Even though the independent horror-comedy Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives would have likely been a smash at this summer’s Outfest film festival in Los Angeles, organizers of the event chose not to include the film because of a lingering protest against it by GLAAD. This despite the fact that the movie had overcome the stigma of offensiveness beginning with a quartet of showings at Tribeca in April.
Trannies is set to debut locally this Friday, October 22nd at Laemmle’s Sunset 5, with writer-director Israel Luna heading out from Dallas to partake in the festivities. “When Outfest didn’t take the film, I got so many emails from people from the festival saying, ‘Hey Israel, just want to let you know, we all love your film but for political reasons they chose not to take it and we think it sucks,” Luna reveals via telephone interview with FishbowlLA. “We have had so many emails and Facebook messages asking when the movie is coming to L.A.”
Luna still isn’t sure if anyone from GLAAD actually watched his film before calling for an outright Tribeca boycott (they have had a screener since February). But what he does know is that since that time, the organization has refused multiple opportunities to explain their side of the censorship story.
“Tribeca tried to put together a panel with me, a GLAAD representative and some transgender women, and GLAAD would never do it,” Luna recalls. “Other festivals since Tribeca wanted to do the same thing, but neither of the two transgender women that are mainly against the film (Kelley Busey, Ashley Love) or GLAAD has ever agreed to be on a panel.”
“I think that’s kind of low for an organization to sort of cause all this and then go, ‘OK, we’re leaving and we’re not going to talk about it.’”
We have to agree. Perhaps it’s not too late for GLAAD to man-woman up and partake in a post-screening discussion during the Sunset 5 run. Meanwhile, Luna (pictured left) appears headed for more media attention with his next planned effort, a zombie film in which the only post-apocalypse survivors are homosexuals, lesbians and Bible thumpers. It’s called Kicking Zombie Ass for Jesus.
Separately, Luna says he likes to keep a list of funny drag queen names and is up to 350. Something tells us he will have the chance to add a few more this weekend, which will kick off with the cast of Trannies in attendance on Friday night.
“There are people who have seen the film and still say, ‘No, we agree with GLAAD, this is a bad representation of transgender women,’” says Luna. “There aren’t very many of those, but that’s completely their right. I just thought it was completely inappropriate of GLAAD to just ask for flat out censorship at Tribeca because they thought the film might offend people.”