I’ve decided that it would be good to blog about this saga, perhaps there will be a happy ending someday soon.
This month has not been an easy one. I built, furnished, and celebrated a new space for TROUBLEfilms – my missing link – and lost it three days after the housewarming party.
How… why… the details are hard to swallow. The other inhabitants of the building didn’t like what I was doing, banded together and forced the building manager to kick us out. What I was doing was filming mostly vanilla trans porn, 3 hours a day for 2 days, and pretty quietly I might add. I know a neighbor wandered into the housewarming party, where we were showing silent porn. Maybe he started the gossip mill because I asked him to leave. Maybe the construction workers next to us heard someone talk about condoms or anal sex. Maybe someone saw a performer in the bathroom and wonderred what they were doing there. It doesn’t matter. I can’t pinpoint whether it was sex-negativity, transphobia, or noise that got us in trouble. But we were expelled without warning, explanation, or any chance for negotiation.
I was in Vegas celebrating 2 AVN Award nominations and appearing on a panel about porn and academia when it happened. My incredible husband took care of hauling all of my things out of the space and into our home.
I am currently surrounded by boxes and boxes of shooting equipment, disassembled beds and shelves, office supplies, linens, and various things that were coming together to create the perfect space. My home is more cluttered and confusing than before we sought a work space. It’s awful.
I am incredibly sad that my dreams have been put on hold. I’m upset that I promised my collaborators a place to work and play and create and plan. I’m the most upset that I asked for money from my friends and fans, for something that totally existed, and somehow… that thing that existed went away.
We didn’t lose any money. The building manager gave us every cent of the deposit and pro-rated January’s rent. Every cent I raised to purchase new things for the space is tucked away in a savings account. Everything’s fine, nobody’s hurt, nobody’s in trouble. But this space was my “missing link,” and now… it’s still missing.
For the time being I am back to shooting wherever I can find space. We are being creative. In the meantime, my partner and I are searching high and low for a new studio in Oakland, but with all my upcoming travels I’m not even sure I’ll be able to get another space until the end of April. We are hoping something comes up much, much sooner than that.
The housewarming party in that space was one of the most incredible nights of my life. The love and community I felt emanating off of my friends and peers was substantial. It was revolutionary. I’ve been heartbroken since we lost the space and trying to find the way to break it to everyone that it was a one night affair.
But that feeling we felt, it wasn’t those walls – it was us. When we get together in a room, we can change the world. Let’s make this happen on the streets, in our homes, in queer night clubs, at the grocery store, until I can get a space for us to call home.
I’m sorry the space is gone. It’s been hard for me to even begin to bring it up after all the amazing things that happened in it in just the short time it existed. But it will exist again, in Oakland, and it will be even better. It might even be purchased instead of rented.
All events and plans for the space are on hold until we find a new spot. If you are a real estate or commercial rental agent in the East Bay and have a tip for us, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you donated to the studio fundraiser please know that your money is being kept safe until it can be spent on what it was intended for: a community space and porn studio for TROUBLEfilms, and the queer porn community of the Bay Area.
I guess nothing worth doing is easy, isn’t that what they say?
With a heavy heart full of sadness and love,
TROUBLEfilms Studio Warming Photo Booth | Photos by Rae Threat