Warning: Contains quoted descriptions of violence against trans people.
With the state of appropriation of trans lives in the queer community being what it is, I wasn’t terribly shocked when I found out about Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives, a new “comedy/thriller/‘transploitation” film directed by a cissexual gay man, Israel Luna. Trans women especially are subject to being reframed in cis people’s narratives, and gay men especially seem to have a sense of entitlement over the identities of trans women. This piece does a good job of pointing outmuch of the transphobia, transmisogyny, and cissexual privilege in the movie and in Israel Luna’s attitudes towards trans people.
Follow the link to read the full takedown. This is pretty disgusting stuff.
GLAAD has a call to action up about this:
Misrepresenting the Lives of Transgender Women
Writer/director Israel Luna based his film on the “exploitation films” of the 1970s such as I Spit On Your Grave, about a woman who was raped and sought revenge on her attackers. The five lead characters in Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives are brutally attacked by a group of men; two do not survive the attack, but the surviving three seek gruesome revenge on their attackers. The film is a pastiche of graphic violence and horror movie clichés, with a few scenes of campy humor.
By marketing Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives as a “transploitation” film, by using the word “trannies” (a pejorative term for transgender people) in the title of the film, by casting transgender women in some roles, and by citing the murders of Angie Zapata and Jorge Mercado in the trailer, Israel Luna has attempted to place his film squarely within a transgender narrative.
However, while some of the actors in the film identify as transgender, the characters are written as drag queens, “performing” femininity in a way that is completely artificial. The very names of these over-the-top female caricatures (Emma Grashun, Rachel Slurr, et al.) drive this point home.
Because of its positioning as a transgender film, viewers unfamiliar with the lives of transgender women will likely leave this film with the impression that transgender women are ridiculous caricatures of “real women.” It demeans actual transgender women who struggle for acceptance and respect in their day-to-day lives and to be valued for their contributions to our society.
You can read the full call to action at the link above.
Edit: I didn’t catch it myself, and I apologize for that, but the GLAAD call for action others trans people who are outside the binary and promotes that there’s really one way to be a trans woman. I would suggest also writing to GLAAD about the problematic and offensive aspects of their call to action.
I also copied the link to this post in gudbuytjane’s excerpt above, but I want to make sure people see it. Unfortunately, one of the actors chose to defend the film in the comments, mobilizing transphobia and misogyny against trans women to do so.
If Israel Luna so desperately wanted to make an exploitation film, I think he would have been better off looking to his own community before attempting to claim ownership of trans women’s lives.