Tammy Wynette sang it so it must be true: “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.” In the case of Los Angeles-based transgender sex workers Alexandra (Mya Taylor) and Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) in “Tangerine,” the hardships are doubled as they deal with the common issues of being a woman — unfaithful boyfriends, bad clients, being ridiculed and held in contempt by mainstream society — while also facing other prejudices, not to mention competing with cisgender women who knows the ropes a lot better simply because they’ve been playing the game a lot longer.

Meeting just after the U.S. presidential election, the director Sean Baker, who is in Tokyo to promote the film’s release, immediately shows his concerns about the future of transgenders like Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, and about the entire LGBTQ community in general.

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