Identity: In & Beyond the Binary by Dave Naz

credit: Dave Naz

credit: Dave Naz

Congratulations to my very talented friend Dave Naz on his upcoming book, Identity: In & Beyond the Binary!  I met Dave a few years back and I'm so so honored that he allowed me to be part of this book, not only as a model (I know, crazy, right?) but also as an essayist. 

Thank you so much to Dave for this really awesome opportunity and a big congratulations to him on this book! Pick up your copy at the link below!


Identity: In & Beyond The Binary (2017, Rare Bird Books, A Barnacle Book) 
signed by: Dave Naz
248 Pages | 5.5 x 8.5″ 
Paperback: 1945572515

Essays by: Riley Kilo, Chelsea Poe, Jane Starr, Andre Shakti, Matty Boi, Kelli Lox, Kristel Penn, Kwesi, Michelle Austin

Dave Naz spent eight years photographing transgender, genderqueer, gender variant, and other people from the queer community. He has been documenting lives, poems, and stories from the community in his zine Identity, now collected in this striking book.

Purchase a signed copy here!

Aubrey Kate Featured in Latest XBIZ Magazine

 

2017 XBIZ Trans Performer of the Year Reigns Supreme
by Shawn Alff

It’s easy to see Aubrey Kate now — the modelesque, blonde bombshell — and dismiss her recent awards in the erotic arts as inevitable. It’s easy to say that she was simply born with something other models weren’t, like her photogenic physique and a preternatural ability to hold the camera’s gaze. The story of Kate’s success, however, is no fairytale, but one of a long process of transformation.

Kate grew up in the 1990s in California, splitting her days between attending school in Corona, California, and spending her free time in Laguna Beach. From an early age Kate was aware of her gender dysphoria. She had an insatiable desire for all things pretty and pink: lip gloss, makeup and Barbies. Kate kept her hair in a ponytail and wore her aunt’s high school cheer uniform and gymnastics leotard every day, often under her school clothes.

“A lot of my Southern California family was very supporting and accepting of me,” Kate said, “though I do remember a few fights about letting me play with ‘girl’ toys and playing dress up.”

Outside of school Kate devoted herself to the performing arts.

“Gymnastics and Irish dance were my life growing up,” Kate said. “When I was eight I started performing professionally. I would do a lot of shows at the House of Blues with an Irish band called Fenianian.”

# # # 

This is just an excerpt from Shawn Alff's awesome profile on Aubrey Kate in the latest issue of XBIZ! Read more [here].

Photos by Isabel Dresler
Visit Shawn's official website at ShawnAlff.com.

It's a Celebration!

When I was a kid, I used to say I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. The summer I stumbled upon an old typewriter my grandma had in her spare room was the first time I felt like I could do it (although, in all fairness, I thought all I needed to be a writer was a typewriter and a fancy sounding title). It was dusty; hidden under a ratty dish towel and some of the keys were sticky, but I didn't care. I happily slid in crisp pieces of folder paper through the feed roller and pretended I was writing my first novel. I wrote and wrote and wrote, even if no one else was reading. And even now, I've learned to write for me. If anyone else reads my work, I count that as a blessing (and a bonus).  True story: I started at Grooby as a photo retoucher. That basically lasted all of one day before Steven Grooby realized my skills were better suited for writing (and thank goodness, I was not cut out to be a retoucher!) and he completely overhauled my job responsibilities. I cannot thank him enough for that.  Back then he told me maybe/hopefully he'd find me writing work someday and today, well, today I'm proud to announce that I'm the new editor of Transformation Magazine.  I worked my way through the ranks at Grooby during the last decade doing a little bit of everything: blogging, website updates, social media, marketing strategy, brand building, and running our largest event, the Transgender Erotica Awards, here in Los Angeles. These opportunities were not handed to me - I worked hard for them, and generally without an expectation of anything in return. More importantly for me to point out, however, is that I'm here because there were people who took a chance on me, supported me, and mentored me throughout my career.  When I was a kid, I used to think my name was said in the introduction of "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang. There's a little interlude in the beginning where you hear a group of people talking and once as I kid, I swear I heard my name. I remember exactly where I was at the time too - my mother was driving us to my grandparents house and I had just waved at my Grandpa as we passed by to park the car. For years I just assumed I was part of the song, until one day I listened to it and didn't hear the familiar sound of my name.  I had a movie-moment just then and pieced it all together: the day I heard the song in my mother's car, it was my Grandpa calling out to me from the front yard. To this day, I hear the song as I did as a kid and it makes me smile.  For the last few years, Fran (pictured above) and I have an unofficial tradition of dancing together on stage during the TEAs closing number performed by my other very lovely friend, Hudsy Hawn. It's a cathartic, celebratory moment, and this past year it was no different.  Hudsy did a stellar and appropriate cover of "Celebration" and between  verses, I told her how much this song meant to me. I don't often have moments where my personal and professional life fit together in a way that feels serendipitous, but that night was different. It was such a lovely moment to be dancing around on stage with Fran, singing along to "Celebration" with Hudsy, and jumping around and hugging so many people I've come to love and admire throughout the years. I wrote my Editor's Letter in Issue #101 as a call for inclusion, a permanent open invitation to anyone who wants to join me on this crazy adventure ahead. Please know there will always be space wherever I'm sitting, and if not, I will make room for you. 

