TransParent producer Natasha T. Miller, event host Doice John, and Lyniece Nelson and Brandie Brown, mother and sister of Shelly Treasure Moore, pose for a photo at the Hotter Than July Film Festival.

HTJ Film Festival Brings Attention Back To Tragic Transgender Teen Murder In Detroit

By Jason A. Michael

DETROIT - The Hotter Than July Film Festival drew a crowd of about 100 people to the Cass City Cinema on Thursday evening. The event was hosted by Doice John and featured gay films old and new.

"We did a film submission competition to allow filmmakers nationwide to submit films," said Chris "Tall Guy" Sutton, the event's chairman. "Our committee reviewed any submitted film and selections were made by a vote."

Sutton said the committee wanted to find films that others may have overlooked.

"One of our main focuses was to highlight obscure black lgbt films," he said. "A lot of these films are not highlighted or getting exposure because there aren't a lot of festivals focusing on black lgbt films."

Films shown included the animated sci-fi feature Strange Frame, Money Matters, Marlon Riggs' classic documentary Tongues Untied and an episode from the upcoming second season of The DL Chronicles called Thomas.

In addition, attendees were treated to the trailer from "TransParent," the upcoming documentary that tells the story of Detroit transgender teen Shelly "Treasure" Moore, who was murdered and her body mutilated in 2011.

"I heard about the story from a friend," said the film's producer, Natasha T. Miller. "It kind of just stuck with me. I didn't know why it resonated so deeply with me."

In attendance was also Lyniece Nelson, Shelly's mother.

"Shelly loved basically everybody she came in contact with," Nelson said. "All she wanted to do was help people."

Nelson said she hopes the film will show that her daughter "was not somebody who was confused about she was because she knew exactly who she was."

Since her daughter's death, Nelson has become a mother figure to many transgender teens in the area.

"What I don't understand is how you can love a child growing up but then you find out this child is not who you perceive them to be and you disassociate your love from them," she said.

Miller is still raising funds to finish production on the film. To contribute, visit

MI Marriage Trial

Michigan Same Sex Couples Demand Respect And Equal Treatment

Michigan Leaders React To Feds Recognition Of Marriages

MI Marriage: Schuette Asks For Full Appeals Court Review

The Stay Delayed Allows 315 Couples To Wed In State

Gay Marriage Defines Schuette's Reelection Campaign

Snyder Says Schuette Going Against Trend

Sixth Circuit Continues Stay

Michigan Marriage Ban Struck Down

Michigan Makes History With First Marriages

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Aappeal

Pictures from Ingham County - Getting Married

Pictures from Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 1

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's office - Part 2

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 3

Pictures from Washtenaw County

White Nationalist Group Files Brief Supporting AG's Appeal In Marriage Ruling

Discredited Witness Part Of Right-Wing Cabal

Schauer Celebrates Overturn Of Michigan Marriage Ban

Equality Michigan Circulating Petition to Drop Appeal

Why Are Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette Wasting Michigan Taxpayer Dollars On A Costly Appeal?

Michigan Marriage Ban Co-Author Goes 'Moral'

BTL's Wedding Expo: Like Pride in April

Snyder Says Marriages Invalid

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Appeal

Request To Remove Stay Based On Process And Substance

Schuette Lies To Satisfy Political Base

DOCUMENTS: The decision, the stay, and more

BREAKING: Holder Asked To Recognize Michigan Marriages

Michigan Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

BREAKING: Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals Issues Temporary Stay On Michigan Case

BREAKING: Same-Sex Couples Across Michigan Get Hitched

BREAKING: Judge Friedman Declares Michigan's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Judge Could Rule Late Today In Mich. Marriage Ban

Michigan Marriage Trial: And Now We Wait

Editor's Viewpoint: Our Long Journey To Justice

Federal Marriage Case Decisions Outside Michigan In Circuit Court of Appeals

Peers Distance Themselves As Regnerus Takes The Stand

Marriage Supporters, Protestors Brave Cold At Courthouse

Highlights From Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Hearing

Brown Says Schuette Instructed Clerks To Defy Court

Michigan Marriage Equality Trial Begins Second Week

Marriage Equality Trial Opens : Science v. Fear

Michigan Marriage Center Prepares State For The Possibility!

Michigan Marriage Case Begins

A Trial Full of Experts: Incredible and Not So Credible, In Hazel Park Case

like us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on google+