Trans Superhero Aubrey Kate Opens Up

This feature is the cover story of the November 2019 issue of AVN magazine. Click here for the digital edition.

LOS ANGELES—Aubrey Kate channels her primal side when it’s time to perform.  

“I feel like I get into this mode when I’m on camera—and then when I’m off camera I’m like, ‘What just happened?” Kate says.

Many agree Kate’s ability to lose herself in any given performance is a primary reason why she climbed to the pinnacle of porn in the past six years.

“Aubrey’s impact on the adult industry cannot be underestimated,” says Aiden Starr, the seasoned performer and Evil Angel contract director who considers Kate “like a daughter.”

“She is a leader and an inspiration to the younger generation of up-and-coming models.”

The two-time AVN Transsexual Performer of the Year—who owns the distinction of being Evil Angel’s first transgender exclusive—says when she’s on camera, “I don’t have a ‘no.’”

“I’m just like, ‘Do whatever you want,’” Kate says. “But in real life I’m like, ‘no.’ I think it’s just because of the camera.”  

But when she’s not on the set, she keeps a low profile.

“I’m very shy,” Kate admits. “Like in public I always have either sunglasses on or I’m looking down—or on my phone, or pretending to be on my phone.

“I don’t really like people coming up to me. But on camera I feel like it brings out this crazy side. I think people are like, ‘You’re not shy.’ And I’m just like, ‘I’m really shy.’ They don’t really get it and they’re like, ‘Well then how can you do that?’” 

The Aubrey Kate fans don’t always see likes crawling into bed at 9 p.m., getting up early, hitting the gym with her personal trainer and playing with her dogs.

“I’m such a grandma,” Kate says with a laugh. “I don’t ever party. I’m pretty boring and vanilla in my normal life.”

Her ascent to porn superstardom has been anything but dull. In fact at press time in September Kate already had authored what arguably was her strongest year so far in what is widely regarded as a remarkable career that began in 2013.

In 2019, the native of Orange County, Calif., added to her list of achievements by becoming the first transgender performer to land in one of Axel Braun’s sought-after parodies as she assumed the role of Supreme Intelligence in Captain Marvel XXX: An Axel Braun Parody.

Braun, the winningest porn parody director of all time whose films have snagged nine consecutive Best Parody awards, tells AVN casting Kate in his big 2019 superhero send-up for Wicked Pictures made sense on several levels. 

“In the comics the Supreme Intelligence (or Supremor) has always been drawn as a 25-inch male floating head (well, except for that time when it turned into an orange dragon with a green octopus head, but that’s a whole other story), while in the movie they chose to have it portrayed by a woman (Annette Bening),” Braun explains. 

“Now, in order to justify the gender-swapping and avoid the ires of the comic fans, Marvel came up with an alternate origin story in which the Supreme Intelligence assumed the appearance of the person you most admire. Yes, I know, it makes absolutely no sense, but I guess that simply changing it into a female head would have meant somehow acknowledging women's intellectual superiority… and they just didn’t have the balls to do it. 

“For my parody, I immediately saw an opportunity to address this gender confusion by casting a TS performer in the role... and Aubrey is not only the most popular one, but she is also gorgeous, a delight to have on set, and a fantastic performer. So it was a no-brainer.”

Kate performed with the lead actress Kenzie Taylor in her sex scene.

“That was super fun. That was a lot of dialogue. That’s going to be super huge,” says Kate, who admits she hasn’t seen the Hollywood version of Captain Marvel. “So basically Supreme Intelligence is supposed to be like [Captain Marvel’s] version of like the hottest thing. So she was like, ‘Why aren’t you a guy? I love dick.’ And I was like, ‘Well baby…’”

Braun says the chemistry between Kate and Taylor was “just incredible.”

“And the scene is beyond phenomenal,” Braun adds. “Aubrey literally exudes sensuality, and her acting was great. She showed up on time, knowing all her lines—it was a very lengthy dialogue—and was an absolute trooper. I am so happy that I got her to be in my movie. I honestly could not imagine a more perfect casting.” 

Kate enjoyed tasting Taylor, who was playing the biggest role of her four-plus year career.

