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An Evening of Glitz and Sass: TEAs Return to Hollywood to Honor Trans Excellence

LOS ANGELES — The doldrums of the pandemic-era remote shows now receding into the mist of anecdote, the Trans Erotica Awards (TEAs) returned once again to the heart of Old Hollywood, the Avalon theater, for another memorable night of glitz and sass honoring a vital sector of the adult industry.

Presented by Pornhub — a company repeatedly thanked by now perennial Mistress of Ceremonies Domino Presley and several of the presenters and winners — and organized by Grooby, this landmark 15th anniversary TEAs show featured a veritable cornucopia of awards celebrating trans excellence in adult.

Those looking to be entertained by on- and offstage drama must have left disappointed, as the show proceeded over two and a half hours with clockwork precision, culminating in an unusual dual win for Emma Rose and Ariel Demure, who tied in the capstone Best Hardcore Performer category.

After walking the traditional red carpet, which had to be moved inside due to the unusual Los Angeles rain that also affected the XBIZ Awards at the Palladium in January, attendees were interviewed by the trans legend dream team of Natassia Dreams and Foxxy, both of whom would not leave the evening empty-handed.

Glittering gowns abounded — they 2023 TEAs must have been a bonanza for the Gold Sequin Manufacturers of America. But there was also a true diversity of fashion styles and also ways of presenting, with the trans women who were at the center of the show at its inception 15 years ago mingling, meeting and reencountering trans men, nonbinary folks and cis allies.

As 2023 Trans Male Performer of the Year Keith Eros — sporting facial hair and a stunning vermillion gown — put it, ”This is my first time wearing a dress in like seven years, because as boys we can do whatever the fuck we want, whether is feminine, or masc — let’s fucking do it!”

The show itself was preceded by well-received dance music performances by Gracie Jane and Teyana Trendz, topped by the by Mistress of Ceremonies herself, Domino Presley getting the party started with her dance pop trio The Gurls, a girl group she formed with singer Alissah plus Raquel Starr, and which made their stage debut at the 2022 TEAs.

The Gurls’ set, expertly choreographed, showcased the divas in flesh-colored outfits festooned with handprints. One of the most notable co-protagonists of the 2023 TEAs, Presley’s absolutely epic anime-tentacle-length braid, made its debut during the set and remained mesmerizing the crowd for the entirety of the proceedings.

While Presley changed, the first award was presented by red carpet co-hosts and TEAs Lifetime Achievement Award winnersNatassia Dreams, in a short red leather number highlighting her runway-famous legs, and Foxxy, in shocking pink made even more shocking by and exuberant bright red coif;

“So many beautiful people in the room, thank you all for coming, I love youuuuuu!” said Dreams, a brand ambassador for Pornhub, which was thanked for their support, along with the numerous sponsors, and “the folks at Grooby who put this show on year after year, just to make this show possible for us.”

“The TEAs celebrates its 15th year. It’s like a quinceañera tonight!” quipped the always genial, much beloved Foxxy.

First award of the night was for Best DVD, sponsored by AdultEmpire Demii De Best and Austin Spears presented the award, which went to Adult Time’s “Transfixed Muses Vol. 1,” directed by Bree Mills. Siouxsie Q received the award on behalf of Mills, noted that it would not have be possible without their trans crew and also thanked the models. “Thank you everybody who shows up and gives their authentic selves,” Siouxsie Q said, “We love you, you are a family, we can do this.”

After a post-Gurls performance change to an almost transparent gown decorated for the occasion quite literally with stars, Domino Presley took the stage to take charge of the proceedings as only she can  as its official Mistress of Ceremonies, aptly backed by trophy girl Taryn Balenciaga.

The Best Scene Producer award was presented by Paradise and Lola Morena, who reiterated the positive statement that this was more a family gathering than an award show. The winner was Ricky Greenwood. Colby Jansen, dressed up like a priest, picked it on the noted director’s behalf.

The Industry Professional Award, for “someone who represents the industry well and is a strong ally to the trans community” was awarded to the Free Speech Coalition (FSC)’s Executive Director Alison Boden and presented by Boden’s FSC colleagues Mike Stabile and Lotus Lain.

“This award goes to someone who has made meaningful change for the industry,” Stabile explained. “Someone who has fought for the industry in legal battles, in legislative battles, someone who has taken on all of the things that we face as an industry right now: countless laws, countless attacks, anti-porn religious zealots, this is someone who’s leading our industry right now and trying to fight back.”

