Tribeca Film Festival Promotes Exploitation of Transgender People

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The Tribeca Film festival has announced it’s 2010 lineup of films and “Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives” is among them.

“When a group of transgender women are violently beaten and left for dead, the violated vixens turn deadly divas in this hilariously campy homage to the exploitation films of the ’70s and ’80s (“Transploitation,” anyone?). Loaded with bodacious bods and extreme violence, this revenge fantasy proves that it takes more than balls to get even.”

And guess what, it’s billed as a COMEDY! Nothing is more hilarious than transwomens deaths! This movie is offensive on so many levels. Not only does the director, Israel Luna, make jokes on the back of hate crimes victims, he portrays transgender women as campy drag queens. Gina over at Skip The Makeup frames this perfectly:

“It just reminds me how gay men have a special insight into the world of trans women since, you know, trans women are really just, *wink wink* gay men, *cough-cough* in, ladies, um, drag. Gay men understand that drag is what makes the delusion of ‘transgenders’ actually believing they’re women all the more tolerable. Without the ability to gob on lots of makeup, wear ugly clothes no woman would ever wear and act campy, trans women would really be A DRAG.”

In the Dallas Voice Luna said of the use of transgender people:

“I didn’t want to write about a male gay bashing victim. That’s a story we’ve seen all too often, and I wanted to do something more modern and I thought ‘Whose story do you never see on the news these days?’ It’s not gay men—it’s transgenders.”

Luna’s experience as a male escort would give a movie about gay prostitutes being bashed a real world edge. But he didn’t want to do a drama, he wanted to do a comedy. A comedy about Matthew Shepard coming back from the grave and eating their brains wouldn’t be seen as funny or acceptable as this film. He used transgender people because it’s still acceptable to do so. Imagine the following:

“Pissed-Off Niggers With Glocks”
“Zombie Nelly Faggots with Knives”
“Mad Kikes With Flame Throwers”

None of these films would ever make it into production, yet this film did. The portrayal of transwomen in this movie is nothing short of blackface. Yet Luna is not apologetic at all about this. In a recent recent Queerty post he said:

“He sought to make an entertaining, marketable movie rather an accurate depiction of transgender people that would speaks for the entire community. Anyone who begrudges him for not taking the opportunity to make such a film, he says, should make one themselves.”

Luna’s unapologetic behavior isn’t surprising, considering his entire body of work. But the fact that the Tribeca Film Festival is sanctioning this kind of transphobic trash is appalling. Please ask them via the comment section of their site to remove this movie, and send an email to GLAAD asking them to call for a boycott of Tribeca until they do so.

Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor. Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist. She's been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday. As an advocate she's previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She's taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana's Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana - 3/2005). In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee.

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