 questions.

1. Why…

amydentata:

sandyfarquhar:

“In my early twenties, I was dating a trans woman who in some ways still had a male body whose body I projected maleness and masculinity onto because of my own prejudice. I was very attracted to her, and she was absolutely a woman, but part of me was like if I’m attracted to this anatomically male body, does that mean that I could be interested in men? using her in a really creepy way as an avatar of maleness and masculinity, completely contradicting what I just said. I don’t want this to be interpreted as I dated a trans woman so I could be into men, but I feel that there’s a blurriness that happens with trans people that’s exactly what I’m saying and it’s fucked up. For some people that blur their prejudice opens things up butts up against reality and calls things the tip of the iceberg regarding their own gender issues into question, things that could otherwise be rigid identities they should talk to a therapist about instead of using trans people as an objectified representation of their own internalized binarist gender issues.

— Ariel Schrag, author of Adam, in her interview with The Rumpus

I FUCKING HATE ARIEL SCHRAG.

(via odofemi)

to talk about how trans people open things up and call things into question and to simultaneously talk about people being “anatomically male”?!?!

There, I fixed that for you, Ariel.

Much clearer now!

When I first started making porn, it was in part because the restrictions and requirements of mainstream trans porn were creating in such a way that I not be able to participate and my friends and community would only be able to participate if they essentially pretended to be someone else. I wanted to make space for something else - something where I could see people like myself and my friends engaging in the wide range of sexual experiences I know exists among trans people.  At the time, the only way to do that was to exit the mainstream completely and create something new from scratch.

For the past couple of years, the organizers of the annual award show for mainstream trans porn has been talking with people from alternative queer porn.  This year they have renamed the awards so as not to use the t-word, but more importantly they did it because queer porn folks who formed working relationships with them asked for it. And now we’re asking for a lesbian/queer trans woman award, and that may happen as well.

Now is the time for building relationships and coming together. There are certainly still concerns that some of our community may have. I have my doubts that any of my films - or indeed any film that does not focus on hard genitals and penetrative sex - could win a major award. But that’s in great part because many in the mainstream porn world simply cannot imagine what an alternative could look like.  Now is the time to show up and show off. If we can get nominations, then they will end up watching, reviewing, and discussing our work. And where we do not fit their criteria and expectation, they will have to question if those expectations really are necessary.

Chelsea Poe has collected a list of people you could nominate to help move this process forward.  To that end, let me add where my work could fit in as well.  Please consider nominating me and my work for the following:

Best FTM Scene: Doing it Again Episode 2 (Chelsea and Mo) and Episode 4 (Azure and Juicy)

Best DVD Director: Tobi Hill-Meyer

Best DVD Release: Doing it Again Vol 1: Playful Awakening, and Vol 2: Fearless Revealing

Best Scene: Doing it Again, Episodes 1-9 (You can review their descriptions and refresh your memory at this link)

chelseapoe:

Pre nominations are now open for the Transgender Erotica Awards.

what the wants of the inclusion movement wants in porn and what it doesn’t.

chelseapoe:

Yesterday I had some issues with my usual cam site and posted a tweet about having to go on Kinklive for the first time in a few months and I received a few tweets by Princess Kora (https://twitter.com/PrincessKora1/status/510206865847107585 and https://twitter.com/PrincessKora1/status/510207708948348929). Saying I hate kink.com and called them evil yet I am willing to cam for them. I believe she didn’t truly listen to what us who want inclusion on such sites are against we are upset about. We are upset about these sites excluding us thus its quite the opposite to us hating them and wanting nothing to do with them. Part of the reason I moved to the bay was getting accepted by Kinklive and had a really good 8 months camming with them but truly kinklive isn’t really a place where a trans woman can make money extremely long term because simply lack of traffic to the site because they have a lack of websites supporting trans porn. Kink has multiple gay male sites and multiple sites for cis women when trans women are limited to being in a top only role for 2 sites. What was distressing about my time with kink wasn’t anyone doing anything awful to me but just the constant knowledge everyday you go into work you have no opportunity for advancement within a company you work for 3 to 5 days a week. One of the most important things when you have any job is an a chance to advance in said field with the company you work for.  I had people within the building attempt to try to book me for various lesbian sites even in the shower within the armory then retract the offer upon learning I’m trans then when I did apply for trans sites through kink I was told let us know when you decide to start topping (topping as a trans woman to what they ask is just about impossible without going off hormones and destroying your endocrine system). What Tobi Hill Meyer, Cinnamon Maxxxine, Courtney Trouble and Myself spoke about at the porn panel at the center of sex and culture really explained that we just want to be given the same chance as skinny, white, cis performers including both Cinnamon and myself sharing offering these companies flexible rates to work with us even if only on a trial basis. We really don’t dislike these companies but we dislike the way the treat performers who don’t fit into a extremely small view of sexual attraction and when they do shoot people who are in sexual minorities they are never truly treated with the same respect a white skinny cis performer would be treated. I said this from day one working with Kink if they are open to trying something new and including trans women who don’t top with their cock I offer my services for completely free because I truly believe if trans sexuality can be portrayed in a positive light in porn it can actively make the world a less hostile place for all trans people. I just want us to be judged fairly and have porn reflect all kinds of body types thus creating a bigger audience and helping porn come on of a decline due to downloading. I believe this is going to be the future of porn that will push it forward and I believe you can see this with how many of the biggest porn stars in the last ten years haven’t fit into porn’s norm of what a porn star looks like or performs. I think the biggest key is actual dialog between companies and the people who are feeling under represented in porn. Any other industry when losing money would try to explore new ways to innovate but rather to this most of porn believes they need to stick to their guns and I have heard the phrase “Suck all the money out we can” which is a recipe for failure as we saw with the big 3 auto companies all having to be bailed out. Porn isn’t going to get a government bail out so we need to innovate or this industry will face a probable death of the norms within the industry now. We all wonder why do people download porn for free instead of paying for it. I believe just like any other art form people will pay for something they value and truly I don’t believe fans are truly valuing a lot of mainstream porn because simply its repetitive, playing out and mocked by society as a whole largely due to how unbelievable it is. When a porn star faking a orgasm is something you hear as a punch line at least once a week on a late night show I think that says how most mainstream porn is valued. I believe including real to life sex with different body types, races of people, sexualities and ways people have sex you would actually see a massive increase in people who would actually be interested in buying porn because end of the day if you can relate to someone on a human level you are less likely to steal their content which is why most of my queer material isn’t on any torrent or tube sites because they actually want to support me as a performer. I think porn has often viewed its self as simply just another form of sex work and I think we need to start viewing this as a film medium erotic art form because the majority of the public views porn as stale and not for them. I take porn seriously and I feel like porn should be taken seriously and lightly as any other medium rather it be music, film or art. Its great to have something super artistic but at the same time I don’t believe all porn needs to be held to that but its important to realize what we are making is effecting how people view sex, view their sexuality and most important how they view themselves. 

For porn performers - indeed sex workers in general - we are often held to an unrealistic standard when it comes to complaining about our jobs. Think about it - everyone complains about their jobs. No matter how much you love it, there will be something to complain about. You might be grateful for a corporate job, but still criticize their corporate policies and few would accuse you of being a hypocrite. Yet we will so often be forced to defend why we choose our professions to begin with that even a minor complaint results in a chorus of “If you hate it so much, why don’t you quit!”  

Everything breaks down when you’re forced into polarization like that where everything is either perfect and above reproach or downright evil. Ideally we can and should have space to vent and air legitimate grievances, while maintaining a positive relationship with those we work with.