Debunking the deceptive misconceptions of Q Cinema's Director Tod Camp

I am writing this rebuttal after being alerted by a email from 'Kyle' asking me how I respond to Todd Camp's: A response to the "Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives" controversy... found on facebook here

I will publish Tod Camps note and respond to it's misinformation categorically. In "quotations" are found excerpts from Tod Camps facebook note. Sentences in italics are my response.


Todd Camp: A response to the "Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives" controversy...

"Kelli Anne Busey's recent screed against Q Cinema on the Planet Transgender blog (read it in full at http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2010/04/tranny-this-pejorative-is-not-up-for.html) finally ticked me off enough to write a response. As many of you know, Q Cinema will be presenting Israel Luna's controversial film at this year's film festival and I wanted to take a minute to counteract some of Kelli's misguided claims:"

"I have to take issue with several of Kelli Anne Busey's comments, especially since she has gone so far as to label the planners of Q Cinema as liers. As the founder of Q Cinema and its artistic director for the past 12 years, I can say that I honestly have NEVER had a conversation with Kelli - via phone, e-mail, Facebook exchange, anything - regarding Israel Luna's film "Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives."
I do not dispute this fact. Tod Camp has never attempted to contact me by the aforementioned methods of communication, including this note which I was not a recipient, even though we remain 'facebook friends'. I only became aware of it's existence after being alerted to it in a email from someone named 'Kyle'
I monitor her Anti-TOTWK Facebook page and read her posts but we have NEVER spoken directly nor has she made any attempt to do so.
I am not the creator or a administrator of "The boycott TOTWK" facebook page that Camp incorrectly alludes to as "anti TOTWK".

I do post there like I do on TOTWK page. However unlike the TOTWK gang the members of the Boycott TOTWK group are thoughtful and carefully respectful of others feelings. I do post more often on the Boycott page for those reasons plus of course our passions are more closely aligned as transgender brothers, sisters and allied people.

I actually had no intention in revisiting the controversy surrounding "tranny" after my protests of it 2009 were ignored and shouted down by transphobic gay bloggers and I was doing my very best to ignore TOTWK.

I had said my piece in 2009 and felt that any further efforts would have 'Zero bearing' on the Gay people's insipid campaign to force a despised pejorative down transgender people's throats.

But I found myself drawn back as I could not remain silent after seeing Angie Zapata's image and a recount of her murder on the begining of a "transploitive camp comedy" uncaringly exploiting transgender violence.

Camp continues "To take her points one at a time:"

"I cannot fathom how the phrase "opening an avenue of discussion between ticked-off typists and the filmmakers and cast" from our press release can possibly be misconstrued as an example of "the blatant gay transphobia and generic straight transbaiting and cyber bullying that transgender people are forced to endure."

Tod Camp can not imagine how the invitation to "Ticked off Typists", shortened from "Ticked off trannies with key boards" as we are called by his minions on facebook, for us to watch comical caricatures of ourselves being violently attacked in a movie who's name is so retched, in a packed, closed room filled with people that consider our request to be treated with dignity a joke, could ever be construed as anything other than an a honest good willed invitation to a welcoming safe environment conducive for intelligent discussion. OMG!

Film festivals are about film and talking about film. If you want to get your point across to someone, angry online screeds tend to be far less effective then simply face-to-face interaction. Apart from some weak, poorly chosen alliteration on my part, there's absolutely nothing in the above quote that I would consider trans-bashing, but as it does come off as a bit smug, I'm happy to change the wording to come off as more respectful."

It's not smug Camp. Its disrespectful, insulting and dismissive and practice what you preach Mr. Camp. Maybe you could make me a recipient to your next facebook kelli-bashing note(screed).

[Camp]"went on to say:
"After I complained to key sponsors of the Q Cinema a watered down version appeared containing a quote from the GLAAD call to action suggesting that GLAAD was the first and only organization ever opposed to this movie."

I was making a point that this is a transender issue was just recently joined by GLAAD at transgender peoples request. I had long telephone conversations with GLAAD about this issue in January and February of 2009 and they had decided at that time they were not going to be a participant in the conversation.

"As the decision to include this film was mine and mine alone, and we have never spoken, I have no idea who you spoke to and I can assure you that whatever you may have said had absolutely zero bearing on the press releases and announcements that went out regarding the film, all of which I write myself."

My pastor at Trinity MCC has said he emailed you previously regarding your decision to show TTWK and you have not responded. Although we passionately disagree on some things about TOTWK our conversation is proof positive to me that he deeply cares and I will be in his congregation next Sunday. However this paragraph does illustrate how transgender sensitivities are of 'zero bearing' to you Mr. Camp.