Boden thanked the TEAs for the honor, saying, “I have devoted my entire life to this industry. This is my 20th year, and I hate to see it, but it’s the worst year I’ve seen in my time in terms of attacks on this industry and the human beings in it. Everyone in this room, every one of us, is under attack right now, and Free Speech Coalition has your back. And we need your strength. Join us — we’re gonna beat’em!”

The 2023 TEAs show was also the ceremony’s first fundraiser ever, for the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) in their fight to protect the rights of the entire adult industry.

Presley returned to remind the crowd, “I love you all, you all look so beautiful tonight,” before playfully scolding the audience for their loud merriment, something she would periodically do throughout the night.

The Best Cam Performer award was sponsored by Streamate and presented by Christophe and Alizay Angel, the latter in a purple gown and confessing being starstruck about her first time being in Los Angeles.

Winner Sarina Havoc, in a majestic white ballgown, came up with her wife Robin Coffins, and thanked her for the victory. “We cammed like crazy last year,” said Coffins.

The Black-Tgirls Model of the Year award, sponsored by Grooby, was preceded by Presley giving Blacks trans models their much deserved flowers and encouraging an ovation for MVP Natassia Dreams

“So now every time sometime wins, pretend it’s Natassia Dreams,” Presley deadpanned.

Presenters Emily Adaire and Cher Mii named the Nubian Barbie as the winner, who made her way through the crowd in a resplendent gold gown with a short train as Presley helped her onstage Soft spoken.

“You guys looks so amazing,” Nubian Barbie said. “I was not prepared for this. I’m very nervous. This is my first time in L.A. When I first started in this industry, I had no clue what I was doing. It was just random. I’m so grateful, I’m so honored. Thank you all so much.”

The Best Internet Personality award, sponsored by Nelson Thane Unlimited, was presented by pre-party digital host Lindsey “Banksie” Banks, in a billowy black gown, and Apollo Moon in a black cowboy hat. The award went to last year’s winner for Black-Tgirls Model of the Year Cloudy Vim, who wore a blinged out facial mask.

“Apparently we’re making this a tradition now,” said Vim. “I couldn’t have done this without all of you. Thank you so much for giving me the confidence to keep doing this.”

The Best Content Creator honoring the explosion of clip makers and OnlyFans models prompted Presley to lightly roast them with, “Basically COVID happened and y’all thought you could do porn.”

The award was presented by Nikki Vicious, in a leopard minidress and black boots, and director Adam Christopher, in a white tuxedo, who used the chance to express solidarity with the trans community instead of his customary onstage comedic skits.

Reminding the crowd that Presley recently told an interviewer, “We need true allies,” Christopher pledged his support to “my trans brothers and sisters and nonbinary humans” in the face of “certain individuals that want to cease your existence and attack you.”

Best Content Creator winner Nyxi Leon accepted the award in a pink dress with darker pink furs thanking everyone and saying she wanted to jump off the stage because she was extremely nervous.

Director Jim Powers’ Gender X awarded its Model of the Year award to Brittney Kade.

“A lot of thought goes into this,” Powers revealed, announcing the winner with partner Mr. White. “We’re looking for a girl who gives her all, wants to act, versatile, sexy as fuck, a wild fuck, someone who really represents Gender X as a porn star — a total package.”

Brittney Kade, in a classic porn look with long blonde hair and a revealing green dress thanked her agents at Hussie and extolled Jim Powers for having “the fucking dream team right now — every time I shoot with them it’s always the best.”

The Best Girl/Girl Scene award was presented by sponsor Jamie Jameson, from LA trans club scene TGirl Nights, and Jessy Dubai in a shiny skintight bodysuit and full gold cape.

The award went to Gender X’s “TNT 3 — Scene 1), co-starring Jade Venus and Tori Easton and directed by Jim Powers.

“Make way for the icons,” said Presley and both blondes climbed the state in dazzlingly golden short dresses. The winners thanked Powers and toasted “to another good year of porn.”

The Producer’s Choice Award was created last year, as Presley explained “in response to the frustration producers voiced that some of the best and most consistent models were not being honored at our award shows.”

