Andrea James

Trans Sister Tales


Trans Sister Tales cast: Erika Ervin, Andrea James, Debra Soshoux, Marianna Maroquin, Ashley Love, Donna Rose, Bianca Leigh, Leslie Townsend. Not pictured: Director Dee Dee Flores

What:  “Trans Sister Tales” is a group of monologues written, performed, created, directed and produced by trans women which will be performed by an all star cast.  The event will be held in a theater, and filmed for educational and entertainment purposes.

When: January 24th, 2007 @ 8:00pm-9: 30pm, reception following

Where: Lyric Theater – 520 N. La Brea, Los Angeles, Ca. 90036

Why:   The show’s creator and producer, Dee Dee Flores, says, “ As an actress, I grew tired of non trans people telling me to portray my community in an inaccurate light. But instead of just complaining, I decided to do something about it, which is what inspired Trans Sister Tales.”

Flores’s fellow co-producer, also an actress (and writer), Leslie Townsend, comments, “This is a chance for trans women to tell their own stories, with their own words. If Tinsel Town and the 7:00 news refuse to reflect us as decent people who deserve respect and love, then we will help them along and produce our own images”.

The entire cast of women is excited about this rare experience where they will have the opportunity to express their truths on film without censorship. This is a chance to hear a community speak from the heart, with out Hollywood sensationalizing, dehumanizing, exploiting, and/or limiting their voices. Because socially conscious trans women are organizing this show, the integrity of the message is bound to humanize this community, who often feel marginalized and unheard.

Joy Behar said it the best on “The View” last fall when she said, “This is the year of the “trannie”!”, during Candis Cayne’s appearance. (Cayne was the first prime time trans actress). Behar was right on point in expressing that there has been a recent tidal wave of trans visibility in the media, from television, movies, documentaries and print. However, having visibility is not necessarily better then having no visibility at all.  There are combatants of trans progression who have influence in the media, and that are inflicting fearful and inhumane blurs of trans people through the unacceptable depictions they make of them (such as the caricatures we see of trans women on the screen). These harmful images are hurting a community that seldom gets the chance to sincerely define themselves.

The trans community is no longer satisfied with trying to assimilate under the radar into a society that does not understand or acknowledge them. They are coming out of their shells (some would say they are being yanked out of their shells with the media’s current infatuation with them), but regardless, the cork has been popped, and it is truly up to the trans community to show the world that they are more than the “victims, villains or vixens” television shows like “Nip Tuck” would have one digest.

               “Trans Sister Tales” is more then a declaration that trans women are engaged in protecting their presentation, but that they are devoted to encouraging ignorant people to awaken to the fact that trans people are a part of the human race, and that they have decided to break out and express themselves. Through the testimonies and personal performance art that will be showcased, this show seeks not just to educate people about who trans women truly are, but also to inspire all people to just follow their heart.

Who: The all-star cast of trans women performers is:

 Bianca Leigh received much praise for her featured role in the film “TransAmerica”, and has a successful career on Broadway as an actress.

Andrea James is a leading activist for the trans community, writer, actress and filmmaker. . She was featured in “Beautiful Daughters,” the documentary that chronicled the first all-transsexual production of “The Vagina Monologues.” She will be starring with Calpernia Addams in LOGO’s reality dating show, “TransAmerican Love Story”, out in February 

Donna Rose was the first and only trans person to be on the board of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Unfortunately, she resigned last year due to the HRC supporting legislation that did not support trans inclusion (the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA), although they had made a promise years prior not to ever support legislation that excluded gender identity expression.

Dee Dee Flores is the creator of “Trans Sister Tales”, and is also the Producer. She is an actress and stand up comedienne. She was featured in “Beautiful Daughters,” the documentary that chronicled the first all-transsexual production of “The Vagina Monologues.” and had a small role in the film, “The Dying Gaul”.

Leslie Townsend is the co-producer of “Trans Sisters Tales”. She was featured in “Beautiful Daughters,” the documentary that chronicled the first all-transsexual production of “The Vagina Monologues.” Townsend is a writer, actress and stand up comic.

Ashley Love is an activist, and the founder of MAGNET- Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Trans. Ashley is also a writer and performance artist.

Debra Soshoux is a lobbyist, an attorney and a dedicated advocate for TransYouth Family Advocates and the entire trans community. She was featured in “Beautiful Daughters,” the documentary that chronicled the first all-transsexual production of “The Vagina Monologues.” This February, Debra will appear in LOGO’s “TransAmerican Love Story.”

Erika Ervin is a writer and activist for the trans community. Ervin is a staff member at Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Trans (MAGNET).

Mariana Marroquin is an actress in theater and in film. She has also lobbied in Washington DC with Bienestar for basic human rights for the transcommunity.

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