A transwoman faces yet another struggle as she is discriminated in the afterlife.
I have always had a hunger to make a narrative that would talk about the struggles of LGBTs and there has always been the consciousness that I don’t want it to be presented typically.
The genre is a mix of drama and dark comedy presented in very surreal storytelling. There are flashbacks but merely glimpses on the past, without words. The characters are Philippine mythical creatures locked in a carnival in the afterlife. This is their purgatory – this is where they will stay day in and day out, drinking coffee and smoking before their shifts. Their main goal is to haunt the people who have caused their deaths to get justice and crossover to a happier place. The film mirrors a society of horrors – how we veer away from and immediately hate the things or people we don’t understand. I want to emphasize how acceptance (and not tolerance) is the key for crossing over – for breaking through, for having life after death.
The choice of the horror aesthetics and surreal characterization for a story with an underlying drama plot was made with the hope that an issue this personal could also reach universal understanding and would be relatable to people of different orientations. This is a peek at a transwoman’s struggles but also an exposition that as humans we share the same sentiments, the same heartbreaks, the same joys, and the same hopes. The dark humor aims to hopefully make the film more powerful and leave us asking ourselves who the joke is on, or if there was actually a joke in the first place. The film also offers a reflection on the definition of a family – that it is not always biological and sometimes you can find a family in the most unlikely places. I want the LGBT people to realize through this film that the world can be cruel most of the time but there will always be an ally who will be willing to hold your hand.
While the film has a death perspective, it is also about beginnings and change. It is about how we all die tiny deaths in our lives but it does not mean it’s the end. In a way, White TransLady is a reflection of my struggles as a lesbian mom and this story will forever haunt me until I finally put this out to the world.