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

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 and organized by Grooby, this landmark 15th anniversary TEAs show featured a veritable cornucopia of awards celebrating trans excellence in adult. Now-perennial Mistress of Ceremonies Domino Presley, as well as several presenters and winners, repeatedly thanked both companies.

Anyone looking to be entertained by on- or offstage drama 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, arriving nominees and attendees were interviewed by trans luminaries Natassia Dreams and Foxxy, both of whom would take home key awards by the end of the evening.

Glittering gowns abounded — the 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 now mingling with 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 it is feminine or masc — let’s fucking do it!”

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

The Gurls’ set, expertly choreographed, showcased the divas in flesh-colored outfits festooned with handprints — not to mention Presley’s absolutely epic anime-tentacle-length braid, which made its debut during the set and continued to mesmerize the crowd for the entirety of the event.

The first award of the night was presented by red carpet co-hosts and TEAs Lifetime Achievement Award winners Natassia Dreams, in a short red leather number highlighting her runway-famous legs, and Foxxy, in shocking pink made even more shocking by an exuberant bright red coif.

“So many beautiful people in the room, thank you all for coming, I love youuuuuu!” said Dreams, thanking Pornhub — for whom she is a brand ambassador — along with the numerous sponsors and the team at Grooby for putting the show every year.

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

That first trophy 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 accepted the award on behalf of Mills, thanking the models and noting that it would not have been possible without the studio’s trans crew. 

“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 wardrobe change, Domino Presley retook the stage in an almost transparent gown bedecked with stars, to take charge of the proceedings as only she can, as the official Mistress of Ceremonies. Aptly backed by trophy girl Taryn Balenciaga, Presley playfully scolded throughout the night for their loud merriment.

The Best Scene Producer award was presented by Paradise and Lola Morena, who reiterated the positive sentiment, shared by so many present, that this was more a family gathering than an award show. The winner was Ricky Greenwood. Colby Jansen, dressed up like a priest, picked up the trophy 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’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 say 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 also marked the first time the event doubled as a fundraiser, supporting the Free Speech Coalition in its fight to protect the rights of the entire adult industry.

The Best Cam Performer award was sponsored by Streamate and presented by Christophe and purple-gowned Alizay Angel, who confessed to being starstruck, this being her first time in Los Angeles.

Winner Sarina Havoc, in a majestic white ballgown, ascended the stage with wife Robin Coffins, whom she thanked for her part in the victory. “We cammed like crazy last year,” said Coffins.

The Black Tgirls Model of the Year award, sponsored by Grooby, was prefaced by Presley, who gave Black trans models their much deserved flowers and encouraged an ovation for MVP Natassia Dreams.

“So now every time someone else wins, pretend you’re cheering for Natassia Dreams!” Presley deadpanned.

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

“You guys looks so amazing,” said the soft-spoken Nubian Barbie. “I was not prepared for this. I’m very nervous. This is my first time in LA. 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 Vii, who wore a blinged-out mask.

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

When it came time to present the Best Content Creator award, Presley lightly roasted the explosion of clip makers and OnlyFans models with, “Basically COVID happened and y’all thought you could do porn.”

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

Reminding the crowd that Presley recently told an interviewer, “We need true allies,” Christopher pledged his support to those he called “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 matching furs, thanking everyone and confiding that 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.”

Kade, embodying classic porn style with her long blonde hair and revealing green dress, thanked her agents at Hussie and extolled Jim Powers and his “fucking dream team.” 

“Every time I shoot with them it’s always the best,” she declared.

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 as both blondes took to the stage in dazzlingly golden short dresses. The winners thanked Powers and toasted “to another good year of porn.”

Honoring top performers with a large fan base, whom producers love to work with, the Producer's Choice Award was created last year, 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.” The award was presented by Grooby producer Radius Dark and Nikki Sapphire to Korra Del Rio. The winner could not attend but 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 2023 Grooby 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 once again to 2022’s winner, Madame Morgan, who accepted it in a blue gown with cutouts and a standout train.

