Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Film Festivals, Psychotherapists and Gender Mockery

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Film Festivals, Psychotherapists and Gender Mockery

How's everyone on this fine, wonderful Tuesday?

Welcome to my blog: Ari the Empowered Kitty!

Today I'm sitting at home a bit ill, a day off from work. I have the window slightly open and I'm listening to the sweet chirruping of Yellow Breasted Chats in the backyard, a common bird found in California (and all the way up to Canada in certain areas there as I'm told), on a 57 degree semi windy day...

I'm still alive myself, but wondering how an innocent Trans woman feels several cities away from me, as she helplessly looks up into the beastly eyes of an unfeeling brute.

Knowing she will suffer a horrible demise within seconds as the result of the blind rage of a transphobic man who, earlier that evening, thinking that he'll finally get some "snatch" of quick pleasure from an apparently pretty girl he's met that night at the local bar 3 blocks down..."It's ok" thinks the potential killer, "In the movies they don't mean shit anyway, just another trannie freak she-guy that dies because it tricked me into thinking it was a girl".

I sit here pondering about how she feels... right before her life is taken... tears long welled up and streaming down dripping, falling from her chin - with thoughts about not having time to say good bye to her family and friends , her life "snatched" like some cheap toy in the hands of a five year old seeking quick thrills stealing from a Rite Aid...

I sit here reflecting on how and why a film called: "Ticked Off Trannies With Knives" now showing at the Tribeca Theatre in New York today, can possibly:

1) be taken seriously enough to be allowed run time at a film festival (Tribeca) that is supposedly held in high esteem by the elite "Filmanatti".

2) How did the management of Tribeca's Film Festival become blinded to the Transphobic elements attached to and in that production?

Quite obviously it depicts Transwoman as being over-the-top, "drag queeny", cartoonish, bad caricatures of women. They have cast gay and straight male actors to play lead characters who are Transgender (who have nothing to do with the communities of Trans people), with only 2 actual Transwoman delegated to very minor roles.This, done by a producer -David Luna, who has no knowledge, no connection, no back ground research, nor respectful recognition of Transgender/Transsexual people.

Obvious backhanded put downs and twisted sex-ploitation of characters that are touted to represent the Trans communities, are shabbily glossed over with a clumsy attempt to portray the gratuitous, bloody violence against the "Trans Women" in the film as campy comedy..; Not to mention that Gender Identities are mocked and deeply de-valued as is their humanity, as well as symbolized as nothing more than fetishistic sex objects and Pop culture jokes.

(We are investigating the accruacy of reports about this)
On the Trans and ouskirts of the NYPD police grapevines, word is being passed around that there were 2 new murders of Trans girls near Spanish Harlem, one of the vernerable enclaves of buroughs in New York City after the film's premiere...

Now a funny thought: What if Mr. Luna, the principal producer, were to wake up one morning to (re)discover that he is Transsexual? A perspective would change, through the crystal-clear glass of common understanding... that this film demeans actual transgender women, who already struggle for acceptance and respect in their day-to-day lives, more than worthy enough, to be valued for their contributions to our society.

I sit here somewhat happy, that at least there was SOME type of response to this parcel of sewage, crawling along, sprung from minds endowed with supreme ignorance... and coming to call on a public that has already been trained to hate, pathologize and marginalize us. Ashley Love and MAGNET - Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Trans people, GLAAD, Kelli Ann Busey and Dallas Transgender Advocates, Gender ID Coalition, as well other organizations, had begun a media campaign against the film and are at this moment protesting and encouraging vigils for past slain Trans sisters.

But... we need more. More people to stand up... with self confident assertiveness without aggressiveness, with a clearly unified voice overheard above the cricket chirping of the self-smug haters who wish to see us and our Genders controlled by their narrow social definitions, life experiences, standards of happiness or dead...

With frustration, sadness and painful ebbing within my being, I sit here drumming my manicured but short, taupe-colored nails on the desk-stand as I write this blog, wishing I were able to delve into the depths of the mysterious logic of those APA (American Psychariatirc Association) members who voted... onto, yes...voted onto an official Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders review board, (whose job it is is to redefine what is and is not a "mental disorder".. for the new version to be published in 2012-2013) people who have demonstrated in the past that they have little or no regard for an individual's Gender Identity, even though it has been demonstrated through out the majority of a person's life; Or does not cease to exist, no matter a therapist's attempt to ignore or "force out" or suppress said identity within a patient.

Certain individuals appointed to the DSM board (who also have a measure of influence with the ICD-9 Diagnostic Manual publishers abroad as well)such as Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a Psychotherapist with a reputation for attempting to treat Trans (AND Intersex) children with "Reparative Thearapy" in order to achieve either of 2 hopeful outcomes, they're gay boys and lesbian girls or go on to live "straight and normal" lives regardless of a buried Gender Identity opposite the role they are forced into... "Now Billy, don't you go changing that sex... you're supposed to be a boy because god (we) want you to be one, now go and be a man, keep and use your thingie to make a girl pregnant to make me some grandchildren..."

Then there is Dr. Ray Blanchard, another appointee to the DSM board, who is a proponent of the theory that male-to-female Transsexuals who are exclusively attracted to men are rather just extreme homosexual men... OR if they attracted to women, why... they are really in love with the idea of themselves becoming women. -This idea is also pushed by one of his favorite colleagues and "advisor" to the board: Ann Lawrence, who after a lengthy investigation, forfeited a medical license in Anesthesiology, when caught fondling a sleeping patient during a surgical procedure... she is another ultimate fan of "Autogynophelia", the definition of which was mentioned above with Blanchard.

Gee, with such experts in attempts to obliterate our Gender Identities like these, I would say that their input within the board, bodes ill for thousands, nay... tens of thousands of an already over-pathologized, stigmatized population of people desperately seeking help to align their bodies with their true Gender. These miserable souls, tortured and in internal agony, after being told that their identity is "really" a result of some sexual-fetish "disorder" defined in a book touted as an instrument of authority.

I see their pain and condition made worse, I see this leading to deaths...

But... sadly, none of this actually matters to a (hopefully small?) percentage of Cis-Gender gay men (some were cast as "Transgender Women" in the "Ticked Off Trannies With Knives film) who do not see our Gender Identities as authentic, insisting that Trans Women are really "gay men in dresses", then joining in misogynist, oppressive and social separative action or inaction contributing to the humiliation, disenfranchisement and dehumanization of Trans Women.

I and several other Women of Trans experience, encountered this, whenever we went to Trans group meetings in gay areas such as San Diego's Hillcrest area.

More information about the DSM situation to come in my next blog.

-AriKitty (AKA Arianna Davis)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ari, love the blog and the essay!

    2 corrections:

    Israel Luna is the name of the director and the film doesn't show at Tribeca for a couple of more weeks yet. I think your sources may have been referencing the day of the protest, not the film showing.

    I've looked and looked for any sign of these murders and not seen them. I wonder if the origin of it might be the murders of trans women in Indonesia and Mexico... which did all happen around the same time as the Amanda Gonzalez Adujar murder in Queens, NY?