When I was a kid, I used to say I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. The summer I stumbled upon an old typewriter my grandma had in her spare room was the first time I felt like I could do it (although, in all fairness, I thought all I needed to be a writer was a typewriter and a fancy sounding title). It was dusty; hidden under a ratty dish towel and some of the keys were sticky, but I didn't care. I happily slid in crisp pieces of folder paper through the feed roller and pretended I was writing my first novel. I wrote and wrote and wrote, even if no one else was reading. And even now, I've learned to write for me. If anyone else reads my work, I count that as a blessing (and a bonus). 

True story: I started at Grooby as a photo retoucher. That basically lasted all of one day before Steven Grooby realized my skills were better suited for writing (and thank goodness, I was not cut out to be a retoucher!) and he completely overhauled my job responsibilities. I cannot thank him enough for that.  Back then he told me maybe/hopefully he'd find me writing work someday and today, well, today I'm proud to announce that I'm the new editor of Transformation Magazine.  I worked my way through the ranks at Grooby during the last decade doing a little bit of everything: blogging, website updates, social media, marketing strategy, brand building, and running our largest event, the Transgender Erotica Awards, here in Los Angeles.

These opportunities were not handed to me - I worked hard for them, and generally without an expectation of anything in return. More importantly for me to point out, however, is that I'm here because there were people who took a chance on me, supported me, and mentored me throughout my career. 

When I was a kid, I used to think my name was said in the introduction of "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang. There's a little interlude in the beginning where you hear a group of people talking and once as I kid, I swear I heard my name. I remember exactly where I was at the time too - my mother was driving us to my grandparents house and I had just waved at my Grandpa as we passed by to park the car. For years I just assumed I was part of the song, until one day I listened to it and didn't hear the familiar sound of my name.  I had a movie-moment just then and pieced it all together: the day I heard the song in my mother's car, it was my Grandpa calling out to me from the front yard. To this day, I hear the song as I did as a kid and it makes me smile. 

For the last few years, Fran (pictured above) and I have an unofficial tradition of dancing together on stage during the TEAs closing number performed by my other very lovely friend, Hudsy Hawn. It's a cathartic, celebratory moment, and this past year it was no different.  Hudsy did a stellar and appropriate cover of "Celebration" and between  verses, I told her how much this song meant to me.

I don't often have moments where my personal and professional life fit together in a way that feels serendipitous, but that night was different. It was such a lovely moment to be dancing around on stage with Fran, singing along to "Celebration" with Hudsy, and jumping around and hugging so many people I've come to love and admire throughout the years.

I wrote my Editor's Letter in Issue #101 as a call for inclusion, a permanent open invitation to anyone who wants to join me on this crazy adventure ahead. Please know there will always be space wherever I'm sitting, and if not, I will make room for you. 