“She’s beautiful; I love blondes. So it was awesome,” Kate says. “It was definitely passionate and rough at the same time. We were definitely locking eyes and that’s my favorite—when somebody locks eyes with you. … It just felt like we were having fun. It was definitely hard work because she’s in an entire costume.

“And I had this corset on and I had these yellow contacts in and I couldn’t see. … My eyes were watering; it was very hard. That was very tough but it was also very fun.”

Braun adds, “Did she also mention the triple-digit heat? Yeah, my parody shoots are particularly grueling...the days are long, and the costumes are not ideal for having sex. But my only goal is always to make the best product I possibly can, and she totally understood that, which made for a very pleasant experience.”

Speaking of pleasant outings, that’s how the two-time and reigning AVN Female Performer of the Year, Angela White, described her experience working with Kate on director Jonni Darkko’s first-ever trans release, Trans Glam, for Evil Angel. Both Kate and White shared the box cover of the title that features all trans-on-cis-girl pairings.

“I’ve had the privilege of shooting with Aubrey on a couple of occasions,” White tells AVN. “In our first scene together for Jonni Darkko’s Trans Glam, Aubrey brought so much raw passion and intensity that I knew we would need to shoot together again. 

“We recently shot our second scene, a threesome for Kayden Kross’ Drive [for], and while it was brief it was just as incredible. I’m inspired by the way Aubrey has broken down barriers throughout her career and it’s wonderful to see her be the first trans performer to grace the cover of AVN.”

Kate’s appearance with White on the reigning AVN Director of the Year Kayden Kross’s marked the first time a trans performer has appeared on the site.

In that scene Kate is wandering around a sex club when White’s character spots her.

“As soon as she sees me, she like runs after me and she can’t find me,” Kate says. “She’s running through the whole sex club trying to find me… And then later on she sees me making out with this guy and she jumps in and then it kind of turns into a whole little number. It was really hot.”

Meanwhile, Darkko tells AVN he came away impressed by Kate after seeing what she did for Trans Glam.

“Aubrey Kate is amazing,” says Darkko, who has been directing movies for Evil Angel since 2004. “She brings a certain quality and sexuality that is powerful and I think it starts with her eyes. She has very piercing eyes with a presence and a sexuality that’s just amazing to watch. 

“She has impeccable style and grace and is always great when she’s on set. I’m looking forward to more shoots with her.”

What made their scene and box cover together extra special was that both she and White have won AVN Performer of the Year honors twice.

“It was kind of classic,” Kate says, adding that Darkko was “so into it.”

“We both got our makeup done and then we drove over to his house and Angela finished first. So she pretty much already got her pretty girl [still photos] and stuff out of the way. And I come in and he’s like, ‘Oh my god, you look hot. Put this on and get in with Angela.’ So we take all our pictures. And he’s like, ‘OK, let’s just get into it.’

“At the end he was like, ‘Fuck, we didn’t do any of your pretty girls.’ So he didn’t do any of my pictures and he was like, ‘I feel bad.’ Because that’s what everybody wants—the Jonni Darkko picture experience. Because everybody loves his photos. 

“He was like, ‘I want to redo them.’ But I was getting my boobs done like two weeks later and I was booked. So right after my boob job he had my makeup done again and we did like four different looks. So that was pretty awesome. I got to not only work with him once, but twice.

“And it was really nice to focus just on pictures.” 



Kate, who received back-to-back AVN Transsexual Performer of the Year honors in 2017-18, signed her exclusive deal with Evil Angel in March 2018—she completed the pact this past March and now shoots for other studios while still sometimes performing for the Evil Empire.

Kate’s 2017 Evil Angel showcase Aubrey Kate: TS Superstar—directed by Aiden Starr—went on to win the 2019 AVN Award for Best Transsexual Movie in addition to the 2019 AVN Best Transsexual Sex Scene for her six-guy gangbang. 

“Aubrey is a very special lady,” says Starr, a dominatrix from New York with 800-plus performing credits and 90-something directing credits. “I believe I first met Aubrey at Kink.

