Does 'Rocky Horror' reboot offend trans identities? | The Tylt

Dataviz
Real-time Voting
Does 'Rocky Horror' reboot offend trans identities?
#RockyHorrorDated
#RockyHorrorNotDated
#RockyHorrorNotDated

Many critics have praised the casting of Cox as the lead. Here's the trailer of what to expect on Oct. 20.

#RockyHorrorDated

But not everyone is feeling the casting. LGBT groups look at Cox's involvement as a setback for the trans community. Others think the "Rocky Horror" material is outdated. 

#RockyHorrorNotDated

Laverne Cox told Vanity Fair she was skeptical about the "Rocky Horror" material. But she had a conversation with the director Kenny Ortega that reassured her that the language was acceptable for the timeframe or period that the musical is set.

“I had a conversation [with director] Kenny [Ortega]. We talked about the word ‘transvestite,’ ” the Emmy nominee recalls. That term was once an acceptable way to describe a transgender person who had not completed their medical transition; now, Cox says, it is an “antiquated term that trans folks certainly don’t use” anymore. Despite being part of the L.G.B.T. community’s lexicon through the 70s, when Rocky Horror is set, she was worried that identifying as “a sweet transvestite” would confuse audiences today.

Take a listen to Cox's version of "Sweet Transvestite" below.

#RockyHorrorDated

Flavor Wire writer Mari Brighe describes Dr. Frank N Furter as a murderous gender-bending mad scientist who is also an alien from Transsexual, Transsylvania.

She goes on to write about how the material is problematic for trans women:

But in 2015, that same script — on a mainstream television network — loses a significant amount of its subversive nature, and instead borders on exploiting LGBTQ identities for the gaze of a largely cisgender, heterosexual audience. Of course, all of that would be true without Cox in the cast. With her playing the lead role, there’s a subtle but potentially very damaging conflation of crossdressers with trans women. In an era where trans people (and trans women in particular) are still consistently struggling to shed the social view that we are little more than men in dresses, the once sexually subversive Rocky Horror Picture Show becomes simply a tool for the re-entrenchment of oppressive and harmful tropes about transgender people.
imageSupportingMedia
#RockyHorrorNotDated

Cox furthermore said that the language can be confusing for non-trans people. While the terminology still shouldn't be used to describe trans people today, it's simply a reflection of that period of time in the '70s. Many have gone on to praise her rendition of "Sweet Transvestite."

imageSupportingMedia
#RockyHorrorDated

Others agree that "Rocky Horror" might be a good musical to many, but its material might be too outdated for today's nuances related to trans identities, communities and the language used to describe them.

#RockyHorrorNotDated

But Cox's cover of Dr. Frank N Furter's anthem is garnering so much praise.

#RockyHorrorDated

But critics are also calling out the musical's writer Richard O'Brien's views on trans women. In fact, O'Brien believes trans women shouldn't be considered women, and many are left disgusted with the writer and this piece of work.

#RockyHorrorNotDated

And let's not forget how excited so many folks are that Cox is the live production's lead. Adam Lambert turned down the lead role because he felt that it was inappropriate for any cisgender man to take it on.

#RockyHorrorDated

But again, not everything thinks Cox's casting is all that progressive. It might just give non-trans people more opportunities to misidentify trans people.

FINAL RESULTS
Entertainment
Does 'Rocky Horror' reboot offend trans identities?
#RockyHorrorDated
A festive crown for the winner
#RockyHorrorNotDated