ASL film “Versa Effect” uses transphobic elements

versa effect rita coreyTHE LEXIE CANNES TRANS REPORT — One marginalized group mocking another marginalized group — deaf vs. transgender — this is a bit of sad commentary about our society.

As I began to watch the ASL Films’ production of “Versa Effect” — a film told entirely in American Sign Language — ASL,  I was a bit troubled when I saw that the producers of the film decide to use an old Hollywood gimmick — swapped gender roles — as a major element of the film’s story. If done right, it wouldn’t be too offensive, but somehow in the back of my mind I could see a major trans smackdown headed my way.

Sure enough, at one point, one of the characters in the film, an “aunt” portrayed by actress Crystal Finlay, signed: “transgender, S-I-C-K!‘ with a look of disgust on her face — supposedly for a humorous effect. Later on in the film, “Dr. Chance”, portrayed by actress Rita Corey, fingerspelled “f-r-e-a-k-s-h-o-w” while showing utter contempt — another attempt at mocking trans people for a humorous payout.

Fact: the story is such an embarrassingly bad mess that it becomes quite clear that the writer, Mark Wood, used transphobic dialogue solely for the laughs he could get for them. There is no redeeming purpose for the usage of such dialogue.

I understand Sprint Relay (the wireless giant) had a hand in the financing of this film. I wonder how they feel about being party to this transphobic mess?

versa effect rita corey


  THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT is associated with Wipe Out Transphobia:

Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post:

Categories: Transgender, Transsexual, Trans, Transphobia, exploitation, dehumanizing, violence, hate

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11 replies

  1. This is one of the things that makes me really angry. Not only are trans-people portrayed in the mass media as prostitutes, murders, victims, or prisoners. But it seems as though the last time there was any positive portrayal of a transgender person was the movie “The Crying Game.” Television, movies, and even the internet MUST stop thinking of the transgender community as characters like, Milton Bryle’s “Carmen”, Flip Wilson’s “Geraldine”, or even to an extent RuPaul. I know that I am none of the above, and I am sure that most of the community will agree. Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2014 08:15:39 +0000 To:

  2. you mention two words, but not the entire scene in context. i saw it twice and did not feel offended, so I would like to know exactly what was said/done prior to those 2 words and after. was the aunt asking is the person was transgender or sick mentally? you read the captions or are you Deaf too? maybe it is the subtitles that made it offensive

    • David, The aunt was not asking anything. She was commenting on what she saw. I cannot think of an instance when ‘transgender – S-I-C-K!’ would be okay in ANY comedic context. Perhaps you can give me an example?

  3. Wow I shared this on my facebook page and now I am under attack and being socially bullied by two deaf people! Apparently its ok for deaf people to make fun of transgender people and it is not ok for us to complain about it! This whole project is just plane wrong!!!!

  4. They followed me all the way into my christian gay support group and now everyone that is there is saying I am now irrational for trying to point out that just because you are deaf or a member of a group that generally gets the short end of the stick in society does not give you the right to marginalize and in effect contribute to the deaths of another marginalized group.

  5. This is bully action! I am being bullied simply for sharing this article!!! Now I have no christian gay support group. sigh this happens every time I try to defend transwomen somehow I am irrational and the bullies have it right!

  6. I wrote some notes about that in some trailers and stuff about the film I found in YT, thanks for this article.

  7. More than that there are other issues with it too…the ASL is very unnatrual looking….If you watch the actors faces there is not the usual eyebrow movement there faces don’t change with the exception of head nod incorporation ASL grammer NMS is poor in most of the dialogue it looks like fluent hearing signers are signing.


  1. Meet filmmaker Mark Wood, the deaf community’s ‘Ed Wood’ « LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS

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