Film | Lance Black | Transgender

Trannies With Knives Gets Asterisked

Ticked off trannies with knives protesters David Shankbone

The controversial film "Ticked Off Trannies With Knives" will now be marketed as "Ticked Off Tra**ies With Knives,” with certain letters in the word "tranny" greeked out, or blurred. Isreal Luna, the director of the movie which opened amidst protesters at the Tribeca Film Festival last night, had a conversation with Dustin Lance Blck about how to handle the title which has offended many in the LGBT community.

Black tells The Advocate:

“I said, 'Hey, is there any way that we could acknowledge that this word is pejorative to so many in the community, in the trans community, and acknowledge that in a way in your artwork, in your posters, and then it starts that conversation, so that when people see it, they go, ‘Wow, why is that greeked out? Why is there an asterisk for an N? Why is this the same treatment the n-word has in the black community?’ Hopefully, it starts that conversation and opens the door for trans people to be able to start telling their stories of why the word is hurtful."

Watch Luna explain his decision to alter the title, AFTER THE JUMP.

Thanks to Dave Shankbone for sending in the pic of protesters at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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  1. How ridiculous. It's like when people say f**k and think it's in some way more appropriate than saying fuck.

    Uh, we know what's being said. The asterisks do absolutely nothing.

    It's just political correctness run amok.

    Posted by: Aaron Rowland | Apr 24, 2010 12:59:29 PM

  2. I cannot wait to see this movie.

    Posted by: Vito | Apr 24, 2010 1:31:10 PM

  3. Well, what do they want to be called? I need to know so that I dont unintentionally offend anyone.

    What does the "T" in GLBT stand for? Is it transgendered? Transexual? Transvestite? Whatever it is, it seems 'trannie' is just a simple abbreviation and intends no harm. Nonetheless, please let us know what what to call them so we don't offend.

    And will they change their desired "label" as often as the community of non-white americans has done?

    Posted by: Ebony Shades | Apr 24, 2010 1:45:39 PM

  4. Frankly, I don't think he should have backed down and replacing the 'nn' with two asterisks achieves exactly what? While I don't deny that the trans community much like the gay community have been victims to horrendous hate crimes, this movie is about camp and by the ending, empowerment and revenge.

    Ultimately, this movie is what it was intended to be; that is a spin-off of the early blaxploitation movies of the early 70s. In fact, it's not unlike anything Quentin Tarantino hasn't already done, just with transsexuals and/or dragqueens.

    I don't expect anyone other than the gay community and fans of Quentin's work (which I am) to go see this movie. It's difficult to appreciate the anger that's being generated. Loosen up, grab some popcorn and have some fun.

    Posted by: Keith | Apr 24, 2010 1:51:43 PM

  5. When someone says to me "Don't call me that, it offends me" I don't think the proper response is to say "Well don't be offended." But if they persist in the offensive term it does convey valuable information about them -- that they are a clueless asshole.

    But Israel Luna is probably in a bind here. I doubt that this movie has anything going for it other than a controversial name.

    Posted by: Charlie | Apr 24, 2010 2:47:42 PM

  6. Wait, is this thread about the inappropriateness of standing up for the Trans community???

    "Lighten up and grab some popcorn?"
    "What do THEY want to be called?"

    Rather callous responses. If the movie was called Stupid Faggots, you might see it differently.

    Posted by: Kitty Boots | Apr 24, 2010 3:31:17 PM

  7. This movie looks terrible. And not in the so bad it's good way, but the so bad it's fuckin' unwatchable way! I...can't believe someone put money up for this. God bless AMURRICA!

    Posted by: TANK | Apr 24, 2010 3:43:44 PM

  8. Kitty Boots, I think you're missing the point. Find out what the movie is about and look at the poster they're holding up. I don't think the offense comes from the term "trannie." I think it's because the movie is camp on one end and depicts violence against transsexuals on the other. So is that to say the Asian community should have been up in arms about "Kill Bill" by Quentin Tarantino? I read the synopsis and by the end the girls take karate lessons and whoop some trans hating ass. This would be typical of this type of movie. Camp, corny, violent but hopefully entertaining in only the way a B movie can be.

    As for a movie called "Stupid Faggots," depends on who made it and what it was about. I think Aaron has it right, political correctness run amuk. Loosen up, grab some popcorn and enjoy a different movie instead.

    Posted by: Keith | Apr 24, 2010 4:01:02 PM

  9. I know too many people who call themselves trannies for me to take this protest seriously. The term "tranny chaser" is also commonly used among transsexuals. I fail to understand how it's insulting---it's just an abbreviation, not a new insult like fag or racial and ethnic epithets.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 24, 2010 7:04:35 PM

  10. Israel Luna changed the title out of respect for trans women who are offended by the use of the epithet. Gay men aren't offended by the word because they use it in an endearing way, not the hateful, vile way in which the word is hurled at actual trans women.

    Also, he made a gay movie about drag queens and used the murders of real trans women to bolster the back story of his revenge fantasy. While he might have meant well, he should have stuck to what the knows and left the trans revenge movie to actual trans people.