“I remember sitting next to her in a makeup chair years ago and thinking how gorgeous she is! Her personality is so gregarious and connective. I think we had a conversation about how much we both love shoes and lingerie.”

Starr continues, “I’ve shot Aubrey so many times that I've literally lost count! We worked together on almost every scene for her Evil Angel exclusive contract. Before that, we shot her star showcase. We've shot birthday scenes for Aubrey, multiple gangbangs of Aubrey, dramas starring Aubrey, orgies featuring Aubrey—it's an extensive catalog of scenes!

“Aubrey is at once vulnerable and strong. She is this force in a scene that comes from a deep ability to harness her intensity. Her connective nature draws others in; it's magnetic. Despite her superstar status, she remains humble and hard working.”

Kate considers Starr a mother figure in her life.

“We just became friends but more like my mom because I don’t have an agent. I don’t have a manager and there’s not really any representation for trans,” Kate says. “She’s been in the industry for so long that I kind of go to her for advice. It’s really awesome to have her.

“… We got super close. I was never really close to my mom. So when we’re on set she always makes sure, ‘Are you OK?’ Or she can read my face so well. So if we’re doing something, she can tell if I’m in pain or something. She’ll be like, ‘OK, let’s do something else.’ 

“Because I’m not the kind of person that will be like, ‘OK, let’s stop.’ I’m like, ‘Let’s just get through it.’

“I just take my work very seriously and I just want it to be like the best I can do, whereas I see some other people and they just want the money. They’re just like, ‘I’ll do it and they’re not into it.’ Like I want to make sure that I’m in the mood and it’s something that I want to do. 

“And that’s something that I think I’m fortunate and lucky to have now is that I have such a name that I can kind of pick who I want to work with, rather than just giving me some random.”

Kate continues, “But it’s also nice, too, to work with the new guys. They know I can carry the scene, whether if they suck or not. I can do something crazy to make up for it. 

“But it’s kind of a disadvantage because there’s not really that many guys in TS porn. It’s like the same guys, so when I work so much it’s like I feel like I’m dating these guys. It’s like, ‘We just had sex yesterday.’ Like Dante—I was supposed to film with him. We filmed for that Kayden Kross movie and we were supposed to do Kink the next day. And then we filmed the next week for three days. … So it’s just like, ‘Where’s my dinner?’ I feel like we’re all just homies, you know.”


Kate’s 2019 AVN accolades came on the heels of her first AVN Transsexual Scene of the Year honor in 2018 for her performance with Adriana Chechik in Adriana Chechik Is the Squirt Queen from Toni Ribas/Evil Angel. She also captured fan-voted AVN Awards for Favorite Trans Porn Star and Favorite Trans Cam Star in 2017—which was the first of three straight.

One person who has watched Kate’s progression with great interest is Steven Grooby, the founder of and the Transgender Erotica Awards whose studio has shot her more than 30 times.

“August 2019 was the six-year anniversary of Aubrey Kate's debut on (formerly and it was obviously from the first time we saw the photos we knew how popular she was going to be and that was reflected in the comments and ratings by the members on that site,” Grooby tells AVN. “So popular in fact, that she shot seven more times that year, including taking the Supergirl role in the parody The Transtastic Four.    

“She's made 28 appearances on that site since. Aubrey was our first-choice model to test and launch our first VR product and she appeared in two scenes with Will Havoc.”

Grooby continues, “I don't spend a lot of time on sets these days, but decided as it was a new venture to go along to the shoot. I arrived early with the crew to find Aubrey already there, with her own makeup artist and a huge selection of clothes. That's indicative of her professionalism and why so many companies love to work with her, and why she is probably the most recognizable face of her generation of trans performers.

“I've been lucky enough to get to know her a little over the years, and she's funny, she's engaged and she knows her brand well and how to sell it, which is a reason why she's consistently at the top of her game.”

Grooby says Kate also was Mona Wales's first choice for her multi-award-winning Real Fucking Girls.

“I think the only award she hasn't won at the Transgender Erotica Awards is Best Newcomer, which she's now missed. I think her impact on the industry, as a trans porn star who has done a lot of work with different companies and performers who aren't typical in the trans niche, will be her lasting legacy,” Grooby adds.

