Transgender activists cheered Tuesday's
announcement that a trailer featuring real-life hate crime victims
will be altered.
The outcry over director-writer Israel
Luna's Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives included a protest from
the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
Luna says his film is supposed to be a
“hilarious campy homage to the exploitation films of the 70s and
“When a group of transgender women
are violently beaten and left for dead, the violated vixens turn
deadly divas,” the film's description says, then adds, “this
revenge fantasy proves that it takes more than balls to get even.”
“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,” GLAAD said.
Transgender activists were horrified by
the film's trailer, which included references to two real-life
victims: Angie Zapata, an 18-year-old transgender woman who was
beaten to death in 2008, and gay teenager Jorge Mercado, who was
murdered last year in Puerto Rico.
On Tuesday, Luna announced he would
omit the trailer's references to the victims.
In a letter
addressed to transgender activist Kelli Busey, a member of the
Transgender Advocates and Allies, Luna, who is based in Dallas,
said the references were included to “give a disturbing reality to
my film about transgender violence.”
“After listening to many of the
voices in the trans-community I've realized that the association
between the names at the beginning of the trailer and the content of
the film in its entirety has been difficult to connect.”
“I've had time to think about it, and
have decided to take their names off the beginning of the trailer,”
“We are immensely relieved that Angie
Zapata's horrific bludgeoning death by Allen Andrade will not be
associated directly with this comedy,” Busey said on the group's
“However, we are still at odds with
any inadvertent associations that this movie may produce with
transgender people in real life,” Busey added.
The film is scheduled for an April
premiere at New York's Tribeca Film Festival.