Honoring top performers with a large fan base whom producers love to work with, the award was presented by Grooby producer Radius Dark and Nikki Sapphire to Korra Del Rio. The winner could not attend and sent her thanks, and Presley rallied the crowd to “give it up for Korra Del Rio — she’s a goddess.”

Formerly known as the Voluptuous Diva award, the Best BBW Performer award, sponsored by TGirlBBW, was presented by Grooby 2023 Ambassador Zariah Aura, in a tight, couturesque gown, and partner Nikki Z, who told the crowd, “everyone’s so hot.”

“I already see a few that I wanna take home,” replied Aura.

The award went to the 2022 winner, Madame Morgan, who accepted it in a blue gown with cutouts and a standout train.

“I wanna thank my mom,” Madame Morgan said. “She’s here with me, she’s my date for the weekend, I love her so much. She’s in a relationship please, but she’s single” she added, scanning the crowd for “someone with six figures plus.”

Mistres Morgan explained, “I had quite the trans-formation from last year, but I will always represent the big girls. I love you all so much.”

The traditional Transcendence Award, instituted by plastic surgeon Dr. Alexander Sinclair, honored “a performer that has gone above and beyond our industry and acts as a role model to others.”

Presented by Dr. Sinclair himself, with blue hair matching his tux, and former Transcendence and Lifetime Achievement winner Jessica Foxx, the honor went to Natassia Dreams.

“Get up and applaud this fucking icon!” exhorted Presley, eliciting a standing ovation for the multitalented Dreams.

“This award means so much to me and I want to dedicate it to all of you,” Dreams said. “Anything is possible, never let anybody tell you ‘no’ for anything. Go for your dreams. go hard. Live and breather whatever you want, and you can achieve it. Here’s the proof right now.”

The “In Memoriam” video honoring the performers who passed since the last award was followed by an equally moving speech honoring the late Angelina Please by her friend and colleague Gracie Jane.

“A year and two days ago we lost Angelina Please,” Jane told the crowd. “She was supposed to be here last year and unfortunately she passed. Angelina took her career and she took this industry extremely seriously. She was a very studied performer and she knew who everyone here was, and I’m sure you all knew who she was.”

Jane spoke of how magnanimous Please was and how much she had inspired her in her career.

“I don’t mean to offend anyone,” she added with bittersweet humor, “but you all should be kind of glad she’s not here, because she would be eating you all alive tonight. So, thank heavens and thank Angelina for your wins.”

Jane also imagined that if “there was an award for someone that reached out a hand to help anyone in this industry, especially new girls starting out, someone who made sure there was a path, that award would be called the Angelina Please award.”

Chaturbate’s Trans Broadcaster of the Year was presented by Eva Maxim, wearing a silver gown and Colby Jansen. The award went to New Ivy, who accepted it via video and declared it “a huge surprise and and incredible honor.” Ivy thanked Chaturbate for helping her “create a wonderful community.”

The Best Boy/Girl Scene was presented by Janie Blade — in a fashion-forward short gown Presley dubbed “the iconic trashbag dress” — and Jaq Quicksilver.

“I get fucked in the ass for a living and I get nervous on stage,” Blade revealed, before begging for Presley’s cock in the evening’s most amusing improvised back and forth.

The winner was Evil Angel’s “Pansexual X Porn Crush 3 – Scene 2,” co-starring Aubrey Kate and Dante Colle. Director Aiden Starr accepted it on behalf of the performers.

The Best Scene Threesome/Moresome award was presented by Cardi Falcone and Eros Orisha, the latter in her first year in the industry. The winner was Trans Angels’ “Bad Girls 4 Ever” with Jessy Dubai, Eva Maxim, Jade Venus and Vanessa Vega, directed by Tom Moore.

The first three were at hand to receive the award, affirming that “we are all beautiful sisters and it can’t get better than this”

“I remember telling Tom Moore,” said Dubai, “when we were taking forever and we told him ‘we’re gonna make such a big scene, such a good scene, we’re gonna win and award,’ and look at us now, bitch!”

The Ms. Unique sponsored by TGirlsHookup honored “models who stand out from the crowd. TGirlsHookup   creator Kelly Quell, in a copper minidress, and performer Rodrigo Amor presented it to brunette Jamie Kelly, in a metallic grey gown. “Didn’t see this coming,” Kelly enthused. “I see so many people, so lovely, everybody is amazing. 2022 was great, 2023 will be greater. The future is so bright — I love it. Thank you all so much”

Two Lifetime Achievement Awards sponsored by Wicked Sensual Care were bestowed, for a performer and a behind-the-scene figure respectively. The first one was awarded to Eddie Wood, the first trans man to be given the honor in TEAs history, and was presented by his partner Klintelle Moore, in red velvet.