As to our "out right lie" that:

"Q Cinema staffers had made the determination to show the film before the trans tempest began stirring..."

...the tempest I was referring to was the call to pull the film from Tribeca. I was well aware of early objections to the film's title, but as someone who spent 25 years in the word business as a journalist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and other metropolitan dailies, I have an appreciation for the fact that our language is a living breathing thing that is forever changing. At the top of your blog, you mention a laundry list of derogatory words GLAAD arbitrarily assembled as a sort of George Carlin's list of seven gay words you can't say on television.

This is by far the most odious debasing and contemptuous statement by Mr Camp. He clearly believes transgender people and the organization committed to our welfare in the media are a joke. But his social commentary then extends further debasing all minorities in one fell swoop.

Camp is advocating to make common usage among society these words and "Faggot", "Sodomite", "Tranny", and "it"! "It's" unlikely inclusion to the list was undoubtedly why Tod Camp finds GLAAD's list funny. However, it's inclusion probally could be attributed to a emotional response of a GlAAD staffer after personally attending the court room when Allen Andrade recounted murdering Angie Zapata with a finale blow because "IT" moved again.

RIP Angie we love you, and we will not allow your memory to be desecrated.

The list of hateful defamatory slurs is as expansive as Camps desire to hold 'conversations' about them.

Our culture is held together by social conscripts. Since we have progressed to a point were we rely on guidelines set by socially responsible groups I decry Camps attempt at degrading GLAAD as it is so needed today in defense of Gay people.

"I have seen or screened films by gay and lesbian writers and directors using every one of those films in the TITLE, so forgive me if I chose to reserve judgment on Israel's film until I had actually had a chance to screen it."
How convenient. Judgement by a cisgender man on a production by a cisgender man who's mainly cisgender employees and cast jumped at chance at fame and fortune, regardless of the consequence to the transgender community. That's OK by you.

"Lastly, as to your comment:

"Truth is first and foremost Q Cinema chooses self promotion and profits over transgender dignity, and well being"

"Sadly, and with all due respect, you obviously don't know a damned thing about who we are and what we do. For starters, we are a non-profit, all-volunteer organization and neither I, nor a single member of my amazing and hard-working staff has ever earned a dime off this organization. Every dollar we make goes right back into fulfulling our mission."

Monetary gains are but one way hateful transphobes profit from TOTWK.

In the past 12 years, we have shown countless films that provided positive portrayals of the trans experience. We have consistently reached out to trans organizations and individuals yet attendance was often minimal to negligible often costing us hundreds in rental fees to play pictures to tiny audiences. That didn't stop us. We feel that reaching out to every part of our community is crucial to who we are and what we do.

Yes, yes, yes I know. The gay blogosphere and now the gay theatrical component utilizes this fact to there utmost benefit, whether it's overpowering us in media or playing the victim card.

The 1/2% of the 1% of the population who live in the DFW who have transitioned and could be in attendance, if unencumbered by poverty and fear do not very often attend Q Cinema productions. Wondering why?

However, a Q Cinema production was the FIRST time I attended a social gathering in public. It was so such a awesome experience I had to write about it. I will never forget the sisterhood on that warm Texas day and thank you for making a safe place for me to further transition. I have through the Metropolitan Church, been a supporter of Q Cinema and find our current status the most sad state of affairs.

"When the Fort Worth City Council recently voted to add protection of transgender citizens to the city's anti-discrimination policy, I was there with my executive staff speaking on behalf of transgender rights. I don't remember you being in the crowd that night."

I was there Tod Camp and I remember you being there also. I was one of only three transgender people to join with the multitudes of Gay and Lesbians who spoke in front of the City Council that night. I am in awe to this day, of the overwhelming support Lesbian and Gay people have for transgender people.

I Decry Tod Camps attempt to further alienate transgender people in the DFW from the larger GLB community.

But Mr Camp, were you then listening to our transgender voices?

[camp continues]"So before you try to characterize as "trans-bashing" Q Cinema, Tribeca or anyone else who has the audacity to challenge some of your assertions, do a little research and you might learn that we're actually on the same side."

I am a author on a tiny under read blog who has stood up against overwhelming gay trans-bashing to give a voice and empower the transadvocates to come, like Ashley Love in New York City. I am audacious and it riles transphobes to no end that we will not "shut up" as so often demanded.

For the record. Don't you ever call me a 'tranny'. This controversy is about our oft silent and invisible minority claiming our identity again, but NOW we are doing so collectively LOUD and PROUD.

I hope you are listening now.


Kelli Anne Busey
Transgender Advocate
Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies

1 comment:

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