A film to be screened at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival has been attacked for being “grotesque” and exploitative of trans women.
Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives is described as “hilariously campy” on the festival’s website but the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is demanding that it be pulled from the screening schedule.
The B movie-style film features graphic violence and horror cliches. It sees three trans women who are brutally raped seek revenge on their attackers.
A statement from the gay group said: “The film, its title and its marketing misrepresent the lives of transgender women and use grotesque, exploitative depictions of violence against transgender women in ways that make light of the horrific brutality they all too often face.”
The film features trans actresses and GLAAD reports that trailers feature references to the murders of Angie Zapata and Jorge Mercado.
Zapata, a trans woman, was murdered in 2008 by an ex-boyfriend. Mercado died last year and police say the cross-dressing teenager was killed when he was discovered to be male.
GLAAD says its staff have seen the film. It said: “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’.
“GLAAD finds it troubling that the respected Tribeca Film Festival would give a film that sensationalises anti-transgender violence and misrepresents the lives of transgender women.”
Film maker Israel Luna, who is gay, told the Dallas Voice this week that he expected the film would be controversial with some.
He said: “I thought the gay thing’s been done, the coming-out-to-the-parents thing has been done. We’re just so past all of that stuff.
“Who’s now the most under-represented and misunderstood? The trans community. And now with all the new rights [issues] coming up and murders happening, that’s what I wanted to do.”
The Tribeca Film Festival had not responded to a request for comment by the time of publication.