Today I found a copy of Itty Bitty Titty Committee with Spanish subtitles. It’s the only movie I saw that has a transmale character –Aggie– so I had thought about showing it at school to help trans visibility (I still haven’t found the courage to watch Boys Don’t Cry).
I looked for my favorite scenes and I noticed that the subtitles had typos: they said “ella” (she) when referring to Aggie. But they weren’t typos at all: every single time someone called Aggie “he”, the subtitles said “she.” Even when Aggie spoke, he used female words to refer to himself.
I am very angry at the people who translated this movie. It’s amazing how the ideology of whoever writes the subtitles can change a whole film: it can alter a character’s entire gender on a whim. They ruined the only happy transmale character I could show my schoolmates.
We seriously need more positive movies about us; or maybe any kind of movie about us. I know there are a few films out there, but they have severely limited distribution. And they’re still only a few.
Returning to the topic, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a gaping difference –involving LGBT people– between the subtitles and the actual dialogue; once, on TV, “I know you’re straight” became “Sé que sos un hombre de verdad” (I know you’re a real man). I was flabbergasted.
In both cases, apparently, translators have the power to decide who is a real man.