New Orleans Trans Rights Documentary to Debut

NEW ORLEANS — “CANS Can’t Stand,” a documentary following a trans women-led movement in New Orleans to repeal Louisiana’s Crime Against Nature by Solicitation law, will screen at 6 p.m. Friday, July 15 at the Jazz and Heritage Foundation, 1205 N. Rampart Street. Tickets are available here. SYNC UP Cinema will present the free screening along with a discussion with the filmmakers and cast.

Produced and co-directed by filmmaker Matt Nadel with co-director Megan Plotka and co-producer Wendi Cooper, the film premiered two months ago at the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at Cannes Film Festival. Since then, it also won a Special Jury Prize at Provincetown Film Festival, an Oscar-qualifying festival, and screened at San Francisco’s acclaimed Frameline, the oldest and largest LGBTQ+ film festival in the country. See the trailer.

“CANS Can’t Stand” explores the impact of the controversial 40-year-old law that made it a felony to solicit “unnatural carnal copulation for compensation.” Advocates say the law disproportionately affected queer and trans survival sex workers. It focuses on Cooper, executive director of TRANScending Women; Milan Nicole Sherry, House of Tulip co-director, and other local trans activists.

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CANScantSTAND was founded as a program within Operation Restoration to advocate for repeal of the law. CANS made offenses punishable by five years in prison and 10 years to life as a registered sex offender.

The documentary will also screen July 20 at Outfest LA LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

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