Ikigai Planning

My official ikigai stickers came in the mail this past week and I'm so stoked to use 'em on small journals to send to my clients (note: there is a surprise on the front page of these journals - shhh!). 

Sometimes it helps to write down those ideas, daily affirmations, and goals. Something about seeing these things in print make it seem much more attainable than when they're floating around in your head. 

#Teachmetofly

 

AVN 2017: Still Recovering

Credit: Dev Grooby

Credit: Dev Grooby

This post is obviously very very late, but I had such a good time at AVN that I didn't want to skip it.  

AVN is a marathon. I am an introverted hermit most of the year and then AVN comes around and I have to socialize/network/talk to people for hours upon hours. I also drink more than I have throughout the entire year combined. With a bit of hand sanitizer and some deep breaths thanks to Fran, I survived all of the craziness. 

All in all, it was a really busy week. I moderated a really awesome trans panel with Aubrey Kate, Foxxy, Natalie Mars, and Stefani Special at the Joint. I also participated on an interesting panel on being a woman in the industry moderated by one of my all-time favorites, Chauntelle Tibbals, and spoke with some really kick-ass women (Kay Brandt, Bree Mills, and Angela White). Thank you so much to Sharan Street for thinking I was worthy enough to be included on this panel of female all-stars. 

Enough blabbing for me. This is really just an excuse to share my pictures :D

XBIZ 2017 Re-Cap: Unreal

I've had a couple of weeks to let the craziness of XBIZ and AVN 2017 finally set in. I had a quiet moment this afternoon where I was able to sift through my photos and I saw one taken of me at XBIZ's 2017 Industry Exec Awards.

See how weird I look in that picture above? I mean, this is a different type of weird rather than my usual weird self.  Here, I'm overwhelmed with excitement - in fact, I still can't believe I won. The last time I won something, I'm pretty sure I was still in high school.  Thank you to XBIZ and for those who voted for me (on purpose and on accident)! I am floored. 

For me, XBIZ marks the beginning of the crazy conference season. It goes XBIZ, then AVN, and then finishing up with the TEAs. Then I sleep for a week. This year was no exception, Dan (Sparky Snakeden) and I were running all week networking, trying to sit-in on workshops, and taking meetings. 

We did our usual Trans State of the Union roundtable moderated by Steven Grooby as part of XBIZ's conference. We had so many amazing people from our industry come and contribute to the conversation. As always, it was a very lovely and humbling experience for me. 

Anyway! Just wanted to share some of my favorites picture from that week! XBIZ often feels like the first reunion of the year. 

Pajamas, Popcorn, and Porn: Slaying the Shame Monster Under Our Beds

I'm so excited to announce the Pajamas, Popcorn, and Porn workshop Traci and I will be presenting next month at Kink.com as part of their educational series! 

Our workshop will be on March 11 from 5-730pm at Kink.com's Armory in San Francisco! Purchase your tickets here!

For those interested, here's the official description:

The smorgasbord of internet erotica may leave us intrigued and ready for action, but have you ever wondered what keeps your porn consumption a private party for one?
When examining our identities, interests, and arousal, exploration is often halted by shame and stigma. In this workshop we’ll work to defeat these internal monsters. We’ll move from the repression of silence towards a more liberated and fulfilling format of self-exploration, communication, and interactions.
Call your partner(s), and text your friends! We’ll provide the popcorn and set up a safe and comfortable space to watch and discuss some of our favorite “sexy cinema!” You’ll leave this workshop with a better understanding of the adult industry, your own erotic viewing preferences, and real life tools to bring your sexual viewing preferences into your conversations (in and outside of the bedroom). We’ll also be showing an exclusive clip from Lilith Luxe's REAL FUCKING DOC, which is a unique companion piece to Mona Wales' directorial debut, REAL FUCKING GIRLS, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the movie was made from the performers themselves. REAL FUCKING GIRLS recently won at both AVN and XBIZ for Trans Release of the Year. 
The first 25 people/couples to register will receive a free copy of REAL FUCKING GIRLS, signed by the director herself, Mona Wales!