Natalie Mars, Lena Moon, Casey Kisses Win Big at TEAs

LOS ANGELES—Natalie Mars found herself in a rather awkward predicament prior to Sunday’s Transgender Erotica Awards ceremony. The beloved brunette was asked to pre-record an acceptance speech for the online event—but no one revealed what her trophy was for. “I’ve been told I won something,” Mars said into the camera, “but I’m not sure what it is.” She smiled. “Whatever it is, I’m honored.” Judging by her recent dominance on the awards circuit, it shouldn’t have been too difficult for Mars to guess the category of her latest triumph. It was less than four months ago, after all, when the Little Rock, Ark. native stood before her colleagues and peers at the AVN Awards in Las Vegas and delivered a powerful acceptance speech after being named Trans Performer of the Year—her third such distinction in as many months. So, really, it was no surprise Sunday when Mars put the cherry on top of an unprecedented run by claiming the most-prestigious award—Best Hardcore Performer—at the TEAs for the second straight year. Sunday’s ceremony was originally scheduled for March 15 at the Avalon nightclub in Hollywood, but the show was canceled four days prior because of COVID-19. Still, pre-recording the show and then streaming it online hardly lessened the prestige of Mars’ accomplishment.  Steven Grooby, whose company (Grooby Productions) hosts the event, said Mars was more than deserving of the recognition. In the past year alone, Mars has worked with A-list mainstream stars such as Riley Reid, Angela White, Karma Rx and Adriana Chechik—not to mention virtually all of the top names in the trans genre. “She’s had an amazing first four years in the industry,” Grooby said in an email from his home in the United Kingdom. “She’s breaking the stereotype of what a trans porn star should look like, working for niche companies that traditionally haven’t worked with trans performers and being the darling that so many cis performers want to work with.” Mars’ accomplishment is even more impressive considering the state of the trans industry, where an influx of high-end talent is causing the roster to swell like never before. In a race that TEAs executive producer Kristel Penn labeled “very, very tight,” Mars tallied more first-place ballots than an all-star list of performers that included Aubrey Kate, Lena Moon, Khloe Kay, Casey Kisses and Daisy Taylor—all of whom enjoyed banner years. In fact, even though Mars nabbed the most-coveted honor, it was actually Moon who emerged as the night’s biggest winner, hauling in a ceremony-high three trophies for Fan’s Choice Award (for top overall performer), Best Internet Personality and Best DVD. Moon (formerly Lena Kelly) told AVN that winning two awards tied to fans and fan interaction warmed her heart. “It’s the most amazing, fulfilling feeling,” Moon said, “because I absolutely adore my fans. It’s cliche, but they’re the reason I’m doing this. My heart is filled with joy right now, because I’m trying my best to do something in this world, and now I’m getting this amazing, positive feedback from it. I can’t even explain how it feels. It’s a novel experience for me.” Moon has become somewhat of an inspirational story in porn circles, as it was only four years that she was living in her car in upstate New York, battling alcohol addiction and searching for a purpose in life. After dabbling in camming, she packed her belongings at the advice of a friend, moved to Las Vegas and entered the adult industry. Persevering through adversity has helped mold Moon’s personality and wit, which could explain why fans are so fond of her social media channels. “Sometimes I might be a little too honest,” Moon, who now lives in Los Angeles, chuckled. “But I feel an inclination to go against the “pretend-to-be-happy-on-social-media-all-the-time” persona you see so often. One thing I like about the relationship with my fans is that I can be me. That’s what they want to see. And that’s what I want to be. “I didn’t even have social media until I started porn. It keeps me on my phone way too much. But at the same time, it’s really fun. I like to make people laugh, and I’m certainly not going to do stand-up comedy, so it’s a good little outlet for me.” No TEA honor, though, was as gratifying to Moon as the Best DVD award she captured Sunday for TransNasty. The film will always be special to Moon, as it marked the first time a trans performer had directed a movie for adult studio Evil Angel. Moon funded the entire project, from the upscale locations to the outfits to the snacks to the fees for an all-star cast that included Kate, Mars, Kaye, Goth Charlotte and Moon herself. “I didn’t skimp on anything,” she said. “It was my first movie and I wanted it to be amazing. I’m not one to toot my own horn, but I thought it was really good. I spent a lot of time editing it and made sure all of the t’s were crossed and the i’s were dotted. So I’m head over heels that it won. “It’s very surreal to me, honestly. I’ve been stumbling around like a clumsy idiot my whole life and not really making