The founder of Joanna Angel agrees. The Punk Porn Princess worked with Kate in a scene with her husband Small Hands and Katrina Jade in a movie called Sex Cult that can be found on BurningAngel and

“Aubrey is truly some kind of modern-day Marilyn Monroe,” Angel tells AVN. “She's a beautiful blonde, sexy and mysterious icon who emanates Hollywood glamour in everything she does. 

“She's a fascinating enigma with such a mesmerizing persona... It's an honor to have her in this industry. I'm glad she's here.”

So is director Ricky Greenwood, who, speaking of Marilyn Monroe, cast Kate as the Marilyn-inspired character in his parody of the classic film Some Like It Hot for TransSensual. In Some TS Like It Hot—which was written by Nica Noelle and directed by GreenwoodKate plays Sugar.

A native of Montreal who worked his way up from production manager for Mile High to full-time director last October, Greenwood remembers seeing Kate in person for the first time at the 2018 AVN Awards Show—which was his virgin AVN ceremony.

“She was sitting in front of me and I was impressed by her beauty,” Greenwood tells AVN. “I knew I wanted to work with her for a long time, but she was under contract. I think it was around the Transgender Erotica Awards this year [in March] when I asked her and she wasn’t under contract anymore. 

“And me and Nica Noelle, we had this idea of doing a remake porn version of Some Like It Hot, and we felt that Aubrey was the perfect person for that role.

“She has this look and presence and this charisma that Marilyn had. She’s an icon. … Aubrey is a very talented person and a very good actress. She knew her lines and had some ideas to bring to the character.”

Greenwood says Kate’s sex scenes—with Dante Cole and Lance Hart—demonstrate her range. 

“She’s a great performer,” Greenwood says. “That’s the good thing with Aubrey; she can be the way you want her to be—a horny, slutty girl or a passionate, romantic woman who is falling in love with someone. The first scene with Dante is a more passionate sex scene—more like a one-night stand type of thing. Then Lance and her is more romantic—like two people loving each other.”

The ambitious vision for Some TS Like It Hot challenged Kate.

“It was like a 30-page script and I was in two sex scenes,” she says. “Three or four days were all the dialogue… I think that was my first scene back from being out of contract.

“It was crazy because Evil Angel is gonzo, so there’s no script. So I went from like nothing to 30 pages. And I love acting. In kindergarten I was in my very first musical. And I got cast in one of the bigger parts because I could tumble—I was a gymnast. I opened the show every night with a tumbling pass. It was pretty dope. 

“And then I kept playing with theater. So I love the whole acting aspect, but then I love the modeling, too. The modeling is my favorite. I got into modeling when I was in third grade; I was with Wilhelmina Models out here [in Hollywood]. And then they shut their child department down and so I transferred to LA Models right there on Sunset. So I was with them from elementary all the way through high school.

“And then I transitioned and it’s a little harder to do mainstream modeling.”

Kate cammed on Streamate for about six months before going full force into porn.

“And before that I escorted here and there but I was like really bad at it. Because I didn’t like to have sex with a million guys. I was basically like a virgin,” she jokes. “I had sex with three guys before I got into porn. I was very shy and I didn’t really know what I was doing. My boyfriend told me I was the worst at sex ever. He threw pills at me and said, ‘Your next boyfriend is going to need dick pills’ to get hard for me.

“So that day he did that I got a call from Kink. But Kink called me probably like four times before in the past from like cam modeling and Eros.  

“And so when they called that day I was just like, ‘Fuck it, why not?’ So I said, ‘Yes.’ Back then at least they made their bookings months in advance. I think it was like in two months or something that I was going to go. I was like, ‘OK.’”

Kate continues, “And then a few weeks later I went to a pool party and that’s where I met Charity Bangs and Sheena Ryder. And they were talking about porn. And I was like, ‘Oh, I just got booked for Kink.’ And they were like, ‘Wow, that’s a big company. Awesome, you should do it.’ So I kind of started talking to them and all three of us became like really close, good friends. And then they pretty much gave my number out to like Grooby and all that stuff and that’s kind of like how I started.”

