CHATSWORTH, Calif.—Last Thursday representatives from the transsexual performer community met with AVN to air their grievances that emanated from the AVN Awards show last month.
A small but vocal number of performers in the transsexual genre had voiced displeasure over their experiences at the AVN Awards and the preceding red carpet—as well as, in the big picture, how they were dissatisfied with the recognition given to the transsexual genre as a whole.
Performer and long-time TS rights activist Brittany St. Jordan had authored a handful of message board threads airing her complaints. St. Jordan, along with Amy Daly in person, and Wendy Williams by phone—all three were nominees for Transsexual Performer of the Year—met with AVN.
Since there were a number of factually incorrect statements in St. Jordan’s posts, but also because there were legitimate complaints, AVN sought to set the record straight, to listen, and to proactively address any issues going forward.
AVN has long recognized the transsexual niche as an important and lucrative market segment and if there was more to be done to support the community, we wanted to hear directly from the performers how we could recognize their efforts on a bigger stage.
To that end, AVN agreed to present Transsexual Performer of the Year on stage at future awards shows. St. Jordan, Daly and Williams were correct to point out that this award is the most prestigious given by AVN to transsexual performers, and it wasn’t receiving the same visibility as its male and female equivalents.
As for the awards nominations and voting, AVN also agreed to cast its net wider and seek out prominent reviewers and observers of transsexual fare to participate in the process for a more comprehensive review of its performers and movies.
Also, AVN will take steps to make sure that transsexual performers are included as presenters in future awards shows, and that more attention is paid to red carpet interviews with TS performers.
As for the red carpet process, which was called into question, AVN sought to clear up some confusion. Priority access goes to presenters, nominees whose awards will be presented on stage, mainstream celebrities and some other very well-known adult stars, with the rest of the adult community following after that.
Unfortunately, with hundreds of people waiting in line to walk the carpet, inevitably there will be a considerable waiting time for most. This year, the wait was longer than anticipated, and AVN apologizes to all who waited and thanks them for their participation and patience. AVN is looking into streamlining the process for next year to cut down on the wait time. We know it’s aggravating to stand in line for so long—we hear you!—and we’re going to make it more reasonable.
The meeting lasted nearly 90 minutes; many issues were aired and discussed, and St. Jordan, Daly and Williams left the meeting apparently hopeful that transsexual performers will be given higher visibility in both AVN magazine and at the AEE and AVN Awards.
Pictured, l-r: Brittany St. Jordan, Jesse Flores and Mia Isabella on the red carpet at the 2012 AVN Awards Show.