Friday, May 14, 2010

Paulista - A film review

I had the unique opportunity last evening to screen the film 'Paulista' a Brazilian film done in 2009. The purpose of the screening was for acceptance into the St Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) this coming Novernber 11-21, 2010. I invited SLIFF's Artistic Director over for dinner and with some decadent cupcakes from Jilly's here in St Louis (exported to my home in O'Fallon, Mo) and cups of my infamous Cafe La Brea, we watched the film.

Paulista is a nice, fun and sexy film, yet not (of course) without drama, that being the main course of a three course plot that is this film. The film embodies three separate relationships, one of a writer of poetry that has found love for a feisty prostitute, a lesbian impassioned with a bisexual woman married to a man, and the young attorney Suzana, who is in love with yet another young attorney, to whom she has yet to reveal that she is transsexual.

In each of the relationships, the three separate protagonists, living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, have all found their perfect lovers, yet circumstance and the separate backgrounds of their lovers collide, which create confusion, distrust and indifference. Each of the situations are unique each a blend of drama and heartfelt love and of course a bit of steamy passion.

The film contains no violence nor exploits the transsexual aspect of Suzana, played by Maria Clara Spinelli. Her character is that of a young attorney, no suggestion at all of transgender sex workers, transgender revenge and my (oh My!) not a peep of the word 'tranny.' Imagine that! As a matter of fact, the only reason there is the reference to one who is transsexual, is that it is part of the storyline, where the character knows she is reluctantly needing to reveal that to her lover.

The film is a well played out drama and has direct connections to the LGBTIQA Community. But not not with the stereotypical marginalization that one finds so often in films regarding our Community or individual that is in our Community. The beauty of it, is we have an awesome film regarding a transsexual's problem in a relationship, done by an actor that is truly a transsexual and not a gay male drag queen. The film had no rating on the box supplied by FigaFilms, but is indeed an adult only film, with nudity and sexual situations. The language is not out of line, in fact a feeling of vulgarity did not come across to me.

Revlon Robyn (...uh...sometimes known as Robyn Carolyn Montague ;)

Friday, May 7, 2010

POPWK - I'm Not A Fucking Ugly Tranny Whore

yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm late. Who cares, I don't get paid. As far as I am concerned, the marginalization of the Trans Community seems to be a daily project of at least one individual, so this is timely enough. At any rate, here we go:

My my my, aren't we a bunch of unhappy campers. I have been reading the seemingly endless debate on 'Ticked Off Trannies With Knives,' which due to it's shameless infamy won't go back into it, other than to mention it's shameless exploitation of trans women and the marginalization of the Transgender Community as a whole. If you don't know the story, take a couple percocet, do a 'google' on 'TOTWK' and call me in two weeks. One point that doesn't entirely hold too much water is that the drag entertainers are all trans. There are several that I know that will totally disagree especially the queen that said in a local entertainment paper, that "hell no I am not transgender, transgender people are psychologically diseased."

Where I am driven in this battle of rhetoric of this "film" (TOTWK) is where we are seen as less than human, in the same vein as described by the Traditional Values Coalition and Mass Resistance. If our brothers and sisters weren't being murdered (what is the total now, about 6 of us in the last month and the viscious assault on the guy in Long Beach?) and we weren't being marginalized by the hate groups, the effect of TOTWK on my thoughts would not be as severe. And with TOTWK being filmed by a cisgender gay man, it is easy enough to say that the people that are murdering us, are doing it as a favor to the ones that describe (depict) us as unhuman.

One of the issues that is coming out this is the use of the word 'Tranny' or “Trannie.” It is to me, a very marginalizing and insulting word, many people use it, many people abhor it. What really irritates me (I am a lady, thus I won't say it pisses me off, though it does) is that most of the commentary on the acceptability of use of the word seems to be coming from gay people who are not of the Trans Community. One rationale being used is that if some clueless media source uses it, then it's ok to use. Then they say that if we can use it, then somehow it becomes their free license to do as well. And it is amazing (though not really surprising) that cisgender gay men in the entertainment industry have decided to speak for the transgender community, people such as TOTWK's director Israel Luna and female impersonator Ru Paul (yeah, yeah, I have heard him say he is not a female impersonator, but then what the hell is he doing in women's clothes, eh?).

My issue with the term 'tranny' comes that (though perhaps at one point it is fun, is a campy term and perhaps endearing between two friends) when it is used as in hate and to dehumanize, the fun of it goes away. In my case, being called a fucking ugly tranny whore by a gay man in a community establishment pretty much put the term on my verboten list without hesitation. I figure that each person in their lives, will come to that point where it is used as a word of hate at them and finally say enough is enough. But to have gay men say it is all right to use it, is asinine.

The math is simple: We are marginalized by the same community we work together with towards equality with words and actions that dehumanize the transgender individual. We are then seen as less than human by those outside the community, and trans women and trans men are raped, murdered and our bodies mutilated.

Let me put it this way: What if I called the gay folks, faggots? Or pansies. You know, the words that are used before a gay man is beaten by a person in a crime of hate? Why is it wrong for me to call you that? Since gay men are claiming to be spokespeople for the Transgender Community, why can't I take the position for the entire gay population and say that calling you faggots is okay? Before you castigate me for saying that, I will share that my husband is a gay man (no, you may not ask how that works, it is none of your business) and I would would be highly ...uh... irritated to hear anyone calling my husband a faggot. Yet no one seems to care that there are similar sensitivities to marginalizing words describing transgender people.

Yet I can only imagine the uproar by every gay man, upon hearing of a transgender director doing a film called Pissed Off Pansies With Kittens. If the resulting drama ends up with a lot of blog time, we can always shorten it to "POPWK."

Who I would like to have over for Lunch:

This weeks guest would be Angela Lafferty. A lot of people have talked about this moron who heads the Traditional Values Coalition. She calls trans women 'male/female hybrids' and otherwise uses hate to describe the Transgender Community. For this particular example of hate personified, I would prefer to do our lunch at an upscale restaurant in an upscale teabag-end of town. After a few glasses of my favorite club soda with a twist of lime, I could ask her to join me to continue the discussion in the ladies room.