“I want to 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.”

Mistress 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, alongside former Transcendence Award and Lifetime Achievement Award 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 breathe whatever you want, and you can achieve it. Here’s the proof right now.”

The “In Memoriam” video honoring performers who passed away during the past year was followed by an equally moving speech honoring the late Angelina Please, delivered 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 own 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 reflected that if there were to be “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 an incredible honor.” Ivy thanked Chaturbate for helping her “create a wonderful community.”

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

“I get fucked in the ass for a living, and I get nervous on stage,” Blade mused, 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 still 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.

Dubai, Maxim and Venus were on hand to receive the award, affirming, “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 going to make such a big scene, such a good scene, we’re going to win an award.’ And look at us now, bitch!”

The Ms. Unique award, sponsored by TGirlsHookup, honored “models who stand out from the crowd.” TGirlsHookup creator Kelly Quell, in a copper mini dress, and performer Rodrigo Amor, presented it to brunette Jamie Kelly.

“Didn’t see this coming,” enthused Kelly, in a metallic grey gown. “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, one for a performer and one for a behind-the-scenes figure. 

The former went to Eddie Wood, the first trans man ever to receive the honor in TEAs history. The award was presented by his partner Klintelle Moore, in red velvet, who praised him for breaking ground with a pioneering FTM-MTF hardcore scene in the Presley-directed "House of Whores.”

“He’s a wonderful performer, a marvelous man, a great fuck,” Moore said. “I love this guy."

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, first thanking Moore, whom he called “my beautiful partner.” 

“As a lot of us, I don’t have the support of my biological family,” he told the crowd. “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, Presley — a longtime advocate for trans men in adult — added, “A long time ago I heard they don’t have a demographic, but I want to 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 his partner Frank to their “brother” Louie Damazo, who started producing content for Grooby in Brazil over two decades ago.

Grooby hailed his business partner and friend Damazo, saying, “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.

“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 going to get a reward. And the reward is, we’ll still be fucking working next year.”

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

“Thanks, Steven, for creating a platform for so many trans people to start in the industry,” Kei said, thanking both 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 chock-full 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 her “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, along with 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-U.S. 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 and gracious 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, treated 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 thanked her late aunt, who she said showed her support no matter what, and unconditional love.

Brand ambassadors Natassia Dreams and Asa Akira — in a porntastic, cleavage-baring tight pink mini dress — 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 sang the praises of crowd-favorite Foxxy, adding, “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 quipped.

“We’ve been in this industry the longest,” she told her admiring peers, mentioning other veteran performers who are still active. “Just to be here every year, still on top of our game, it means a lot. Because there’s so many talented women and men, that 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, “We work really hard in this industry. It’s such an honor to be in front of you.”

The award for Best Trans Male Performer, 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.”

After declaring the right of boys to “do whatever the fuck we want,” winner Keith Eros 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 going to 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 want to be! Look at this melanin! To show all shades of the boys, all the femininity, all the masculinity, we’re all over the place and I love that.”

Presley noted that winners of the Best New Face award “always go on to become a major industry figure,” disclosing in a broad stage whisper that she herself is a past winner.

The winner of the award, sponsored by Razor Edge Talent and presented by Dan Hogue, in western attire, and Bambi Bliss, in a red gown, who referred to the competitive category hopefuls as “the future of our community,” was Grooby 2023 ambassador Zariah Aura.

Aura thanked partner Nikki Z for keeping her sane, and Nikki Sequoia for helping her prepare to do her first scenes with Grooby. “I’m so thankful,” Aura said.

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 feather boa, who mentioned her 2022 win in the same category.

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

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

“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 head-turner, shared 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 note of solidarity, the 2023 TEAs wrapped up the 15th annual celebration of adult's trans community.

For the complete list of winners, click here.

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