A couple months ago, I stumbled across the blog Questioning Transphobia*. I stepped right in, when I made a comment on the very first post I read, which apparently revealed my cis privilege. I was (rightly) smacked down by quite a few commenters, and quickly quit trying to defend my actions. Instead of storming off in an offended huff (which I'll admit, was my first instinct) I subscribed to email updates of the blog, and I read them and never, ever, ever comment. I'm trying to learn, and I'm trying to check my cis privilege at the door, and the best way I can do that is to shut up and listen.
But here's something I feel I have to speak about, to my own readers. The Tribeca Film Festival is slated to show the movie "Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives". The film's cis gay male producer/director/writer Israel Luna says "I don't consider myself an advocate. I'm not really a protester or anything like that." No, he's certainly not. He's just trying to get a couple cheap laughs at the expense of the trans community by making a pejoratively titled "campy" comedy horror film about transwomen being raped and killed. Because, you know, rape and murder are just full of the lulz!
"[My film's] like Grand Theft Auto. If you have a bad day at work, you can shoot some people, kill some hookers, trash your car and feel better. It's the same with my movie," he continues, in a quote that makes me want to vomit all over my keyboard. I had no idea killing hookers could make me feel better! Maybe that's how I should deal with the depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder I have as a repeated abuse victim! Rarely do I type when this angry. I'll let the community speak for itself, and recommend you check out a few of the articles I've read today that have me so fired up and pissed off.
goodbuy t'jane has a good write-up and includes the trailer for the movie on her page. It starts by detailing (in text) the graphic and brutal murders of two transsexual persons. I couldn't finish watching it, personally. It was triggering, to say the least and I am not a transsexual myself! I'm a ciswoman and a survivor of violent rape. I can only imagine how much more horrifying, brutal, and hurtful this would be if I had to constantly face discrimination and violence as a transwoman, minority within a minority.
Describing her own reaction to the trailer, she wrote
I felt sick. I have seen the lives and even the deaths of trans people appropriated by cis LGB culture before, but I didn't think anyone would be so crass as to describe in lurid details the deaths of two trans people (ironic in how quickly many cis gays were to distance Jorge Mercado from any sort of trans identity before) to promote a COMEDY. A drag queen comedy directed by a cissexual gay man.
Gina writes on Skip the Makeup (in some of the best sarcasm and snark I've seen in ages)
The line at the top of the poster reads, "it takes balls to get revenge." In case you don't understand, that's a direct reference to "trannies" (evidently an affectionate term all trans women use to refer to one another) having testicles and a scrotum. I'm just upset LaLuna Entertainment, makers of this statement of community pride were unable to somehow integrate the words "penis" or "cock" onto the poster but, after all, it IS going to be shown at a prestigious film festival where it will get national and international coverage.I will never have to experience transphobia or transphobic violence. I will never have to encounter what people of color deal with every day, in discriminations and prejudices large and small. I will never have to constantly prove myself to be able-bodied and "valuable" because of a permanent disability.** While I identify as bisexual, the only real headache from that comes in explaining to men (or sometimes couples) that no, I am not interested in having a threesome, foursome or moresome. It's easy at times to feel like a second class citizen as a woman or as an atheist, but it's also easy to forget the privilege I do have as a white woman, a ciswoman, an able-bodied woman, a woman who almost exclusively dates men, and would face no challenges to marrying a man if I wanted to (which I don't.)
Please join the Facebook group against this film and sign the Change.org petition to the Tribeca Film Festival asking them not to give this transphobic snuff film a platform. GLAAD blog has the direct contact information for organizers of Tribeca, as well as a suggested-text email web form.
I'm gonna go stick my head in the freezer and try to cool off.
* On a side note, my spell check does recognize the word homophobia, but thinks transphobia should either be separated, hyphenated, or that I must really mean "transportable". I've added it to my ever-growing dictionary.
** Regular readers will know that I had to walk with a cane for three years, and I would definitely say I gained some insights from that experience, but it is nothing compared with the challenges (physical, social, economic, romantic, and employment based) that people who have permanent disabilities face.
(In case it wasn't clear enough, "tranny" is a pejorative term, on par with "n*gger" or "f*ggot" and we all know words matter.)