6th Annual Tranny Awards Sees Glamour, Growth
GLENDALE, Calif. — The sixth annual Tranny Awards, presented by Grooby Productions, blazed bright last night at the Beyond the Stars Palace in Glendale, Calif., where the niche industry’s luminaries gathered to celebrate a year’s worth of achievements. (photo gallery)
“The Tranny Awards started as a joke, now it’s a nice event,” Grooby Productions owner Steven Grooby said without a trace of sarcasm.
Beyond nice, the event has been steadily growing over the years. Grooby predicts that last night’s award show attracted about 25 percent more people than last year; and, according to veteran TS performer Joanna Jet, this year’s attendance rose from 500-600 people to around 800 (Grooby tempered her estimate in an email, suggesting a total of 370 attendees, up from last year's 300).
“We’re a niche that’s constantly expanding, whilst others are contracting, finding it more and more difficult to make a living in porn,” U.K.-based Jet explained to XBIZ. “So hopefully instead of having to join the mainstream, the mainstream will come and join us.”
Jet’s hopes, however, may already be in the process of gradual realization.
Starlets, directors, producers and fans alike packed the former classic movie theatre. LA Weekly, Vice and Laist all sent press emissaries to cover what is considered one of the dwindling yet-taboo adult niches and mainstream porn superstars, such as Jenna Jameson and Jessica Drake, showed up for the festivities. Amidst perfectly coiffed wigs and bejeweled dresses, shoes and basically anything bejewelable, was an air of cultural triumph.
“I love doing porn because I’m on my back all day. I don’t want to work in a cubicle — fuck that!” a TS starlet who went by Bianca said.
“We’re trying to get the name Grooby out. We’re also looking at trying to work on normalizing transsexuals, within the adult industry and the mainstream industry,” Grooby said, echoing Jet. “That’s why we have the female-to-male, transmen as part of our event. And next year we’ll have more transmen categories.”
The Best FTM Performer award category, added only recently, generated quite a bit of buzz at the event. James Darling took home this year’s award for Best FTM Performer, before participating in one of the evening’s entertainment acts in which he was fed a variety of vegetables by a woman channeling the spirit of Jessica Rabbit.
“It’s like a lot of people haven’t even heard of trans guys,” said Jaques LeFemme, one of the Best FTM Performer nominees, “I didn’t even know that it was a thing, that you could be a transman, and then I was like ‘Oh great. Thank you.’”
“I’m just happy to be here, and I’m happy that they asked me to be on stage with a microphone announcing someone’s name. That’s winning for me,” added LeFemme, who was wearing a deconstructed Tuxedo that he said showed off his cleavage and his six-pack.
Onstage, Jujubee, best known for her participation in “Ru Paul’s Drag Race Season 2” hosted with gusto, and rolled with technical difficulties. She quipped, “I’m so tucked. There’s bound to be testicular difficulties.”
Surprise seemed to define the evening. “I wasn’t expecting this,” said Sienna Grace, accepting the award for Shemale Yum Model of the Year. “When I got into porn, I just wanted to have some fun.”
The evening concluded with the crowning of Venus Lux as Best Hardcore Model. Lux also picked up Best Solo Site for Venus-Lux.com and Best Scene for "Asian Nail Salon," co-starring Foxxy.
"She's Asian, so of course we wanted to do a nail salon scene," Foxxy said of Lux when they co-accepted the award for Best Scene. "So she does my nails, then gives me a happy ending — it was the best."
Tranny Award Winners:
Best DVD - "The Tranny Chaser"
Best Scene - "Asian Nail Salon" starring Venus Lux and Foxxy
Shemale Yum Model of the Year - Sienna Grace
Best Alt. Model - Chelsea Marie
Best Scene Producer - Buddy Wood
Best Foreign Performer - Bruna Castro
Best FTM Performer - James Darling
Best Solo Site - Venus-Lux.com
Black Tgirls Model of the Year - Kandii Redd
Best DVD Director - Joey Silvera
Bob's Tgirls Model of the Year - Eva Cassini
Best Internet Personality - Wendy Summers
Best Photographer - Blackula
Voluptuous Diva - Michelle Austin
Lifetime Achievement Award: In Front of the Camera - Danny Evangelista
Lifetime Achievement Award: Behind the Camera - Bob Maveri
Best Non-TS Performer - Christian XXX
Shemale Strokers Model of the Year - A tie between Gina Hart and Penny Tyler
Best New Face - Kim Bella
Fan Choice Award - Khloe Hart
Best Solo Model - Sarina Valentina
Best Hardcore Model - Venus Lux
Photo of Venus Lux by Gia Jordan.