“He’s a wonderful performer, a marvelous man, a great fuck,” Moore said. “I love this guy. He broke ground with the first FTM-MTF hardcore in Domino’s ‘House of Whores’”

The always elegant Wood took to the stage in an eye-catching burgundy suit and a rainbow scarf.

“I’m humbled and I’m grateful to be standing here tonight,” he said, thanking “my beautiful partner Klintelle Moore. As a lot of us, I don’t have the support of my biological family. And I had people tell me, you’ll never make it as a trans porn star. But I want you to know that no matter what people say, you belong here. From the moment I saw Kristel Penn’s beautiful face I knew this was the place for me. We deserve to be treated like this. we are royalty! To my trans siblings — I’m so proud of you. We made it.”

After Wood left the stage, longtime trans men advocate Domino Presley added, “A long time ago I heard they don’t have a demographic, but I wanna let you know y’all have a huge demographic — because I make all of your porn!”

The second Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Steven Grooby, in a dapper blue suit, and Grooby’s Frank to their “brother” Louie Damazo, who started producing content for Grooby in Brazil over two decades ago.

Grooby called Damazo his “business partner and his friend. Frank, Louie and I have been a brotherhood for 22 years. We were young once — we looked like you!”

Frank called Damazo “an absolute innovator in our industry. Absolutely a brilliant man and a brother.”

Damazo, who came to the U.S. especially for the occasion,  joked about how he was going to celebrate, and added that it was “a pleasure, and I’m so honored to be here. I never feel better than working in the industry and knowing all of you. You’re great.”

Steven Grooby also reiterated the importance of supporting the Free Speech Coalition during the evening’s fundraiser.

“I’ve recently been elected a board member of FSC,” Grooby noted. “The adult industry has never been in a position like this before. They’re coming for us from all sides. Then they’re coming for trans, they’re coming for drag. We need to stand out as an industry and fight back.”

“Everybody who donates tonight,” he added, “is gonna get a reward. And the reward is, we’ll still be fucking working next year.”

The Grooby Girl of the Year award was presented Buddy Wood and Khloe Kay, the latter in black pants and a shoulderless top. The winner was Kasey Kei wearing an elaborate ceremonial kimono, that was much praised by Presley.

“Thanks Steven for creating a platform for so many trans people to start in the industry,” Kei said, thanking Grooby’s leader and the indispensable Kristel Penn. “That’s where I started — that’s where so many of us started. Thank you to the whole Grooby family — I am so thankful.”

The Best Non-TS Female Performer, in a very crowded category chockfull of marquee name cis porn stars, was presented by last year’s Best Hardcore Performer winner, the statuesque Daisy Taylor, and Steve Rixx, in matching lavender

The award went to a very shocked Robin Coffins, who took the stage in full goth regalia, honored the  “really, really amazing group” of fellow nominees, and thanked fellow 2023 winner and wife Sarina Havoc.

The Best Non-TS Male Performer award was presented by last year’s Best Solo Model winner Jasmine Lotus, and Itzel Saenz. The winner was Chris Epic, bearded and in a black suit, who thanked his wife Erin Everheart, Steven Grooby and all the models he had worked with.

The Best Non-US Performer award was presented by John Kilo and Tori Easton. “These performers have the luxury of not living in America,” Kilo quipped. “Not only do they get an award — they also get health care.”

The winner was Bailey Archer, in a much praised midriff= baring sparkling ensemble, who gave one of the evening’s most eloquent gratitude speeches.

“This award is not just for me,” Archer said. “It’s for every trans man, trans woman, anybody who has gone through the shitshow of being treated like crap, treader like you’re nothing, like you’re worthless and you’re not deserving of love. But then you get to a point in your life when you’re like, I can make the choices, I can call the shots, i can make a different life for myself.”

Archer also wanted to thank her late aunt, who showed her support no matter what and showed her unconditional love.

Brand ambassadors Natassia Dreams and Asa Akira — in a porntastic, cleavage-baring tight pink minidress — presented the Pornhub Model of the Year award.

