The controversy over the Tribeca Film Festival’s decision to show the film “Ticked of Trannies with Knives” hasn’t stopped brewing. In fact, it’s resulted in several articles, blogs, new stories, emails and even a RuPaul-Intervention. Most of the criticism, one must assume, comes from the use of the word “trannies” in the film title. This seems to be the case as currently only sneak peaks/trailers are available for public viewing. Few calling for a boycott of the film have seen it.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has stepped in as well, indicating that the term “tranny” is offensive. Further, Planettransgender.com has cried out indicating that the word “tranny” and the words “drag queen” should not be used as they degrade the transgender community – thus begging the question, “What should we call a drag show?” – My vote is for “Guys who dress up as women in order to lip-sync to selected tracks from Madonna, Lady Gaga, Tina Turner, Tori Amos and other iconic personas of queer culture,” but I doubt that would sell many tickets for the charity ball.
As a white, mostly cisgender, gay male my opinion on the subject isn’t authoritative, but I do have an opinion. I have many “T” friends, some of whom are outraged at the word “tranny” but many of whom use the word to refer to themselves or even their friends. It’s not a word in which I find any comfort; like “faggot” or “nigger” it leaves a sour taste in my mouth and burns my ears whenever it’s used. Even when my self-described “tranny” friends use it, I cringe.
All that being said, I look to the great tragedies suffered by my “T” friends – the lost jobs, the lost homes, the lost friends, the lost families, the desperation to feel complete, and I ask myself, “How important is this low budget, B-rated movie that only about .01% of the population would have seen (or even heard of) had it not been for the controversy?” I go further and ask myself what other films are being shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, and with deep regret my answer is, “I have to look it up.”
That’s right. The only movie I have any knowledge of being shown at the Tribeca Film Festival is the movie, “Ticked Off Trannies with Knives.” The only reason I know the movie is showing is because I’ve been slammed with emails and information about how horrifyingly demeaning it is to the “T” community – and other emails about how it really doesn’t matter. It is controversy that further divides our communities and even pits members of the “T” community against each other.
So, I have a suggestion to my LGBT brothers and sisters. It’s time we stop all this bickering, unite and fight back against the real enemy – the HRC – the anti-equality foes (NOM, AFA, etc.). Together, we can pass an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, pass the Uniting American Families Act, repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Together, we can make change… divided, we’re just making noise.