An anti-transgender film that was scheduled to be screened in roughly 40 AMC Theatres across the US on June 21 was abruptly cancelled on June 17 after the Queer Trans Project raised objections to the film’s content.
“We’ve been canceled!” said a June 17 message on the www.nowaybackfilm.com website about the film, called “No Way Back: The Reality of Gender-Affirming Care.” “Intolerant, illiberal, histrionic IGNORANT loudmouths who have not even seen the film have pressured AMC Theatres to make the hard decision to cancel our dates! DO NOT LET THEM WIN!”
A link on the film’s website led to a longer statement from Deplorable Films, LLC, which produced the film, that blamed the “QT Project” for pressuring AMC Theatres for canceling the screenings.
A press release announcing the screenings was released on June 13. The press release said the film was “produced by lifelong California Democrats and LGBT activists, takes a non-religious, non-political, and non-ideological look on the subject of gender-affirmative medical practices, the risks and side effects of cross-sex hormones, surgeries, and the long-term health implications of gender medicalization.”
The Queer Trans Project, which did not immediately respond to Gay City News’ request for comment, issued a public statement on June 17 celebrating the cancellation of the film.
“The Queer Trans Project is thrilled to announce a resounding victory in our collective efforts to challenge hate and misinformation,” the statement noted. “In less than 24 hours, we received over 1500 petition signatures and reached over 14,000 individuals on social media through community mobilization and unwavering advocacy. This remarkable achievement demonstrates the power of our united voices and the urgency of defending the rights and dignity of the transgender community.”
Them.us first reported on the screenings on June 15, but was unable to identify the producers or distributors of “No Way Back: The Reality of Gender-Affirming Care.” Searching on www.godaddy.com on June 16, Gay City News found that Xenon Pictures, a company that was founded in 1986 that distributes films that are intended to appeal to Black filmgoers and fans of action/adventure movies, was hosting the film’s website on its servers, suggesting that Xenon Pictures was possibly the distributor. Gay City News called Xenon and sent an email to the company. A spokesperson for Xenon replied to the email saying that the film was not part of Xenon’s catalog and that the query had been forwarded to the company’s “acquisitions person.” That person had not responded as of June 17. AMC Theatres did not respond to a call seeking comment.
The longer statement that accompanied the cancellation notice said, “They call the film ‘right-wing’; this is absurd to the point of being libelous. The filmmakers (some of whom are gay and/or have gay children) are dedicated, life-long, Liberal Democrats…The film is not anti-trans people, nor is it even anti sex change surgery; there are trans people in the film speaking against the sudden rush to powerful drugs and major surgeries that have increased exponentially in the past decade, and which have statistically caused far more pain and suffering than they’ve prevented.”
The longer statement did not identify the producers of the film. It closed using the Deplorable Films, LLC name and listed an address in Sheridan, Wyoming that appears to be a strip mall and possibly a mail drop, according to Google Maps. Deplorable was registered in Wyoming on May 18 by an attorney in Sheridan who appears to specialize in incorporating companies.
The longer statement likened the Queer Trans Project to Iran, where the statement said gay men and lesbians are required to undergo transition surgery to avoid being executed. It also questioned the motivation of the Queer Trans Project, saying, “[P]erhaps they are on the payroll of those who profit from this — so much of what they are doing is resulting in the creation of life-long surgical and pharmaceutical patients are doing so to great benefit of certain surgical clinics and pharmaceutical companies.”