Ten years ago, this magazine published an article titled “A New Trans Generation” that examined a burgeoning market for “she-male” content, a descriptive that has now largely been consigned to the dustbin. Grooby Productions, Evil Angel and Kink.com were among the companies profiled, alongside trans pioneers Wendy Williams, Mandy Mitchell and Kimber James. (Williams was making use of something called MySpace, and exploring a still-new, three-year-old platform known as Twitter.) Mitchell, it was observed, was considered outré for performing with cisgender women, which was then a rarity in the genre.
“The [audience] demand is being noticed more in America and companies are starting to see that they can make money with the niche,” James said. “It’s still bigger internationally than it is here; I think people in other countries are a lot more open sexually to things, so maybe that’s why, but I think it’s becoming a lot more professional and, little by little, more accepted by the ‘mainstream’ porn watchers.”
The times, it can be said, have certainly changed.
Today, some of the largest companies in adult entertainment have their own trans labels; the newly launched Transfixed on Gamma Entertainment’s Adult Time channel is focused exclusively on glamorous, lushly filmed pairings of trans and cis female stars. Trans male models are regularly paired with cis men on their own dedicated paysites and have begun crossing into cisgender gay male content. In the opposite direction, as Sean Michaels himself recently made his debut in the trans genre, there has been a flood of fan-favorite, award-winning gay male performers — Dante Colle, Michael Delray, Wolf Hudson, Ricky Larkin, Sergeant Miles, Pierce Paris, Wesley Woods and more — who now cross genres with regularity and with little fuss from their fans.
The XBIZ Awards, adult industry’s biggest night, added its first trans categories in 2010 and expanded them two years later. “The evolution of our award categories reflects our growth, expansion of coverage and pursuit of inclusivity,” said XBIZ Publisher Alec Helmy.
All of this has occurred as the transgender community has enjoyed increased representation in the national media.