    What would you think if a trans woman made a movie with the word faggot in the title? Would you be offended or happy that someone outside your community took it upon herself to to portray the anger felt by gay men? Would you want the first movie about gay revenge fantasies to star straight men and be written by a trans woman?

    The outrage about this movie just seems to be symptomatic of larger issues and while its just a movie, the controversy highlights important issues such as appropriation and real life violence.

    Posted by: Kian | Apr 24, 2010 7:29:23 PM

  11. Kian's comment is very intelligent and apt. Thank you, Kian.

    A film that REPEATS the injustices that it presumes to be satirizing is not fun, not campy, and deeply hateful to the core. Luna's film would be looked at quite differently if "faggots" were in the title and if it were about the vicious serial murders of white gay men.

    I'm so glad transgender women and men spoke up about this film's injustice. Ignorant cis people (and cis commentors like Ebony Shades and others) are transphobic wolves in sheep clothing. Everyone who goes to this BLOG knows that the "T" in LGBT (or GLBT) refers to "transgender." Ebony Shades comment was the first time I've EVER heard a presumed white gay, trans-hating men claim to be ignorant of ANYTHING. Usually people like Ebony Shades are so, so SMART. Perhaps he really DOESN'T know what the "T" in LGBT is...yeah, right...

    Posted by: veg | Apr 24, 2010 9:40:32 PM

  12. Because people think banning films means violence will stop (keep dreaming)....I now "have" to see this...freedom of speech is a right too...

    Posted by: alan brickman | Apr 24, 2010 10:18:26 PM

  13. Alan, a film can only be banned by the government, not ordinary citizens. This isn't about censorship, its about respect.

    Posted by: Kian | Apr 25, 2010 12:29:43 AM

  14. Either remove the word trannies altogether, or spell it out. Faux-censorship is just stupid. And no, I wouldn't have a problem with a campy film entitled, "Flustered Faggots with Firearms."

    Posted by: Connor | Apr 25, 2010 1:59:53 AM

  15. But wouldn't you prefer that it be presented to the general public as "Flustered Fa**ots with Firearms"?

    Posted by: JeffRob | Apr 25, 2010 10:17:51 AM

  16. This film is just supposed to be pure camp fun. Obviously anything and everything will be offensive to someone. It's not as if the director is a person who hates Transgendered people and/ or had men just dress in drag to portray transgendered women. From what I'm seeing the actresses are transgendered women so they understand the substance (or lack there of) of this film.
    Like any exploitation film, it relys on the abundant use of stereotypes and in a way, takes ownership of them. If you learn to make fun of yourself, no one else can really hurt, that type of mindset.
    If a film was set around the terms, dykes, faggots, niggers, chinks, wet backs and the makers of those films (main actors included) were lesbians, gay men, black, asian, mexican, then there should be no full sense of outrage, ofcourse except from people who feel all context of hateful terms should be banned or not used.

    Posted by: b | Apr 25, 2010 4:36:16 PM

  17. This kooky notion that ugly slurs can be turned into "endearments" really disturbs me. I've even heard Gay people claim to have borrowed this dubious practice from Black people, which is absurd. It shows how little they know about Black culture. The N-word has been part of African-American vocabulary since slavery times; its usage is complex, and its connotations are still as toxic as ever. You hear more people casually using the N-word now, but that doesn't make it right! Ignorance is always ignorant, no matter who indulges in it.

    I find it frightening, bewildering and pathetic, how LGBT folk will bend over backwards to validate the crude labels and stereotypes created to oppress them. I can't believe this is what the Stonewall generation had in mind. I don't think they'd like how we maintain a high tolerance for institutional discrimination and exclusionary public policy, either. I know they would hate seeing how many of us attend churches whose clergy demonizes us. How is it that we still have so much self-hatred beneath the surface? We need to raise our collective consciousness; right now, I'd say it's at ground level!

    I fully concur with transsexual activists that Israel Luna and the Tribeca Film Festive are guilty of gross insensitivity and crass exploitation. If you want to know what Pride really looks like, folks, those transwomen are displaying it! It's all about human dignity, something far too few of us appreciate or understand.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Apr 25, 2010 4:56:56 PM

  18. Well for me the N word and Tranny are both offensive. If you like being called tranny, shemale queen or something like that more freaken power to you. However I find it highly offensive and rude to be called that… Especially by a non trans person. It is very much like the N word in that respect. I have some very close trans friends who use the word to greet one another as I used to do as well… That is till I realized how degrading it actually is to us as a people. African Americans are doing the same thing, and many of them do not use the N word with each other any longer. So they are very alike in this respect.

    If you are not trans then how could you know how it feels?

    Posted by: Coletta Allison | May 6, 2010 2:54:46 AM

  19. "Fucked Up Faggots With Firearms" sounds like a great movie to me don't you think?

    Posted by: Coletta Allison | May 6, 2010 3:03:30 AM

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