Dear Dallas Voice Readers:
The recent release of Ticked-Off Tra**ies With Knives (TO*WK) has sparked both critical acclaim and public outcry. This movie positions itself in the Transgender narrative and is highlighted in local Dallas-Fort Worth LGBT community venues. We the Metropolitan Community Churches that make up the Dallas-Fort Worth “Would Jesus Discriminate? WhyWouldWe.org” Campaign; wish to state our position of support to our Transgender Sisters and Brothers.
MCC churches have been in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area over 40 years. Since our beginning, MCC churches have been at the vanguard of civil and human rights movements and addressing the important issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, and other forms of oppression. We are called as Christians to stand in solidarity with those that are marginalized and oppressed, and to be partners with those for change.
From the MCC Statement of Purpose: “At MCC, we believe that Jesus led the way in acts of compassion and acts of justice. Because we have been a people in the margins of society, we understand fully the grace that God has extended to us. We seek to distance ourselves from exclusion and draw ourselves closer to including all those who are marginalized in any way. We stand boldly with those who resist the structures of exclusion, as Jesus did, and work to insure freedom for all people. In the margins, we are blessed.”
Transgender people and the transgender experience lack adequate representation in legitimate cinema. Therefore, the potential for negative stereotyping damage is exponentially multiplied in that:
“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.” (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Call to Action, March 25, 2010)
We know there is power in our words, either to heal or harm. The names we call ourselves and allow others to call us can be either inspiring or devastating. “Tranny” is a pejorative word. The cavalier usage of insulting and derogatory words in media (movie titles and newspapers included) is unacceptable.
We understand that Q Cinema (Fort Worth’s GLBT Film Festival) will be featuring this film during their festival. We understand that there will also be positive and pro-trans films and shorts featured the same weekend, including the documentary “Would Jesus Discriminate?” featuring some of our local MCC churches.
Before and during the screening of TO*WK, we choose to stand with those that will participate in an Informational Rally/ Protest. We respect Q Cinema and Mr. Luna’s rights to feature this movie, we also respect that many (even some from our churches) may choose to watch it. The Director and Q Cinema have invited us and others with opposition to this movie to sit on an educational panel Sunday Afternoon. We appreciate and accept that extension of hospitality.
We encourage those that choose to view the film, to use their God-given conscience and in the future endeavor to understand and support the transgender community and other marginalized peoples in more positive engagements. Please understand that it is only fictional entertainment and not a complete and true narrative of transgender people and the real violence they too often face.