“You are all fucking superheroes,” Akira told the trans models. “You should be treated as such, you’re fucking gorgeous, you’re so important to the industry and you’re so important to the world. Thank you for all your hard work.”

The award went to Foxxy, who, as Akira explained “has only 50 videos on Pornhub and over 53 million views!”

Dreams sand the praises of crowd-favorite Foxxy, adding that “she’s been holding it down for years, she always looks amazing, she’s always super sweet, she always keeps her feet on the ground, she never gets her head in the air.”

Foxxy took to the stage during a standing ovation, with everyone chanting “Foxxy, Foxxy!”

“Sometimes I don’t realize how popular I am,” she replied. “Just to be here, we’ve been in this industry the longest,” she said, mentioning other veteran performers stilla active. “Just to be here every year, still on top of our game it means a lot. Because there’s so many talented women, men, just to keep up — not even with the Kardashians — just keeping up with all this new talent, it warms my heart just to meet all these new beautiful and talented women.”

“Foxxy’s been iconic since I’ve been in the industry,” deadpanned Presley. “And she still looks younger than everyone!”

The Fan Choice Award — presented by Andre Stone and Spencer Bradley, both in black suits — went again to 2022 winner Izzy Wilde. In a sparkling red two piece combo, an exhilarated Wilde feigned shock. “Is that two years in a row? Excuuuuuse me,” she joked, adding that we work really hard in this industry. It’s such an honor to be in front of you.”

Best Trans Male Performer award, sponsored by Transnificent.com, was presented by Nikki Sequoia and the willowy Ava Holt, both in black.

Presley asked for another ovation, and for the crowd to “give it up for the trans men in this industry. Those are my babies, we have to look after them. Nobody’s sticking up for them. Just us in our dresses.”

Winner Keith Eros asserted the right of boys to “do whatever the fuck we want, whether is feminine, masc” and then thanked Nikki Sequoia.

“I was in a really hard time in my life a year ago,” Eros said. “Nikki reached out to me and said, ‘Move with me to Las Vegas, move into my home, and we’re gonna work on Transnificent together.’”

Eros spoke about being proud to “help boys reach their dreams, show who they want to be with no restrictions. You show who you wanna be! Look at this melanin!  To show all shades of the boys, all the feminitiy, all the masculinity, we’re all over the place and I love that.”

Winners of the Best New Face award, sponsored by Razor Edge Talent, “always go on to become a major industry figure,” Presley noted, fake-whispering that she is indeed a past winner.

Presenters Dan Hogue, in western attire, and Bambi Bliss, in a red gown, referred to the competitive category hopefuls as “the future of our community.”

The winner was Grooby 2023 Ambassador Zariah Aura, who thanked partner Nikki Z, “who keeps me mentally sane. Back in February I shot my first scenes with Grooby and I’m so thankful. Nikki Sequoia — can’t thank them enough — helped me and got me ready to do my scenes.”

The Best Solo Model award, sponsored by Bad Dragon, was presented by Yasmin Lee, in a shiny black and gold gown, and Vic Lowery.

“We’re all on Grinder, trying to shoot some content,” Lee said by way of introduction. “Sometimes they show up not ready, sometimes they show up…  without test. And a girl has to do what you gotta do, which is — Best Solo Model, sponsored by Bad Dragon!”

The winner was Jade Venus, in a venue-appropriate Old Hollywood glamour number with a a feather boa, who mentioned her 2022 win in the same category.

The last award of the night, the evening’s crowning achievement, honors the Best Hardcore Performer and, as Presley explained, “comes with some major bragging rights — like, you fuck a lot”

Presenters Ana Foxxx — in a barely-there, futuristic yellow and black gown with metalic pasties and matching epic boots — and Chris Epic announced the unusual tie: 2023’s Best Hardcore Performers  were Emma Rose and Ariel Demure.

“We’re two poor white trash individuals from Southern Florida and we’re very grateful to be here tonight,” said Demure before thanking everyone.

Rose — in a flawless off-white tailored suit that was the evening’s absolute standout and headturner, had one last word urging more representation and visibility for “Black t-girls, the category of trans women who’re the most endangered in our community.”

On that uplifting note, the 2023 TEAs wrapped at the Avalon its 15th annual celebration of the trans community in adult.

For the complete list of winners, click here.

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