This post starts with the independent film, "Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives."
This film was meant to empower transfeminine folks, but in the lead up to its premiere, it did quite the opposite. There's a lot of dispute about several things: trans folks feel misrepresented, people objectifying to the the word "tranny", people getting pissed other people's presumptions...
...and the point is lost.
The movie is campy. It's about three transwomen that exact revenge on the men that assaulted them and killed two of their friends - I hear we get to sit through transwomen getting their heads bashed open, their brains smeared across the floor. Their vengeful rampage is all about heels, glitter, and blood splatters.
However, the "exaggerated" portrayal of the transwomen as draggy, campy, and over-the-top has some folks such as media watchdog GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation - notice the lack of a T for "trans") calling this in as a gross caricature of what transwomen are.
But then, folks such as myself and Kate Bornstein are questioning this: gross caricature? Why, because they don't fit the clean bill of what a transwoman should look like? It's hard being told what you're supposed to look like by people who claim to be furthering your agenda. No thanks, I'll stand up for myself, thank you. I'll let you know if I need help, but until then, I call the shots on what my trans body should look like.
And then, the T-word. TRANNY. This is starting to become the seminal issue regarding "Ticked-Off Trannies" rather than the much darker problems with this film. Some folks like Kate embrace this word. Other folks, myself included, have heard that word as the butt of too many jokes to welcome it. I don't like the word. Big fucking deal. I don't give a shit about the word. I give a shit about the violence against transwomen (and all women, let's face it - violence against trans folks and women alike all comes down to male privilege) being portrayed as a campy, funny, gore-fest.
How about the three trans people that have been murdered in the past month? What about Toni Alston, shot in the head; Amanda González-Andújar, strangled to death in her own home; Ashley Santiago, stabbed fourteen times? When is this shit going to stop? When is it going to GET NOTICED? Right now, trans rights activists are doing everything they can to get these slayings of trans people classified as hate crimes under the new Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Even with the law on our side, trans people are still a target, and violence against transwomen is so common that a movie about it is just in twisted bad taste. I can't watch a movie where a I see the swing of a bat, the crack of a skull, the desperate pleading of a woman being beaten to death. I've lost too many brothers and sisters to this shit.
And we're arguing about a word.