‘The Jenner Effect’ Boosts Transgender Awareness
LOS ANGELES — The recent mainstream media frenzy and resulting public discourse over Olympian Bruce Jenner’s public transformation into “Caitlyn Jenner” is spurring increased interest in transgender rights and more — with some adult websites reporting a rise in attention to transgender porn.
“The Bruce-to-Caitlyn Jenner story, culminating in the ‘Vanity Fair’ cover, has in my opinion, introduced the reality of what transgender people are, to many people who were previously unaware of or ignorant of the subject,” Grooby Productions CEO Steven Grooby told XBIZ. “It is something I welcome.”
Grooby cites a recent CNN report revealing a spike in Google searches on the keyword “transgender,” attributed to media coverage of Jenner’s transformation, as further proof of this rise in public awareness — but he doubts that this recent interest will have that much impact on transgender porn consumption.
“I believe that people who are already interested in TS porn, would have already found websites and content that appealed to them,” Grooby explains, adding, “To be blunt, I can’t see too many people sexualizing Jenner, mainly because of her maturity and the media exposure he (and now she) has had over the past years.”
“While I hope that Jenner's ongoing publicity makes the understanding and the media presence of transgender people more evenly handed, I think someone like Andreja Pejic’s public transition is far more likely to encourage people to seek out transgender erotic material,” Grooby concluded.
One website that is reporting a boost in interest over transgender erotica is AmateursGuide.xxx, a live interactive webcam site, which in addition to straight and gay performers, features a large number of transgender models.
“It was not long after the ‘Vanity Fair’ cover hit newsstands and the media storm ensued that we began noticing a surge in traffic to our live trans cams,” Amateurs Guide spokesperson Crystal Sunshine told XBIZ. “Internally, we called this uptick ‘The Jenner Effect’ — and while it has now subsided somewhat, we are still seeing a boost in interest over this material.”
Sunshine suspects that the nature of the site’s live offerings will provide a more intimate and sustained experience for curious consumers.
“It’s one thing to see photos or videos of transgender models,” Sunshine says, “but when you have the chance to chat, interact and actually talk to these performers, live on cam, it is easy to understand that they are all real people, just like you and me.”
“This one-on-one experience not only leads to better understanding,” Sunshine adds, “but may also help other people who are dealing with doubts about their own sexuality — or who are in the process of their own transformation into who they really are.”
According to Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project director Dru Levasseur, public acceptance of transgenderism and transgender rights is a battle for hearts and minds.
“The true test of our humanity is how much compassion and understanding we afford these people,” Levasseur told the Associated Press. “It just comes down to explaining what it means to be transgender — how it's not a choice. It’s a person coming to terms with who they are, and the hurdles they face on a systemic basis are immense.”