Founded in 1997, the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF) was North America’s first transgender film festival.
At its foundation, the festival was known as “Tranny Fest.” In the late 1990s, “tranny” was a piece of friendly slang trans
people used to refer to each other; it has since become a slur used against trans people. Many materials and folders in the
collection use the former name, which is included in this finding aid for reasons of accuracy, as this was the festival’s
name for the entire period this collection covers.
SFTFF was founded by trans people who felt the lack of authentic representations of their lives and experiences in the mainstream
media. Originally a biennial event, SFTFF screened films and videos by transgender and gender-variant media artists whose
work challenged stereotypes. They primarily served filmmakers with extremely limited access to venues. After five biannual
festivals, audience demand led the organizers to begin staging the Festival as an annual event in 1997. SFTFF celebrated its
25th anniversary in 2022.
Copyright to material created by festival participants has not been transferred to the GLBT Historical Society. All requests
for reproductions and/or permission to publish or quote from material must be submitted in writing to the GLBT Historical
Society Archivist. Permission for reproductions and/or permission to publish or quote from material is given on behalf of
the GLBT Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright
holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.