Whore Next Door: Hot Role Play and Boiling Blood

I stretched my stocking-covered legs on the big wooden desk in front of me and leaned back in my leather chair, letting thick white cigarette smoke coil lazily out of my mouth and into the hazy office set. I'm not a smoker, so I always feel like an idiot when I have to do it on camera, but I held back the tears as my eyes began to water, not wanting to ruin the shot.

I was in the basement of the San Francisco Armory for my sophomore performance on the popular kink.com site TS Pussyhunters, which showcases kinky sex between cisgender and transgender women.

The director of the site, Ariel X, had prepared an elaborate script that cast me as a James Cagney-esque private eye who encounters a wealthy femme fatale, played by the gorgeous Kelli Lox (who've I've had a crush on since Pride 2014). Girl-on-girl courtship often moves at a sloth's pace outside of a porn set, and this was no exception.

Filming the non-sex narrative ate up most of the day, as it often can, so when the time finally came for me to pull down Kelli's panties and get to work, I was famished — for my co-star, as well as for actual food, since I had fasted in preparation for my anal scene with the well-endowed beauty.

Smoking on camera makes me self-conscious, but role-playing with pretty girls is something I know I was put on this earth to do.

Of course, the reality of filming porn requires periodic stopping and starting to get key penetration shots, but for the most part, Kelli and I spent the day playing sexy make-believe in a magical vintage world of femme-lesbian supremacy — far, far away from bigotry and bathroom laws.

A few days later, I sat sipping Champagne in Echo Park with a lesbian hipster who told me in all seriousness about her fear that, in light of new protections for transgender students who wish to use a bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, people who were “obviously” men would be able to come into a women's bathroom simply by saying that they identified as trans. She worried that President Obama's guidelines, designed to protect transgender children, would put her as a white, adult, cisgender woman at risk.

I felt my blood begin to boil and my eyes tear up like they do when I have to smoke cigarettes on film. But as I was in her house, drinking her sparkling wine, I tried to tread lightly, out of respect for her hospitality.

Cis people don't often realize that “passing” definitively as male or female is a privilege enjoyed only by some. Butch women, androgynous men, and trans folks of all shapes and sizes won't always be read as the gender that corresponds with their own identity. This doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to pee, and live, in peace.

It's an elusive goal.

“We have to confront a society that can murder 25 black transwomen in the span of a year, not say anything about it, not care, and then when white folks can't use the bathroom, that's when President Obama gets involved,” Cherno Biko, the founder of Black Trans Lives Matter told Rolling Stone last week.

As hot as the role-play I had done with Kelli was, the Echo Park hipster's ignorance was a reminder of how transgender women are often vilified as predators, when in reality they face horrifying rates of violence and murder — especially among women of color and sex workers.

“Porn doesn't exist in a vacuum,” says activist, performer, and filmmaker Chelsea Poe, with whom I recently shot a movie in which she played a teenage seductress who lures my New England MILF character into infidelity. (It was yet another example of how transwomen are fetishized as predatory.)

Poe went on to add, “There's totally room for taboo in porn, but it shouldn't be the default when these narratives are existing in an extremely violent time for marginalized transwomen.”

And when it comes to using a toilet, cis folks are generally only at risk of discomfort from their own bigotry.

The fight for the right to use the bathroom safely is having a moment, but it's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the struggle for transgender liberation.

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