Ryder remains Kate’s best friend to this day.

“We always go the awards together. I feel like we’re sisters. I feel like they definitely helped me get started and then I kind of just kept going,” Kate says. “They definitely got my foot in the door and got me started and pictures and stuff like that.”


Fast forward six years and Kate has amassed a fan following of more than 200,000 on Instagram and 167,000-plus on Twitter—despite having been deleted more than once.

“I think my Twitter has been deleted like three times, same with my Instagram,” she says. “With both I had to build them back up.”

Kate says with the life she has created, “I think it’s awesome because I’m never bored.”

“Like something new and awesome gets thrown my way,” Kate says. “I’ve had a lot of obstacles outside of porn throughout my whole career. So it’s kind of hard to have my personal life and Aubrey. So I feel like Aubrey’s success kind of makes me happy.

“Like me personally, it makes me happy. But it’s also hard. I feel like Aubrey made my life so much better. But it also made my life a million times harder. Like dating and living a normal life. And people—when they find out I’m a porn star—I just feel like they treat me differently. So that’s like the only thing that kind of sucks about it.

“But I feel like I climbed to the top and I don’t want to just give up. So I like who I am. That’s what I’m starting to focus on is just me. I’m going to the gym and working on myself and I just want to keep continuing to build my brand.” 

Kate realizes that her single-minded focus on improving herself at times may not mesh with the trans community at large.

“I think the thing with me—which, I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing—I’m not really too involved with the trans community,” Kate says. “So I guess that could be a bad thing on that end. But it’s just like with me, growing up I never thought I was trans or whatever—I just thought I was a girl. 

“And I’ve known that since I was like 4. And I’ve always had girl clothes and stuff like that at home and did girl sports and stuff like that, so…I’ve kind of always just been myself, whereas I feel like all these other trans girls are so into like, not just politics sides of it, but just like the rights and I don’t know. All about like trans, trans, trans—and I’m just like ‘go me!’”

Kate likes to refer to herself a “porn star” without having the qualify the title as “trans porn star.”

“Even though that’s like a big thing,” she says. “That’s like a selling point, ‘trans porn star.’ I just leave that part out sometimes. I just like, ‘I’m a porn star,’ it doesn’t matter.“So I think some girls don’t like that. It’s not that I’m not proud of myself. I am proud of myself. But it’s just that I don’t need to be proud of myself for being trans. So, I think that’s a lot of it, that, ‘Oh, Aubrey doesn’t care about our community.’ It’s not that I don’t care about our community. I think it’s kind of dumb to have a small community—why not just live your life and be who you are?

“If you’re a good person then I want to be your friend. If you’re not a good person then I keep walking.”

Her dream from a young age was to be a professional Irish dancer.

“I did that from 4 years old to 21 and that was my life,” Kate recalls. “I was a principal dancer in two shows. And I wanted to be in ‘Lord of the Dance’ and ‘Feet of Flames’ and things like that.”

When she transitioned, she held onto that dream, wanting to be the lead female dancer.

“And it’s a very small, tiny community. And it’s very religious and they’re like, ‘Oh, no. You’re the lead male dancer. You’re not going to be the lead female dancer now. We have plenty of girls, so…’” Kate recalls.

“And so when that kind of got shut down that’s when I turned to webcam and porn and things like that. So when I started winning it was just like a breath of fresh air. Like, oh, I’m accepted and people like me. It became almost like an addiction. I felt like people were starting to give me attention and I just wanted to keep giving them more content and more of me.”

Kate attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2008 for about a semester before moving back to California and getting her cosmetology license.  

“I always think about it. I still continue to pay and renew my license, so it’s still valid if I want to go back to that,” Kate says. “I think that’s why I like the option, but I don’t know. Hair’s a lot of work and you don’t make that much money. I think that’s it’s something that I would like to maybe focus on and then maybe just do hair. Like style hair and do makeup. Just stay in porn and do hair and makeup for it. Because they make good money.”

Among her other pre-porn pursuits, Kate was a go-go dancer and worked at Palm Beach Tan.

“I started when I was 17 at a club called Tiger Heat out here in LA. And the