anything happen. It took me forever, basically, but I’m actually doing things that are making me proud of myself. I’m still a work in progress and I’ve got a lot to learn. “But I’m more driven now than I’ve ever been.” “Driven” is also a perfect word to describe Kisses, who claimed victory in two of the other most-competitive categories Sunday: Best Solo Model and Cam Performer of the Year. Kisses was early into her transition in December of 2014 when a car wreck three days before Christmas left her hospitalized with a broken right ankle and clavicle. Unable to walk or even use crutches for months, Kisses began sliding out of her wheelchair and onto her bed each afternoon to record shows on her pixy cam. Her first session netted $15. A few days later she made $30. “That was more than I was making at my regular job,” Kisses told AVN. “From that point forward, my life changed.” Within a few years, Kisses had become so popular that one of her cam shows lured in 32,000 live viewers. It was because of her that Grooby added the Cam Performer of the Year category to the TEAs in 2018. “Throughout the rest of the industry there hasn’t been a lot of recognition around trans cam performers,” Kisses said. “There are so many hard-working individuals out there, but there aren’t many people saying, ‘Wow, this girl spends 11 hours a day doing this, and no one told her to do it.’ You have to be a hair stylist and a makeup artist and your own manager. You have to learn the technical stuff. It’s not easy. “One of the hardest parts about camming is waking up and telling yourself, ‘Oh, I have a shoot today, but before that I need to cam for a little while so I can keep building this brand.’” Kisses said the skills she’s developed as a cam girl have helped in other aspects of career, particularly as a solo model. She said the two styles of porn are “symbiotic,” with success in one field leading to prowess in the other. As much as she wants her fans to enjoy their cam sessions with her, Kisses said she’s the one who walks away feeling uplifted. “Being a trans person, I’m still worried about my body,” Kisses said. “Logging online and hearing compliments about myself, in ways that I couldn’t view my own self, has made me feel so much more confident and comfortable in my own skin. It’s insane. I always tell my fans that 90 percent of the reason I log on is for the compliments.” Also regarded as one of the top all-around stars in the industry, Kisses was a top candidate for Best Hardcore Performer. She likely will be next year, too, along with Kate, Moon, Kaye, Taylor, and Aspen Brooks—and perhaps some fresh names like Ella Hollywood and the stunning Luna Love, who won the Best New Face award Sunday. Hovering above all of them, though—at least for now—is one of the most-respected names not just outside of the industry, but within it, too. As news of Mars’ victory spread Sunday evening, her Twitter feed was filled with congratulatory messages from fellow performers, many of whom she’s mentored and embraced. “Us Brits have a word that can be taken as a compliment for Natalie’s scenes,” Grooby said, “and it’s that her performances are ‘filthy.’ It’s hardcore anal that few could even attempt—never mind accomplish—and it’s tied into fetishes. Total filth. Couple that with her innocent, wholesome look, and the dichotomy is intoxicating and exciting. “But there is one other factor above all others that has made Natalie so successful: she is authentic. This is her reality and she loves it. When that is played out on camera, the viewer can sense it. No matter how good of an actor you are, that can’t be faked.” 2020 TEA Winners Best DVD (tie) TransNasty directed by Lena Moon for Evil Angel and Transfixed 3 eirected by Bree Mills for AdultTime Cam Performer of the Year Casey Kisses Gender X Model of the Year Khloe Kay Best Internet Personality Lena Moon Best Industry Professional Rabbits Reviews Best Self-Producer Shiri Allwood BBW Performer of the Year Sophia Presley Best Girl/Girl Scene Aspen Brooks and Khloe Kay on TGirls.Porn from Grooby Best Boy/Girl Scene Daisy Taylor and Jordan Taylor in “Family Transformation” from Gender X Best Producer Aiden Starr Best FTM Amateur Bunnie Hughes Transcendence Award Aubrey Kate Ms. Unique Ally Sparkles Black-TGirls.com  Model of the Year Jasmine Lotus Pornhub Model of the Year (tie) Daisy Taylor Trip Richards (TripleXTransMan) Best VR Scene “Little Slut Face” starring Ella Hollywood and Epicleus for GroobyVR.com Kink’s Kinkiest TGirl Domme Natalie Mars Lifetime Achievement (Performer) Chelsea Marie Lifetime Achievement (Behind the Camera) Damien Cain Lifetime Achievement (Danny) Danny “Sparky Snakeden” Watters Chaturbate TS Performer of the Year Eevee Bee Best Non-TS Performer Female Charlotte Sartre Best Non-TS Performer Male Sean Michaels MV Trans Model of the Year Kendall Penny Best Non-US Performer Marissa Minx Best New Face Luna Love Fan Choice Award Lena Moon Best Solo Model Casey Kisses Best Hardcore Performer Natalie Mars

written by: Austin King

source: Natalie Mars, Lena Moon, Casey Kisses Win Big at TEAs | AVN